TeriAnn's Guide to Aladdin and other brands of kerosene Mantle Lamps

Contents  >  Brief history of Aladdin lamps



A History of Aladdin Lamps

Much of this information comes from research compiled by Bill Courter and published in his book ' Aladdin the magic Name in Lamps'.  If you wish to learn more about Aladdin's rich history I recommend that you purchase and read Bill's book.  Special thanks to both John Claypole and John Whitehead for the information they sent me about Aladdin UK.  It helped put the picture together. The history of Aladdin marketing is very rich and can give you an idea how leading edge marketing techniques evolved during the first half of the 20th century. I highly recommend purchasing and reading Bill's book.


A tale of two companies

To understand the first 50 years of Aladdin lamp history one must understand that this is a story of two different independent companies each with their own schedules, The Mantle Lamp Company (Aladdin) and Plume & Atwood (P&A).  Aladdin started as a marketing company and targeted new model numbers to coinside with the times people started buying lamps in the early fall in order to create excitement to purchase new improved lamps.  It wasn't until the owner of the Connecticut Trading Company (CONTRACO) approached Plume and Atwood for a mantle lamp design that Plume and Atwood got into the mantle lamp design and manufacturing business. 

For the first 8 years, Aladdin was just one of multiple marketing companies purchasing centre draft mantle lamps from Plume & Atwood. Aladdin just had control of the company markings on the lamps P&A produced for them and no contol over P&A's design and production schedules. Plume and Atwood had the R&D group rapidly developing and refining both centre draft and side draft burners at the same time. They also owned the manufacturing tooling and processes. Changes in tooling used to manufacture lamps were totally independent of Aladdin. This is why early lamp introduction dates do not always make sense and we see rolling changes in burners and sometimes in fonts during the time a given model was being sold. During the 4 months that the model 2 was in production major changes were introduced almost monthly. All because Plume & Atwood's R&D group were making rapid design improvements, having nothing to do with Aladdin. Aladdin was just marketing the latest improvements made by Plume & Atwood.  This is a very important distinction to make.  Early on Aladdin models were based upon what P&A developed and put into production at that time. A good example was the Aladdin model 5.The early model 5 lamp was closely modeled on the model 4, but part way through the model 5 marketing year production was switched over to the early model 6  burner and font designs but with model 5 on the wick riser knob and model 5 generators. Plume and Atwood had their own production schedule and Aladdin had to live with it. In 1916 Aladdin had made enough money to purchase the model 6 patent from Plume & Atwood. From that time on P&A manufactured burners and lamps per Aladdin's specification and marketing schedule.  A couple years later aladdin acquired a glass company to make glass lamp fonts and Aladdin made the switch from centre draft lamps to side draft lamps. 

At the start of the great depression the British government imposed a harsh import tax system to protect local industries and tooling was sent from Plume & Atwood to Aladdin UK so they could begin local burner manufacturing. From then until the early 1970s Aladdin UK manufactured Aladdin burners used in Europe, Africa and Australia. Aladdin England was the only Aladdin company division that manufactured their own burners.

Another important thing to keep in mind is manufacturing economics Materials cost money. Formed lamp parts cost additional money.  Anything from a discontinued model thrown away was money wasted. Any part that can be used on the next lamp model was profit so anything that can be used was used. Also, tooling wears out with use and gets replaced as needed and sometimes tooling is changed to introduce a more efficient method of construction a lamp.  To better understand how those model transitions were implemented I suggest reading my web page pertaining to Aladdin transition lamps.



Practicus table lamp

Practicus table lamp
the first lamp sold by the new Mantle Lamp Company of America.
Photo courtesy of Bill Courter



Sunbeam mantle lamp

Sunbeam fount lamp
Sunbeam lamps were the second type of lamp sold by The Mantle Lamp Company of America



Aladdin model 1 table lamp

Aladdin model 1
The third lamp sold by the Mantle Lamp Company of America and the first of over 100 years of Aladdin lamps.


