Coleman US lanterns 1931 - 1945

The Coleman Company made a demonstration lamp (left)
to support their Instant-Lite patent; note the presence of the sight glass
to see fuel and/or air moving up to the generator.
This lamp is in the Coleman Museum in Wichita.
Jim Nichols modified an early 220B by adding a heat deflector and sight glass (2nd from left).
In the instant lite position, air bubbles and fuel pass through the sight glass (2nd from right)
while in the run position, only fuel passes through the sight glass (right).



In the early 1930s Coleman made this F146 lantern for Sunshine Products Co.,
Chicago, Illinois, a wholly owned subsidiary of Coleman.
Note the so-called carburetor valve enters the fount not the base rest.
This lantern instant lights using the carburetor valve
to feed gasoline from the fount.
The lantern is in Mark Baldwin's collection;
the collar badge (lower image) is on a lantern in Neil McRae's collection.



This F146 lantern is the same as the one above
except that it is badged for Coleman, rather than Instant-Lite as above.
We have no record that Coleman marketed this model
sold with their company name on the lantern
This lantern is in Brian Passananti's collection
Please contact me if you have a F146 lantern with either collar badge.


This Coleman Model 242 is dated February 1933.
The ventilator doesn't take a ball nut but has a threaded insert
so that a shade can be fitted and it can serve as a lamp.
The pump lacks an air tube and positive shut-off
as found on almost all Coleman models.
This lantern, in Dean DeGroff's collection, was restored by Fred Kuntz.



Model 242A was made in 1935-36.
The pump handle lacks an air tube and positive shut-off
as Model 242 above but does have a hold-down pin
(lower image from John Stendahl)
This lantern has a reproduction mica globe;
a mica globe was standard on this model.



Coleman in Wichita also made Model 242K in the mid 1930s.
This kerosene fueled lantern lacks a date stamp
and was an export model.
Note the Bakelite tip cleaner wheel (upper image, left) as on the Canadian 242K.
This lantern is in Michael Merz's collection.


Neil McRae notes that Model 246 was Coleman's number
for the 242 lantern made for export.
This model dates to the mid-1930's; the dates are difficult to read.
It has a valve body assembly and filler cap screw as on Model 242K,
and a solid pump handle and burner casting as on the 242A above.
This lantern, which was found in Germany, is in John Eggert's collection.


A Model 228B Coleman, dated Sept. '33.
This lantern has an original globe
in which the logo was sandblasted into the glass.
This lantern is in Fred Kuntz's collection.


Coleman in Wichita made these Model 223 lanterns in the mid 1930's.
They have brass frames and unusual lighting hole doors.
This is a kerosene fueled 300 cp model;
These came from Thailand and are in Michael Merz's collection.


This Model 223B lantern is also undated
but was presumably made after Model 223 above.
The B version also has a provision to add a pressure gauge.
This lantern, in Warren Wright's collection,
lacks the large lighting doors on Model 223 above
and has a cast aluminum preheater cup.


Another export model, 225,
was the same as Model 223 above
except for steel construction.
The ventilator on this lantern,
in Michael Merz's collection,
may be a replacement.


Coleman made the L427 Quick-Lite lantern
in the 1930's for the US Forest Service.
These lanterns are dated Mar '33 & Feb '35
and are embossed USFS on the side of the founts.
The lanterns are in Deems Burton's collection.



This lantern is similarly equipped as the Quick-Lites above
but is only stamped F.S (for the U.S. Forest Service)
on the rim of the fount that was once painted red.
The lantern, in John Rugotzke's collection, is date stamped Dec '29.



This L427 Quick-Lite was also made for the US Forest Service
but has USFS stippled into the fount guided by a stencil
rather than embossed (lower image).
This lantern, in John Rugotzke's collection,
appears to be dated Jan '36.


By the time Coleman made this L427 Quick-Lite (Dec. '36),
the ventilator still lacked a brim but the bail
was bent out to allow it to be used with a brimmed vent.
The built-in pump is not angled to the right side inside the bottom of the fount;
the fuel tube in the fount is bent to pass around the pump (right image).
This lantern is in John Rugotzke's collection.



Other Federal agencies besides the USFS marked lanterns as their property.
This L427 lantern has a decal (lower image) showing it was owned by the Soil Conservation Service (SCS),
a branch of the US Department of Agriculture.
The SCS was started in 1932; the lantern is date stamped March, 1936.
This lantern, in Larry Hillhouse's collection, also has identifying marks
painted and scratched on the bottom plate.


Coleman kerosene lanterns, Model 234 (one mantle, 175 cp) on the left,
and Model 235 (two mantle, 300 cp) in the middle and right.
The 234 is all original and dated February, 1936.
This lantern is in Fred Kuntz's collection.
The 235 in the middle has the original globe,
is stamped LQ on the fount base, and is dated December, 1935.
This lantern is in Mark Baldwin's collection.
The 235 on the right, also dated Dec. '35, is in Neil McRae's collection.


Model 243 was an economy lantern made in 1936.
Economy features include a one-piece ventilator, steel burner casting
(rather than brass), painted fount (not nickel plated),
and a European style pump with a bayonet mount on the handle.
This lantern, in Neil McRae's collection,
has the month stamp obscured by galvanizing.


