Coleman US lanterns 1914 – 1920

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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. Compare to Model H416 on this page.

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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 for a short time, circa 1915. 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.

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The Yale version (upper left) of the Coleman Air-O-Lantern 319 (upper right) and the version for Sunshine Safety (lower), 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. Most 323 lanterns have a 2 pint fount that has a base diameter of 6″ as on the lantern on the right. The 323 lantern on the left has a 3 pint fount as on Model 319 above and a base diameter of 7″. This version of the 323 shows up occasionally but we don’t know why Coleman made Model IL 323 with two fount sizes. These lanterns are in Takao Kimura’s collection.

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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.



Coleman also made their Model NL for Sunshine Safety (lower image) although there are no entries of their production in Hiram Strong’s Coleman Shipping Records (Vantiger). This NL lantern, in Michael Hawks collection, is one of several owned by collectors that are stamped for Sunshine Safety.


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.

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Model GS is the same as torch lighting Model NL above except that the fount was made with “Armco” steel that had a protective metal coating to reduce corrosion. This unmarked lantern, in Roland Chevalier’s collection, requires a separate pump as on Model NL. Model GS appears in Strong’s Shipping Records from 1918 – ’20 (Vantiger).

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Coleman’s Yale Light Co. subsidiary offered this Model 111 in their #36 catalog, circa 1916. This torch lighting, single mantle lantern has a frame, valve, and ventilator as on other Coleman models with a unique mixing chamber casting and no tip cleaner. The lantern was advertised as an economy model producing 400 cp. This lantern is in Takao Kimura’s collection.

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This Coleman for Yale 111 lantern was converted to match lighting with an early Q70 burner, requiring an awkward bending of the generator and air tube (above right image). Note the datum target “dimples” in the mixing chamber casting (above middle, beside the “A”) in this early Q70 burner. This lantern, in George Remkus’ collection, is also stamped on the bottom (lower 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.


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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 has the Coleman match lighting patent dated May 13, 1919. This lantern is in Doug Dwyer’s collection.


The fount on this Coleman for Yale ML-211 lantern also has steel sides as the one above but the fount diameter is 7″, not 6 1/8″ as the one above. Note also the long stem on the valve wheel; longer than on the typical ML-211 lanterns. ML in the model name stands for match lighting. This lantern lacks a patent stamp on the air tube so was presumably made before May 1919 when the match lighting patent was granted. The other details of the burner assembly are the same as on the ML-211 above. This lantern is in Takao Kimura’s collection.

© 2000-2023 Terry Marsh