Blue ribbon won by Aladdin in the 1915 world's fair
Blue ribbon won by Aladdin for the model 6 lamp  in 1915



Aladdin parts ad plate

Printing plate for an Aladdin parts ad
Photographed in a mirror by Stephen Fowler



printing plate ad for Aladdin lamps

Printing plate ad for early model B lamps
Photographed in a mirror by Stephen Fowler


Advertising ThimblesAnd sometimes the advertisement reminds you of Aladdin brand lamps every time you hand sew.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Fowler

The history of the manrle lamp company, more commonly known as Aladdn all started in 1907 when The Connecticut Trading company was formed and obtained an exclusive license to import and sell the German Practicus incandescent mantle burners in North America. The company quickly saw the advantage of being able to offer complete kerosene mantle lamps as well burners for lamp upgrades and turned to Plume & Atwood in nearby Waterbury Connecticut to manufacture lamp bases to go with their burner. Thus the American version of the Practicus lamp was born.

Early 20th century America and Canada were largely rural. Country wide sales were made by independent sales agents who were granted exclusive sales territories and went house to house to sell their products. One of the Connecticut Trading company's early independent sales agents was Victor Johnson who formed the Western Lighting Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota to sell Practicus lamps under license from The Connecticut Trading Company.

Within a year Victor Johnson moved to Chicago Illinois to form the Mantle Lamp Company of America. In 1908 he filed the incorporation papers and applied for the trademark name "Aladdin".   He immediately began recruiting sales agents to sell lamps.

1908 Aladdin card front side
Click card to see pdf version

1908 Aladdin card side 2
The early 1908 cards were used to recruit sales agents. Note that there is no company name mentioned. The card appears to have been made soon after Victor Johnson arrived in Chicago and before he was granted incorporation papers for the Mantle Lamp Company of America.

When Victor Johnson moved to Chicago it appears that his exclusive license to sell Practicus lamps in Minnesota may have been transferred to the Minnesota Trading Company who had been selling Felbollin mantle lamps. Victor Johnson evidently secured a different licensing agreement with the Connecticut Trading Company allowing him a larger sales region for Practicus mantle lamps under his new company name.

1896 Aladdin ad
The company did not start out as Aladdin because there was an Aladdin Lamp Company already in existence at the time
1896 ad for Aladdin bicycle lamps

Since the Aladdin Light Company already had a trademarked company name, the Mantle Lamp company could not use that company name until the first company closed and the trademark ran out.

Aladdin kerosene bicycle lamp
The original Aladdin Lamp Company manufactured and sold kerosene bicycle lamps.

In the meantime, Plume and Atwood, having gained experience with the Practicus burner designed a centre draft and a side draft incandescent mantle burner. It appears that the Connecticut Trading Company started offering the center draft lamp developed by Plume & Atwood in April or May of 1908 under the CONTRACO trade name. In the same time frame Plume & Atwood sold their center draft lamps to other companies as well, creating such brands as Kim and Sunlight (not to be confused with the Sunlight brand mantle lamp later manufactured by the E. Miller & Co mantle lamp department for Montgomery Ward).

Something happened around late 1908 or early 1909. The Mantle Lamp Company which had been selling Practicus lamps under license from the Connecticut Trading Company suddenly stopped offering Plume & Atwood lamps with the Practicus burner and for a brief period offered lamps with the newly developed Sunbeam side draft burner on Plume & Atwood fonts.*  This was soon followed by the Mantle Lamp Company ending up with a license to sell the centre draft lamps manufactured by Plume & Atwood under the brand Name of Aladdin. By Summer of 1909 The Mantle Lamp Company of America was offering the Aladdin model 1 lamp. The Mantle Lamp Company ceased selling Sunbeam lamps but continued offering the Sunbeam burner, followed by the Lumineer burner in 1913 as an incandescent mantle burner upgrade for owners of flat wick lamps.

The Mantle Lamp Company was able to start off the model 1 with three table lamp versions, two hanging lamp versions, a wall mounted lamp and an oil pot lamp because the tooling was already there. The lamp body tooling had already been developed for use with the Practicus and the CONTRACO lamps.

The Aladdin model 1 and 2 lamps were basically generic P&A designed centre draft mantle lamps. Early shades were generic off the shelf glass shades for that era and the wall mount brackets, fount lamp hangers and shade holders were the standard P&A type. The mantles and chimneys were imported from Germany. Within a couple years Aladdin was contracting independent glass companiesto produce glass shades and chimneys and had established their own in-house mantle manufacturing facilities.  The success of the Mantle Lamp Company was based primarily upon P&A's constant design improvements, Aladdin's innovative marketing, and the use of American made parts at the time WWI started.