Model 243A was made for several years beginning in 1937.
The lantern on the left, in Neil McRae's collection, is dated Aug. 1937 and still has a
centering stud on the top of the burner in lieu of a ball nut.
The pump is now a typical Coleman pump with a positive shutoff.
The lantern on the right, in Dan MacPherson's collection, is dated Aug. 1941.
The later version of Model 243A has a ball nut to hold the ventilator in place.


Jim Nichols spent many hours profiling the cut-away 242B lantern (right)
in his shop to create the image that you see here.
The nickel plating has been removed.
The air tube from the base of the pump to the top of the fount
prevents gas from leaking back out the pump
if the check valve should fail.
The 242B on the left, owned by Doug & Nadine Rorem, is dated Oct. '37.


We believe that the Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. in Los Angeles, California,
manufactured or had these No. 36 "Handy Pails" made for Junior size lanterns.
This "Handy Pail" came with a 242B inside when Dwayne Hanson found it.
The instructions call for storing the lantern upside down
on a rag or newspaper in the can (to protect the mantle).


This embossed Coleman globe came on a 242B.
Some are also embossed Made in U.S.A. on the back;
this one, in George Remkus' collection, is not.
All of these of which I am aware are cracked or missing a piece of glass
in nearly the same place and pattern on the upper right.
There is a small "4" embossed above Pyrex on this globe (not visible).


State agencies also marked lanterns for their use.
Parts of this 242B dated December, 1939, were hand painted red
and lettered CDF (California Dep't of Forestry),
S CO (Sonoma County - where the lantern was found)
D 1 (Division 1).
This lantern is in Charlie Holum's collection.


Coleman likely made the 246B as an export version of the 242B lantern.
This model was made in the US
and apparently marketed overseas through Coleman of Canada.
Instructions on the collar are in English, French, & Spanish.
It is identified on the collar as a "Sportlight" "Instant Lighting"
& "For Gasoline Only."
This lantern, in John Bell's collection, is dated Nov. '40?



This Coleman 228B, dated October, 1937,
is unusual in having a brass tag and painted letters on the bottom
identifying it as belonging to the WPA (Works Progress Administration),
a federal agency created in 1935 to employ workers for public works projects.
This lantern is in Dick Sellers collection.



This 242B, dated July, 1938,
also has a brass tag identifying it as the property of the WPA
but it is on the lower side of the fount (lower image).
Compare to the 228B above this lantern.
This lantern is in Nick Loe's collection.



This Model L427 Quick-Lite is date stamped August 1939.
Gary Kachur, whose collection this is in, bought it from a family that lived and worked in Chicago, Illinois.
Both the lantern and the wooden case are stamped in several places
C.E. CO. (Commonwealth Edison Co., the electric utility in the Chicago area).
It is also stamped with a 4 and Service and Repair Department (lower image).
A drawer in the case includes the original lantern instructions.


Coleman - Wichita made Model 236 lanterns but not in large numbers.
These lanterns are not date stamped, and we have not seen them mentioned in any Coleman literature.
I believe this one dates to the early 1940's based on the stamping on the side of the fount
and the style of some of the parts such as the cast pump cap.
This 500 cp gasoline lantern is in Ron Becker's collection.
Please email me if you have a US made Model 236 lantern.



Coleman only advertised their first Model 237 (237A - lower image)
for the first half of 1941; the lanterns are not date stamped.
We don't know why they didn't produce a 237 stamped model for several more years.
Note the valve wheel is held with a screw, just as on Model 237B (see below)
that they produced for the military in 1943-44.
This lantern is in Justin Bell's collection.


By the end of the 220/228B model run in 1942
Coleman painted the founts green, and stamped them U.S.
They continued to lack any model identification.
Model 228B (left), in Dean DeGroff's collection, is date stamped August '42,
has a brass fount, and most of the usual brass parts are still made with brass.
Model 220B (right) is date stamped November '42, has a steel fount,
and a number of other parts are steel.


This 242B is stamped as such on the collar
and is date stamped Nov. '41 on the bottom.
The brass sided fount is protected with green paint
as are the lanterns below made in '42.
This lantern is in Alex Swanson's collection.


These are the earliest 220BX/220C lanterns that I have seen;
they are date stamped Nov. 1942 (left) and Jan. 1943 (right).
The model is not stamped but we know Coleman's designation
from boxes in which this model came; the bottom is stamped U.S.
They have progressively more steel parts than either the 220/228B above.
These lanterns are in Blake Brallier's collection (left) and in Dean DeGroff's collection (right).


Another Coleman kerosene lantern,
this is Model 237B.
It is dated July, 1944.
Complete with the #330 globe,
this model is in Fred Kuntz's collection.


Initial production of the mil-spec lantern by Coleman in 1944
resulted in lanterns without parts wells;
Coleman designated these their Model 252, per Roger Hill.
This one, in Kyle Marsh's collection, is stenciled 27 AAA (Anti Aircraft Artillery)
and 12 PLT. (Platoon).


This Model 242C lantern is only identified with a white stencil on the bottom
where it is also date stamped 4 9 - Sept. '44.
The lantern is not stamped U.S.
The brass sided fount is protected with green paint.
This lantern is in Sean McGee's collection.

 

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