Ehrich & Graetz – AIDA & Petromax lanterns

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This Petromax Model 823 lantern, in Alan Ford’s collection, dates to 1925 (McRae). The flat loop Preston Type generator (upper right image) is structured inside to force most of the fuel through the loop to adequately heat the kerosene (McRae). About the time this lantern was made the generator with the familiar helical design was patented. The bail is secured to the frame by a set of small thumb nuts; the nuts holding the ventilator are separate and for that purpose only (upper left image). There is a rotatable concentric ring on the lower inside of the globe cage that opens for lighting the contents of the alcohol cup (lower image).

This Model 882 gasoline fueled lantern appears in Erich & Graetz literature in 1929 (Weckenmann via McRae). The Ready-Lite burner (upper right) was patented by the American Gas Machine Company in 1926 and was presumably used under license by Erich & Graetz. As on AGM lamps of that period, this lantern has the same threading and size to accept a Coleman R-55 generator (bottom image). This lantern is in Henry Plews’ collection.

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An early Petromax, Model 824N, is a 300 cp kerosene lantern with a kerosene pump that is separate from the fount (right). Kerosene poured into the well can be lifted to the preheater cone in the lamp by raising the rod. Asbestos in the preheater absorbs the kerosene which burns with a blue flame when lit. This lantern, in Christian Hardt’s collection, dates to circa 1930 when it is illustrated in a Petromax catalog.


Another early Petromax, Model R826, that has the well with the lift pump as above except that this model uses alcohol, not kerosene, for preheating. This lantern, in Stefan Sindlinger’s collection, appears in literature in 1927 (Weckenmann). There is an asbestos layer on top of the heat shield (not visible) in this lantern.

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AIDA Models 102 & 103 were manufactured in the 1930’s by AIDA-Gesellschaft (Breidenstein). The AIDA logo and model information are stamped on the other sides of the founts. Model 102 is in Jan Merkestein’s collection; Model 103 is in Juan Caiti’s collection.


This Petromax Model 830 is a 1.5 liter fount model in Michael Tschipang’s collection. The 300 HK (= 276 cp) model appears in only one early 1930’s Petromax catalog that has been found so it may have been built for a very short period (Breidenstein).


The original company for the Petromax brand was Ehrich & Graetz AktienGesellschaft in Germany. This Petromax Model 825 lantern dates to the 1930’s when the company had this name, according to Wim van der Velden, the lantern’s owner. This model is unusual in that it runs on gasoline, not kerosene, thus there are two control knobs, one for the tip cleaner and the other is a positive shutoff for the fuel supply. The fuel/air mixture is adjusted at a screw shown in the inset.



Petromax Model 828 is a 350 cp kerosene fueled lantern. The lantern, in George Burl’s collection, has an oval preheater valve (lower image) which dates it to 1936-39 (McRae). This lantern has 11 6 (November 1936) marked in the brass bottom.

This Petromax 2826 was manufactured during WWII. It has a green painted steel fount. After the war, production returned to Model 826; see the lantern below. This lantern is in James McGuire’s collection.


This Petromax Model 826 300 cp lantern has the E within the G in the logos which indicates that it was built pre-1953. The lantern, in Tobias Jesse’s collection, is preheated with an alcohol cup.


Another Petromax Model 826, this lantern is also marked Aladdin on the label on the collar. This lantern, in Karl Göbel’s collection, has the E inside the G in the Petromax logos stamped in the fount. Neil McRae notes that this lantern may have been made for Aladdin Hungary or possibly Aladdin in Paris, France. The ventilator is a replacement.

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This early Model 214 AIDA lantern, in Erik Leger’s collection, doesn’t have the bail in this image but it has a mica globe from the period. The antlered deer (Hirschhorn in German) logo on the pump handle, reflects the earlier company, Hirschhorn Aktiengesellschaft, that made AIDA appliances prior to their ownership by Ehrich & Graetz.

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This AIDA Model 233 is a 200 cp kerosene model (McRae) that has the same antlered deer logo on the pump handle as on Model 214 above. This lantern is in Ralph Trask’s collection.

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Petromax Model 2827 for kerosene (left), and 2827B for gasoline (right) were military versions of Model 827 & 827B respectively (Neil McRae). The one on the right is stamped 644, possibly for June, 1944. They are made with a lot of steel parts and have pressure gauges. The lantern on the left is in Tobias Jesse’s collection and the one on the right is in George Burl’s collection.


Petromax Model 850 is an unusual design for this company but has a steel fount painted green with a Standard-Licht style green enamel hood as on the latter’s Model 2045F. This 250 cp kerosene model is in Neil McRae’s collection  and dates to ca. 1945-1950 when the company was named Graetz Aktiengesellschaft VEB.