The KoneKap Mantle

The models 1 and 2 lamps used a cap mantle that sat on a cone shaped opening on the gallery. The mantle's spatial relationship to the wick depended upon how the user assembled the mantle on the gallery. The result of a cap mantle that was not seated perfectly is a finicky lamp that tended to burst into a carbon depositing flame before the whole mantle was glowing.

The Mantle Lamp Company received it's first patent on 4 April 1911 that covered a new mantle, gallery and generator design. The new mantle effectively moved the cone from the gallery to the mantle and created a controlled more exact spacing by virtue of the mantle locking into the new gallery. Their patent covered the new mantle, gallery and generator (flame spreader). This did two things for Aladdin. It provided Aladdin with complete control over manufacturing and sales of the Kone Kap mantle. And the Kone Kap mantle's precision location on the gallery created a much easier to operate less fussy lamp than any competitor had. The new mantle, gallery and flame spreader were rushed into production as quickly as possible and got phased into the model 2 lamp production (model 2-3 transition lamp).  Also during that year a new improved the wick raiser design and method of producing threads in the table font were introduced.


Victor Johnson realized the importance of marketing to support the company's rapidly growing force of retailers and independent sales agents. The company advertised in periodicals, over the radio and even with slides shown in movie theaters just before a movie began. They were always trying new promotions and ways to sell product. Aladdin devised and offered marketing displays to allow retailers to showcase Aladdin brand lamps.

The company tried to have new product to offer customers each year to generate renewed product interest and persuade existing customers to upgrade, much in the same way as the automotive industry. When they did not have functional improvements, Aladdin incremented the model name by one and slid in appearance changes when economical. For instance the model 10 and 11 lamps are marketing upgrades of the second year model 9 lamp. Later the glass lamps allowed Aladdin to continually keep a new mix of products in front of the customer to provide a constant level of excitement. All this without having to increment the burner tooling.

In 1915 Aladdin won a gold metal at the Panama Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco for having the best kerosene lamp in the world with their model 6 Aladdin lamp.

1915 worlds fair postcard

The Mantle Lamp company lost no time in advertising that they had the kerosene lamp judged to be the best in the world. They focused on the world fair award in their advertising and started offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who could prove that another lamp was better.

Aladdin model 6 reward ad

They stamped 1915 - 1916 onto the wick adjuster knob to make sure buyers would recognize the model 6 as the lamp that won at the world's fair. This is the only model of Aladdin lamp that was ever year stamped on the burner.


World War I

The mantle lamp industry was created in Germany where the incandescent mantle was invented. Designing a mantle lamp burner requires a fair amount of engineering and the technology was developed by a few companies in Germany who saw financial opportunities in expanding their market abroad.  A large number of partnerships between German burner manufacturers and American marketing entrepreneurs were formed in America where the marketing company would purchase imported burners, place them on American made lamp fonts and sell the resulting mantle lamps. 

Aladdin started out as such a company. Luckily they had switched to burners manufactured Plume & Atwood who had the engineering capability to design their own incandescent lamp burners. 1914 started a British blockade of German merchant ships which halted the import of German made Lamp parts.  This quickly left lamp companies dependent solely upon German made burners without products to sell, and forced Aladdin to start manufacturing their own mantles. Aladdin started sourcing American made chimneys.

There was a limited return of German manufactured mantle lamps between World War I and World War II such as the lamps manufactured by Ehrich and Graetz sold by Montgomery Ward during the 1930's. These of course disappeared when Europe entered into World War II.


After War Expansion

Victor Johnson was seeing home and business electrification progressing in the United states and decided to branch out to keep the company strong. Besides opening offices in other countries to market lamps, he formed Aladdin Industries in 1919 to make products based upon vacuum technology. This was followed with ventures into other household products. Lamps were mostly a seasonal product and The mantle Lamp Company needed products that would sell well year around keep the income flow more steady.

Aladdin purchased a glass company in 1926 to gain complete control over shade and chimney manufacture. This lead to the introduction of glass lamps in 1932.

Aladdin was to keep its partnership with Plume & Atwood for as long as metal lamps and burners were manufactured within the United States. All American made metal lamps and burners up through the Nashville model C were produced by P&A for Aladdin.


