Custom lanterns – 1

The appliances on this page are custom made by the collector, primarily from pressure lantern parts. Creativity is evident in these lanterns – light producing appliances that have a bail or handle and parts to enclose and protect the mantles so they can be used primarily outdoors. Here is one solution to the problem of what to do with those old parts!

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Will Nelle used a fount and handle from a Coleman 152 table lamp, repainted the fount red and added a reproduction Coleman logo on the side, and combined these with the upper parts from a Coleman 200A lantern to create his outdoor table lamp. He wanted a taller light to illuminate the whole table outdoors.

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Bruce Kuda created “Yankee Ingenuity” by combining a blow torch fount with a lantern top from an American Gas Machine Co. Inc. Model 100 or possibly 3608 lantern. This light is bright, has good balance, and can be carried for long periods. Yankee Ingenuity is now in Randy Teal’s collection (right image).


Jeff Johnson made this lantern from parts from Optimus, Hasag, and Anchor lanterns and fitted these parts to a Tilley R1 fount.


Rob Roberts calls this his Extremely Limited Edition Sears Lantern. The lantern is the excellent work of Cheyenne Cobb for Rob and is a modified Coleman for Sears, the primary difference being the nickel plated fount.


Erik Leger mounted this smaller Mikro-Landi burner from Ludwig Gebauer in a paint can which he enclosed in a Swiss Army candle lantern casing. Erik also raised the top of the casing to about 1 cm for heat removal. The light produces about 15 HK or about 14 CP and uses 3035 ml of alcohol/hour.


Alex Simins salvaged the 249 Coleman that forms the top half of this lantern but the fount was shot on this kerosene model. As he wanted a lantern that he could run for several hours every night, he sacrificed a mint condition 220H for the fount and is now able to run the lantern for 10 hours in the winter without a refill. The bail is from a 335 lantern.


Much rarer than a Poultry Lantern, this Bird House Lantern is the creation of Michael Merz, who used parts from Coleman lantern models 220E and 220F. PVC caps painted black cover the openings to the fount which he repainted with a hammered silver paint.


This is another of Michael Merz’ Bird House Lanterns that is now in an Amish owned store in northern Wisconsin. A pet parakeet belonging to the owner of the store decided this would be a suitable place to build a nest. The parakeet has raised a family of four in the birdhouse and was preparing another nest as of this writing.


Influenced by Michael Merz’ design above, another Coleman collector, the late Jerry Engbring, made his version of the Bird House Lantern with a rolled piece of plastic riveted to the same diameter as a Coleman globe, after drilling an entry hole. This repurposed 220E dated May 1961, has had the burner removed. A wire through the lower part of the ventilator attaches that part to the rolled plastic. Tim Treutler won this lantern in a raffle Jerry held at a regional gathering of collectors several years ago.


John Morris created this light by combining a 200A Coleman lantern (top) with a Canadian Coleman 157 lamp in the midsection (under the exhaust pipe handle) and a 1945 Coleman mil spec lantern (polished brass) for the base.


The late Steve Winikates thought this lantern could have been a prototype for a 1958 Edition Coleman “Christmas” lantern but, because of flammability issues that couldn’t be overcome, the lantern never went into production.

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These US made Coleman 237s were found in an antique mall outside of Clyde, Ohio, by the late David Jahn. There is a large appliance factory in Clyde where the lanterns were likely re-enameled by or for an employee at the factory for personal use. The ventilator was enameled yellow above and white beneath and the white enamel reflector was added. The undated lantern on the left is now in Dan Boschen’s collection and the one on the right, dated May 1969, is now in Jon Shearer’s collection.


Frederik Tivemark made his “Pontiac” lantern from a 1952 mil-spec lantern with quadrant globe but with a 1944 Akron mil-spec collar and an AGM ventilator. Frederik has restored a ’55 Pontiac in his native Sweden.


Frederik Tivemark combined the upper parts of a Coleman 200A including modifying the frame by removing the air tube and burner to accommodate a Primus 991 fount and burner system with a collar from an Optimus 930 which results in a Prieman, or is it a Colemus?, lantern.


The collar on this lantern is stamped 228E but Coleman had switched to the “ribbed” collar several months before the April 1963 date on the fount. It is further unusual in having the fount painted red and having a red valve wheel. Fred Kuntz got this lantern in the Wichita, Kansas, area so perhaps it was specially made at the Coleman factory.

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Scott Wickham found this Coleman 220D dated A 47 as you see it here except that he converted it to burn kerosene and added a post to hold the lantern. The post fits into a bracket fastened to the back of the fount strap. Scott converted the lantern to kero burning by modifying the generator and adding the alcohol cup.


Scott Wickham combined a non-milspec AGM fount stamped U.S. with the vent, frame, and other parts from a 1952 Coleman milspec lantern and had the collar and fount re-nickeled. The ventilator is the original enamel.


A Detroit blowtorch and parts from a 242C Coleman allowed Steve Cullins to create this custom light which works well. The shade and vent nut fit the vent and stud post respectively so were added to the creation. The Detroit fount has a patent date of Aug. 13 18.