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Graetz KG probably made these Petroman 807 lanterns at their plant in Altena, Germany (Neil McRae). The model was intended for export; the papers are in Spanish and English. The lantern on the left, in Erik Leger’s collection, is gasoline fueled, has a rapid preheater, and is rated at 250 cp. The papers that came with the lantern have a printer’s date of 1955. The lantern on the right, in Jürgen Breidenstein’s collection, is the same except it is rated at 300 cp. You can learn more about this model on Jürgen’s website.

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While Petromax Model 828E has a straight generator without the usual loop for preheating (right image), it is still kerosene fueled. This lantern, in Patrick Louis dit Picard’s collection, has a rapid preheater valve that dates it to 1941-50 (McRae). The fount logos are stamped with the E inside the G The E suffix in the Model designation may mean Export (McRae).

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This Petromax Model 828OB in Karl Göbel’s collection, is badged on the collar for Arnold Otte – Bochum, Spezial Geschaft, Für Transportable Beleuchtung (Specialty Shop, For Portable Lighting). This 350 cp kerosene model came with the reflector, that Karl believes was with the lantern when it was new.

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On the left is the famous Petromax lantern, Model 829/500cp Rapid. It is in Craig Seabrook’s collection. On the right, Model 829B, is the Petromax military version with a matte finish. Originally an unsafe benzin (gasoline) burning version and later converted to safely burn kerosene. Dated March, 1960, it is in Brien Page’s collection.


This Model 821 “Baby” Petromax is a 200 cp kerosene lantern that is alcohol preheat only. This lantern, in George Burl’s collection, >has the date code of 11 9 (November 1939) scratched into the brass bottom plate at the factory. The fount on the 821 above is typical of the size for a lantern of this candlepower (compare to the 821 versions below).


Presumably made by Petromax for the Swiss Army, this Model 821B or 2821B is another gasoline burning, matte finish lantern as the 829B above. As these models lack a positive fuel shutoff valve, gasoline can leak past the tip cleaner and easily begin a fire, unlike the kerosene burning versions. This model is 250 cp, and with the large fount, will burn for several hours on one filling. This lantern is in Neil McRae’s collection.

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Petromax Model 827 is a 200cp (left) or 250cp (right) lantern, also with rapid start preheaters. The lantern on the left is in Frederik Tivemark’s collection. He dates it to the late 1930’s. Note the earlier valve wheel style. Frederik’s lantern lacks the collar tag that is present on the later versions of this model (right); a lantern that is in Fred Kuntz’s collection.



AIDA Models 1250 Express Record (above left), Express (above right) & 1500 Express Record (lower) lanterns. The Aida brand after WWII was made by Graetz Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH in Germany along with their Petromax brand, according to Neil McRae, and only differ in the nameplate. The Express Records (above left and lower) differ from the Express (above right) by having a plastic vs. metal preheater handle. The two Model 1250s, in Doron Papo’s collection, are 250cp, while Model 1500, in Fil Graff’s collection, is 500cp.



This Model 827, in Frederik Tivemark’s collection, has patented feet on the collar that fit in indents on the top of the fount to aid in air circulation to keep the fount cool. This short-lived version was made after German Patent DE951204, dated April 14, 1954, and DE 1023431, dated Aug. 3, 1956 that changed the collar design again (McRae).


This Model 827B is in Jürgen Breidenstein’s collection. He notes that this version, made for the Bundeswehr, was used as emergency lighting in the Standortverwaltung, abbreviated StoV, or barracks administration. Most are marked StoV in big red or white letters; all are dated November, 1965. It has the smaller fount of the 827 models and is 250 cp with a rapid preheater.

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These AIDA Models 1215 Record (left) and 1233 Record (right) are in George Burl’s collection and date to the early 1960’s. These lanterns are preheated with alcohol only. Neil McRae notes that Model 1215 is a 500 cp lantern equivalent to Petromax Model 523 while Model 1233 is a 250 cp lantern equivalent to Petromax 821.


Model 1500 combines the Model 829 fount and 500 cp burner with a blue enameled cook top. The metal curtain can be shut to help direct heat up to the cook top and there is an accessory to convert the lantern to a radiant heater. This lantern/stove combination is in Bob Meyer’s collection. It is date stamped 1452 on the bottom; this is the 14th week of 1965 on the second day of that week (Tuesday).


This AIDA Model 1214 Record is a 350 cp kerosene fueled lantern with alcohol preheating only. The date code stamped on the bottom plate, 4685, indicates that it was made in November, 1968; compare to the description of Model 1500 above. This lantern is in George Burl’s collection.

© 2000-2023 Terry Marsh