Manufacturing Economics

Making tooling to form metal is expensive and takes time. Unless you are talking about changing some minor stamp dye in a tool you need to sell a lot of lamps to pay for tooling changes. It was a lot cheaper to have your company name stamped onto existing generic parts than to pay for the tooling to make different lamps. The fact that P&A was selling the same parts to a number of companies just kept the prices more affordable to struggling new marketing and sales companies and allowed P&A to make a good profit.

When Aladdin first started working with Plume & Atwood, they used existing tooling to have their lamps manufactured. As time progressed Aladdin's ability to pay for their own tooling increased and the lamps became more uniquely Aladdin.

But it was not until 1917 when the model 7 went into production that Aladdin lamps became uniquely Aladdin. It is my guess that the wild success of the model 6 lamp allowed Aladdin to be able to afford their own unique tooling using features that Aladdin quickly patented.

To keep costs down, tooling changes were minimal and the existing tooling was used through as many models as possible. If you compare individual stampings of adjacent models you can get an idea of how many parts were carried over from model to model and when tooling wore out and needed to be replaced during a year's production run.

With very few exceptions Aladdin didn't just didn't go to P&A and say make me an entirely new design with new tooling for the next sales season. All new tooling is what makes the model 7 such a revolutionary lamp. It was the first Aladdin lamp that required a total change from existing P&A lamp tooling.

Aladdin model 11-12 transistion lamp
Model 11 top with model 12 base, bottom and burner. Aladdin used up previous model parts transitioning to a new model

Unsold inventory is money already spent. It is not economical to throw away parts that are already made if they can possibly be made to fit in the next model. For example the centre draft tube in my early model 2 table lamp has generator seats for both model 1 and model 2 lamps. It appears to be a reworked model one inner wick tube or perhaps a reworked complete table font. The gallery on this model 2 lamp is a model 1 gallery that was reworked to eliminate a top row of holes. Model 3 gallery's are often found on early model 4 lamps. The first model 6 font lamps had the old style bottom plates. Nickel plated model 7-8 gallery's have been found on early model 9 lamps. There are several more examples of factory hybrid lamps and burners that used up existing stocks. That's why I never argue with an individual lamp that has a part or two from the previous model. And I have seen way too many lamps with 12 burners on 11 lamp bodies not to believe the factory used up extra lamp bodies with an undocumented 11-12 transition lamp. 

Many of these lamps can be explained by Aladdin's trade in campaign allowing discounts for trading in earlier burners for model 12 burners.  But with the depression going strong I do not think this program accounts for all the lamps that have model 12 burners on model 11 lamp bases.

I keep wondering how many early transition lamps have been modified by collectors who removed the "wrong" parts and replaced them with the correct parts. I would imagine that very few model 11-12 transition lamps survive a collector in factory original condition.

When you look at the changes from model to model it helps to keep in mind the economics of creating expensive tooling and the need to get as much use out of it as possible. When you look at individual lamps, remember the economics of existing inventory at model change time. These two taken together can give you a lot of insight to what you observe.


Glass, Glass Glass!

In 1926 The Mantle Lamp Company purchased the Lippincott Glass Company to produce glass lamps and shades. In 1930 the first vase lamps were introduced using model 12 oil pots in Aladdin manufactured glass bottomless vases. These same glass vases were also used to make Aladdin electric lamps as well.

In 1932 the first Aladdin glass lamp was introduced with the new model A side draft burner. Glass molds are much cheaper to make than metal form tooling and Aladdin started producing many styles each in several colours so that there was always something new to entice the customer. The customer now could choose among several styles and colours to match their room decor.


The Old switcheroo

It appears that the Aladdin model A burner was originally intended to be sold in the United States and the model B was intended to be sold in the UK. The UK model B burner was introduced in the UK market in late 1931. The tooling for this burner was developed and located in the US.

A few months later the US model A burner was introduced in the North American market. The model A tooling was also developed and located in the US. Two sets of model A tooling were used during the year that the model A was in production for the North American market. This can readily be seen comparing model A burners made by the different tooling. It appears that US customers had problems with the difficulty of installing a new wick on the model A burners. The decision was made to keep the model B burner in the US to replace the US model A burner and to ship a set of model A tooling to the UK.

The British government had legislated stiff tariff taxes to products not made in the UK as a way to protect the British manufacturing industry. According to Bill Courter, The model A drawings, a set of tooling and presses were sent from Plume & Atwood to the Aladdin Greenford factory in time to start burner production before the new tariff came into effect.