A 5 lb propane tank and a stress cracked Akron mil-spec lantern were the beginnings for Jan Dyke when he created his Monster Mil Spec. The tank required drilling holes and silver soldering in new fittings including the parts well and finished with a camouflage paint job. The frame and vent are from a Coleman 228.


This is no ordinary Coleman 220F, but rather a special John Deere Coleman 220F, date stamped May, 1968 and was created by the late Bubba Duff. The green Coleman ventilator fits nicely with the green used by John Deere.


Steve Ream converted a Coleman for Sears Model 72214 to a kerosene burning lantern for his brother, Michael. The conversion included powder coating the fount and adding a 200 vent, red valve wheel, and accessory safe. The lantern burns quietly and gets regular use.


Bernd Leopold deepened the fount of his 829B Petromax so that it now holds 2 liters of kerosene. He also had to lengthen the rapid preheater and fuel tubes. Bernd supported the outer band of brass with two vertical straps inside the fount.

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Bernd Leopold converted another 829B Petromax (500 cp) to a three mantle lantern, each rated at 150 cp. He made a new mixing chamber in the shape of a hollow disk (middle image) into which he joined 3 drop tubes leading to the burner caps and mantles (right image).


This 150 cp Santrax came with parts misaligned and a corroded manometer so Ludwig Gebauer converted it to an alcohol fueled low pressure lantern. He replaced the preheater with a small fuel line to fill the preheater cup and added a functioning manometer to pressurize the fount to 0.2bar, the ideal pressure for lamps he has modified or constructed.


Ernst Frei was inspired by Ditmar lantern Model 541 when he created this lantern using a Hasag 551 fount and burner and an Indian flat wick hurricane lantern. Ernst had to extend the outer pump cylinder as well as the vapourizer and tip cleaner. He added two bolts to fasten the parts of the two lanterns together.


Agostino Del Coro used a Canadian Quick-Lite lamp fount; the valve assembly (except for the wheel) from a Canadian 220E; and the burner assembly, frame, and ventilator from a US 228F to make his Quick-Lite Lamptern.


For this one Agostino Del Coro used a Canadian 169K lamp fount; the valve assembly, burner assembly, frame, and ventilator from a US 228F; and added a red sunrise Canadian 220E globe to make this 169K Lamptern.


Is it possible to have too much shiny metal? Jan Dyke removed the paint from an 1987 SMP mil-spec lantern and buffed the steel. The globe is a Coleman rather than the original quad glass.


Steve Ream made his KerOSpec 237 by combining a 1958 mil-spec fount with the fuel system and collar from a Coleman 237A, a red re-enameled vent from a Queen Products Division one mantle lantern, and a Coleman for Sears Model 72217 lantern bail. Steve also used the wire cylinder from a Coleman 206 in the preheater cup and an amber globe on which he bead blasted a band to reduce glare.


Ed Dennis named his creation Big Maroonie. Ed used a variety of parts including a Coleman 237 burner and frame, an AGM ventilator, and a propane tank for the one gallon fount. Modifications included extending the fuel line in the fount with a roll of fine screen in the bottom of the line. The lantern will run on white gas or kerosene.


Mark Parsons used a Coleman 228 dated Oct. 1971 and the black enameled ventilator from a Coleman for Sears to make his Harley Davidson Coleman. Mark painted the fount Harley orange, and finished it off with the Harley decal.


Henk Kloosterman made his methylated spirit (denatured alcohol) lantern from a Anchor 950 lantern to operate on low pressure (0.4 bar) in the style of Ludwig Gebauer’s Santrax lantern above. Henk added an auxiliary air pressure fount under the tank to help maintain the pressure. The space between the tanks holds spare mantles and tools.

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The International Coleman Collectors Club (ICCC) 20th Anniversary lantern was designed by ICCC President Brent Zier, with customization work performed by Darren Bentz (globe & label artwork and globe etching), Jeff Gaylord (application of red vent porcelain), and Fred Kuntz (fount label production/serialization). 279 Coleman 639C kerosene lanterns were customized in this project.



Jason Doss converted an AGM 2572 with a stress cracked fount into a hummingbird feeder. It may not be the prettiest lantern on the block but the hummingbird (lower image) finds it to be “Sweet.”


Henk Kloosterman married a Petromax generator (for height) with a 250 cp nozzle to a Tilley mixing chamber to create the core of this lantern. The fount is from an electric water heater. Henk and a friend made the ventilator from sheet copper.


The late Darren Bentz created his Winter Solstice lantern from a 639C Coleman with a re-enameled ventilator from IPE, painted fount & 200A valve wheel, and a “glue-chipped” globe, in anticipation of “Doomsday” – 12-21-2012.


The late Doug Downs created The Canadian Fire & Ice from a 222 series lantern date stamped January 1988 and ventilator from a Model 200. The globe is from a Primus lantern.

© 2000-2023 Terry Marsh