I am a field biologist, retired from North Central College in northeastern Illinois, who had been casually collecting gas pressure lighting and heating appliances for 35 years. Camping trips with my dad and brother included a Model 6-J Canadian Coleman stove and a 200A US red Coleman lantern. In college one of my professors showed us how useful Coleman lanterns were for finding small animals in caves. He teased us students because our newer Coleman lanterns weren’t nickel plated as was his older lantern. A couple of years after graduating I found two nickel plated lanterns – an AGM 100 and a Coleman 242. The 242 became the lantern I used with my family when we went camping.
As I neared retirement in 2000 I began to seriously collect and research these appliances and the companies that made them. The collection grew quickly at first but has fortunately slowed in growth with time. My interests are broad; I have owned lamps, lanterns, and stoves from all over the world, as well as some iron models and even a few carbide lights. During my travels in North America I have visited libraries and historic museums to learn what I can of the gas pressure lighting companies that were once located in those cities and towns. City directories and incorporation papers are especially helpful in this research. To follow up on the research I have written a number of articles for the Coleman Light and other publications. Most of these articles were written in collaboration with other collectors.
Me with several appliances made by the Turner Brass Works, a company that was first located in Chicago (1871-1906) then Sycamore, Illinois (1907-1999)
In the fall, 2010 I visited with collectors in the Ruhr Valley of Germany and attended a meet in Lungern, Switzerland, at the invitation of Erik Leger. It was a pleasure to meet the collectors, all of whom were friendly and allowed me to take images of their lamps, lanterns, and stoves to add to the lantern website.
A light-up at the 2010 Lungern, Switzerland, meet from across LungernSee – image by Hans-Werner Jehn
Much of the fun of this hobby is meeting other collectors at meets and conventions, seeing their collections, and sometimes looking for treasure together. I am a member of the International Coleman Collector’s Club.
The lantern website has grown from a few images in the summer, 2000, to over 3000 images from 416 collections located in 20 countries as of this writing. In a 30 day period the website gets over 14,000 visits from 100 countries/territories. The website is protected by copyright law.
The 2000th image added to the website was a Tilley TL 10, steel construction, in Neil McRae’s collection. Neil has been very supportive of the website since its inception. This lamp was added on August 22, 2012.
The 3000th image added to the website was an AGM 2572, finished in green, in Agostino Del Coro’s collection. Agostino has also been very supportive of the website. This lantern was added on March 18, 2020.
The lantern website is recognized on this website, http://www.collectorsweekly.com/, in their Hall of Fame: http://www.collectorsweekly.com/hall-of-fame/view/gas-pressure-lanterns-lamps-and-stoves.
If you are a collector of gas pressure appliances, please understand that I get a large volume of email and I am not able to help everyone. Collectors can get a lot of help from other collectors by joining one of the forums, such as the Coleman Collectors Forum or Classic Pressure Lamps forum, and asking questions there with images as appropriate. Visit my links page for help finding parts and other collectors forums.
Collectors can contact me if they have a different gas pressure appliance that they would like to see on the website. If I want to consider adding the appliance I will reply with information on taking images and ask you for the details of your appliance.
People wishing to sell an appliance are best advised to leave restoration to the collectors. I don’t make appraisals or offer values for these appliances. The best place to get that information is to search Completed listings on eBay.
Best wishes in your collecting and enjoyment of these appliances.
© 2000-2021 Terry Marsh