During the time span between withdrawing the model B from the UK market and model 14 production starting in Greenfield UK, model 14 burners were manufactured in the US and shipped to the UK. Initially there were there were slight changes made to the tooling of both burners. Some of the model 14 differences between the burners imported from the US and those initially produced in Greenfield might have been differences between the initial 2 sets of tooling.

Aladdin UK model B burner
UK model B burner


Aladdin model B Chacago burner
US model B burner

Aladdin model A burner
US model A burner


Aladdin model 14 burner
UK model 14 "Super Aladdin" burner

The Superaladdin burner was first called a model A burner
Initially the UK Super Aladdin burner was called the Model A.
Soon thereafter the burner was referred to as the model 14.

We must all make sacrifices ...

During world war II a number of materials needed for the war effort became restricted. Brass was strictly rationed during the war years as it was needed for shell casings and many other uses. First to feel the restrictions was the Aladdin UK division.

The Model 14 burner stayed in full production at Greenford during WW II. Aladdin UK was granted a license by the Board of Trade to buy rolled brass strip from certain ordnance factories because lighting was considered essential.

In 1942 uranium became restricted in the United States and Aladdin had to change their formula for Alacite. Brass had also become a restricted product in the United States early in the war. Aladdin was allowed to continue using brass for burners because much of America was still unelectrified and the burners were designed around the thermal characteristics of brass.

Production of brass metal lamps ceased until the war ended in 1945. Between 1942 and 1945 the only metal lamps manufactured by Aladdin North America were steel font lamps for the caboose lamp market. These font lamps were galvanized inside and out then coated black. Wick cleaners, wick raisers, filler caps and threads made during these years were also made from steel and then plated for resistance to rust. At the end of the war, the steel font lamp was discontinued and brass lamps went back into production.

Aladdin war materials notice
From 1943 dealer price list.


Brass was also restricted during the Korean war and only glass lamps were available during that time. Aladdin Australia made lamp fonts out of steel during the war.  Since the outer finish of the WWII lamps was painted, these fonts were not galvanized.  Many of the fonts rusted from the inside over time. There are Australian lamps that are part brass and part steel that were made during the transition as existing lamp part stock was used up.

Aladdin took their burner technology to the war effort with a number of products ranging from field cook stoves and refrigerators for field hospitals to shipboard coffee urns. In England Aladdin burners were used in aircraft parked outside as dehumidifiers to keep moisture out of equipment. The thermos products part of the company branched out and grew as well.



The Mantle Lamp Company by any other name...

In 1919 The Mantle Lamp Company created a wholly owned subsidiary named Aladdin industries to develop and sell thermos bottles and other temperature conserving items. In 1949 the two companies merged taking the subsidiary company name, Aladdin Industries.  Also in 1949 the Aladdin lamp line was revamped to minimize manufacturing costs with less expensive to manufacture lamp founts and accessories such as wall mounts and bug screens replacing more ornate (more expensive to manufacture) parts. Since post WWII housing construction had lower ceilings, ceiling extensions were discontinued. Less expensive painted finishes were introduced to replace the more expensive plating finishes. 

Interestingly, most American Aladdin Lamp collectors tend not to collect lamps or lamp accessories newer than around 1949.  There seems to be little American collector interest in the Last of the model B lamps and the newer lamps that came afterwards.

Aladdin envalope


Old Aladdin envalope
Early regional sales office

1940s Aladdin letterhead

Aladdin letterhead used during the 1940's until Aladdin moved in 1949.



All good things ...

By 1952 sales of kerosene lamps had decreased greatly with the post war electrification of rural America. The glass plant was closed and almost all the lamp molds were destroyed. The mold for the plain stem Washington drape (B-53) and the glass font lamp were retained and an outside company produced lamps from these molds until model B was discontinued.

Aladdin headquarters was moved from Chicago to Nashville in 1949. At this time the wick adjuster knob tooling was changed so that Chicago was replaced by Nashville on the model 12 and B burners (12 burners were still in production for the parts replacement market and possibly export).

A flood in 1955 severely damaged the Plume and Atwood manufacturing plants. The flood washed away or destroyed the tooling used to make Aladdin lamps and burners. This abruptly ended model B production and the production of new replacement parts for older lamps. Until then model 12 burners, model 6 and 12 flame spreaders and model 6 wick carriers were still in production to help existing customers keep their model 3 through 12 lamps working properly.

