Coleman US lanterns pre-1931


Coleman's made their first lantern,
Model L or Arc lantern,
sometimes referred to as Model 316 (the globe part number),
from 1914 to 1925 (Strong, cited in Becker).
It is based on their Model 250 hollow wire lamp.
The ventilator and fount are nickel plated brass.
This lantern is in Craig Seabrook's collection.


Coleman also made the arc lantern for their Yale Light Company in Chicago.
The unmarked lantern is distinguished by a single row of large holes
in the collar
and is usually not nickel plated.
This lantern, in Jim Grey's collection, and some other Yale arc lanterns
have the burner support and generator (right)
as found on some Gloria Light Co., Chicago, appliances.



Coleman also made the arc lantern for the Sunshine Safety Lamp Co., Kansas City, Missouri.
The only difference in this lantern from the one that Coleman made for their own company
is the stamping on the collar (lower image).
This lantern is in Ron Becker's collection.
An arc lantern for Sunshine Safety by National Stamping & Elec. Works
can be seen here.

Coleman 319

The Yale version (left) of the Coleman Air-O-Lantern 319 (center)
and the version for Sunshine Safety (right),
all made by Coleman for different periods between 1914 and 1919.
The Yale is unstamped while the other two are stamped as Model 316 above.
The lanterns on the left and center are in Matt Moore's collection,
while "THE SUNSHINE LANTERN" is in Mike Ogilvie's collection.


Model IL 323 was a torch lighting model made in 1916-17.
The tip cleaner wire hangs below the globe cage;
this wire is missing on the lantern on the right.
The lantern on the left may have been assembled by Coleman
with an extra IL 319 fount.
These lanterns are in Don Colston's collection.


Model NL 323 is also torch lighting as IL 323 above
but lacks the tip cleaner assembly.
There is a screw above the torch lighting generator
where the orifice enters the burner chamber (right image).
This lantern is in Dan Boschen's collection.
This lantern is not to be confused with Economy Lamp Co. Model 408.


By 1917 Coleman encouraged dealers to convert torch lighting
IL & NL lantern models to QL327 match lighting lanterns
with a new valve, generator, burner, and 327 mica globe.
The new metal parts were $3.50 and the 327 globe $1.20.
Dealers could get a $0.25 credit for the return of the metal parts only to the factory.
This converted Model QL327 is in Dwayne Hanson's collection;
the ventilator and globe were removed for the image.


Air-O-Lantern Model QL (left) ca. 1920 and L327 (right) 1920-24, sans logo and date stamp.
These two Coleman models were found in France.
They are unusual because they were never nickel-plated
but the brass was polished and lacquered
and the collars and globe cages were painted gold.
Neil McRae, whose collection these are in, believes they were made this way
for the French market in the early 1920's.



Coleman made this lantern for their Yale Light Co. subsidiary from 1917 - 1920 (Becker).
The founts on these ML-211 Arcolite lanterns are either steel (as above) or nickel plated brass
and have either a straight (as above) or curved air tube (next lanterns, below).
In addition to the diamond shaped top bolt marked Yale (upper image)
the air tube on this lantern, in John Eggert's collection, has the Coleman match lighting patent dated May 13, 1919.
Please contact me if you find a lantern with a top bolt as on this one.


Coleman also made these LZ327 (left) and LZ427 (right) lanterns,
known here by their Coleman numbers, for several retailers including Sears and Montgomery Ward.
These lanterns have a separate post to support the burner;
the air tube, which is curved in these models, opens below the mantles.
The mica globes were removed for the images.
The lantern on the right lacks its generator and is in Don Colston's collection.


There is no documented evidence that Coleman made a chandelier with lantern heads,
however, this chandelier, in Brad Stephenson's collection,
has no evidence of solder in the lower portions of the fuel valve assemblies
where a fuel uptake tube from the fount would have been fastened
and there are no bail attachment marks on the frame posts.
The embossed ventilators date it to 1922 or later.


The Coleman Quick-Lite 327 was sold from 1920 to 1924
from the Wichita (USA) plant with no date stamp.
This lantern, in Ron Lenfield's collection,
includes the box and accessories.
Although this lantern has a later style baffle plate,
the usual baffle plate in this version is as in the right image.


These two Quick-Lite lanterns are unusual because the pump is only partially mounted in the fount.
The check valve can be seen between the pump and filler cap.
Air from the pump is piped up to the top of the fount.
Shipping records show several hundred were sent from July - December, 1924 (Becker).
They were the first Coleman model to have a pump as part of the lantern.
These lanterns are in Shirley Willard's (left)& Dean DeGroff's (right) collections.


The first pumps on Quick-Lite lanterns were "built-on"
rather than "built into" the founts.
This L427 lantern, in John Stendahl's collection,
is date stamped May, 1925,
and has the pump top with the rounded handle.
Other L427 pump handles have a nearly flat top or a top with rounded lobes.



The Quick-Lite L427 (top image) is dated Feb. 1925.
It's flat-topped pump (lower image, left) lacks an air opening in the middle of the handle
as does the round topped pump (lower image, middle - dated July 1925).
The L427 in the lower image, right, is dated May, 1926 and has the hole.
These lanterns are in Dwayne Hanson's collection.
Note the early filler cap shape and downturned baffle plate found on Quick-Lites in this period.


This Coleman Model 327 Quick-Lite lantern was manufactured in July, 1925.
This lantern is in Fred Kuntz's collection
Fred restored this lantern
which includes his reproduction mica globe.
The wall shelf was made by Craig Seabrook.


Coleman made this model for their Sunshine Safety company (post 1923).
It has many of the same parts as Quick-Lite Model L327.
The collar, generator, and cap nut are different from that model.
The center globe cage base disk is stamped
Sunshine Safety Lamp Co., Kansas City, MO.


Model E20, the Quick-Lite Jumbo Gas Lantern, with a built-on pump (left),
and the Quick-Lite Poultry House Lantern, without a pump (right),
both featured a 1 gallon fuel tank.
Steel wool and a coil of asbestos "rope" inside the globe rest
kept dust from clogging the air intake and fuel from dripping on the floor.
These lanterns are in Jerry Engbring's collection.


The first production of instant lighting lanterns was in March, 1928
when Coleman made the L220 and L228 (above- missing mica globe).


The L228 dated Mar. 1928 disassembled
can be compared here to the last in the series to be produced
in June 1983, 55 1/3rd years later.
None of the parts are identical by the end of production
although the ball nut and globe are interchangeable
between the two models.


Coleman made the L220 (above) and L228 (below) for a short time in 1928.
The L220 above, dated Aug. '28, is running with the original T88 generator.
To accommodate the pump, which is mounted into the center of the fount,
the fuel pickup tube had to swivel for removal (below the 2nd set of threads).
Note the air tube along the left side of the fuel pickup tube,
which is necessary for the Instant Lite feature.


Coleman lantern Models 220 (left) and the earlier L228 (right).
The Model 220 has the slant Q77 generators and is dated July 1929,
while the L228 has the T-88 generator and is dated Oct. 1928.
We think the different style of the valve knobs indicates the type of generator.
These lanterns are in Craig Seabrook's collection.
The original globes in these lanterns were mica.


Model L227 is a Quick-Lite model with a wide ventilator.
This version, in Dwayne Hanson's collection,
is the most well known with a flat capture nut to hold the ventilator
and several indentations in the ventilator (right).
This lantern is dated Dec. 1927.


Coleman made the above lantern for their Sunshine Safety subsidiary
during the mid- to late-1920's in 3 versions.
This version, Model MF125, lacked a built-in pump.
The brackets to hold the bail and the center the mica globe (right)
reveal the reasons for the flat spaces in Model 227 above.
This lantern is in Dick Seller's collection.


This MF143 lantern is stamped Sunshine Safety Lamp Co. on the baffle plate
and is a built-in pump version of Model MF125 above.
The ventilator on this lantern is missing the attached bail.
This lantern is in Don Colston's collection.


The ball nut on this version of Model L227,
dated stamped Feb. 1929, is separate from the vent
and the ventilator lacks indentations as above.
Coleman shipped Model L227 from Aug. 1927
through Dec. 1932 (Strong cited by Becker).
The mica globe is a reproduction by Fred Kuntz.


In 1927 Coleman advertised an accessory ventilator, No. 216-490,
to convert an L327 or 427 to an L227 with a retail price of $2.10.
The advertisement says: "This makes the Lantern a most desirable light for use in hen houses,
work shops, barns and feed lots, or any place where concentrated light is desired.
Especially good for night fishing."
This lantern is in Dick Sellers' collection.


Two versions of the Coleman Quick-lite lantern, Model 427,
in Craig Seabrook's collection.
The red ventilator version on the left
has a Coleman globe from the period and is dated Feb. '29.
The green ventilator version on the right is dated Oct. '33.
These lanterns came with mica globes originally.


Coleman's first production of Models 220B and 228B was May, 1930.
Until early 1934 all of the founts of these two models were stamped 220B on the bottom.
These models could be purchased with either a Pyrex (left) or mica globe (right).
Details of the early construction of these models is shown below.


The construction of the above 228B built in May 1930
includes a swaged bail that will only fit in the key slot
on the frame member when it is under the frame.

As a result the bail will not detach from an assembled lantern.


The 228B from May '30 also includes a long eccentric block (E - left),
a large brass valve stem (A - right),
and a fine screen around the fuel uptake (B - right)
These construction details were the same on early 220B's and 228B's
These (and other) construction details were changed at different times
during the 12 year production of the 220B and 228B.

 

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