By this time Aladdin's lamp business generated only a very small percentage of the  company profit and Aladdin did not want to put any real money into new high quality tooling that might not get a return from lamp sales. The remaining stock of model B burners were allocated to B-53 lamp production and when the surviving stock of burners ran out the model B was discontinued. This lamp with a Nashville burner was the very last of the Aladdin model B lamps, and the last Aladdin glass lamp for a few decades.

When the flood damage was cleaned up, a model C burner was tooled up by Plume & Atwood (small round wick adjuster labeled Nashville) and lamps were made using inexpensive aluminum materials. The aluminum lamps looked cheap and I suspect sales reflected the looks.

England had its own burner tooling and was not affected by the flood, but economic pressures led them to revise the model 14 burner to make it less expensive to manufacture.  Improvements were added at the same time and the model 21 was born in 1953

The Australians never made their own burners.  They were importing UK model 14 burners and offering them as model 16A burners.  They were also importing American model B lamps an offering them as model 16B.  After 1954 Aladdin Australia sold lamps with UK made model 21 burners.

In 1963 Aladdin UK model 21C burners were imported to the US to provide a higher quality alternative to the model C aluminum lamps.

The model 23 burner (reworked model 21C burner ) was introduced in 1969. The first model 23 burners were English made. Eventually model 23 burner production was moved to Hong Kong (The English tooling stayed in England and new tooling was made in Hong Kong). There were a number of fit and quality issues with the Hong Kong burners that slowly got worked out over time and through several versions of the burner.

Inexpensive model C lamps were made in Brazil in 1974-75 primarily for the third world export market and as a low cost alternative to the expensive model 23 lamp in the US market. However the steel Brazilian burners did not work well at all. Sometime during 1975 new Brazilian burners were shipped to Aladdin UK for modification to correct burning problems. The root problem is that the Aladdin burner technology evolved using brass thermal characteristics and the Brazilian burners were mild steel. It was concluded that the design could not work properly with the different thermal characteristics of steel and the Brazilian model C burner was discontinued.

By the late 1980's the Chinese company producing Lox-on chimneys for Aladdin was having problems producing the chimney foot and chimneys were being sold that required reworking of the gallery tabs and sometimes even then did not stand straight on the lamp.

Through much of the 1970s, '80s and going into the '90s Aladdin had been outsourcing to low cost manufacturers who just were not making parts that fit or worked well. Expensive lamps were being offered for sale that often did not fit or work quite right. It seemed that Aladdin Industries just did not want to discontinue its root business nor did it want to spend the money and effort to revitalize it. The Aladdin lamp division seemed to be sliding slowly towards oblivion as the lamps slowly faded from public memory. By 1998, Aladdin's lamp division profits were around 1% of the Aladdin Industries annual income.


But wait!

On 5 April 1999 a group of Aladdin enthusiasts headed by J. W. Courter and Tom Teeter purchased the Aladdin mantle lamp division from Aladdin Industries. Tom Teeter owned a company named The American Lamp Supply Company that offered reproduction and new classic lamps that used the model 23 burner. The merging of the the two companies provided a large increase in Aladdin lamp models. The new company was named The Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company.

The new company focused on upgrading the quality of that lamp parts and providing the product line with a much needed face lift that better reflected the Aladdin lamp roots. At this point it seems that the new company is largely supported by sales of limited edition boutique lamps to collectors.

By 2014 some of the partners running the Aladdin mantle lamp company were ready to retire and the company was sold to Lehmans at the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015. The Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company became part of the Crownplace Brands division of Lehmans.

In early 2015 the company assets were transfered from Tennessee to Dalton Ohio.


The unsung Savior of Aladdin

I believe that Aladdin today owes its very continued existence to Aladdin Industries Ltd, UK. The British empire imposed strict import tariffs early during the great depression to protect British industry and provide workers with jobs. The Greenford manufacturing plant was built to make Aladdin kerosene heaters, lamps and other products for sale within their empire. The Greenford plant opened in 1932. Before then all Aladdin lamps sold into the empire were of American manufacture, even if the wick adjuster knob said London.

As an aside, Chimneys made for Aladdin UK were manufactured by the glass-makers Chance Bros in England, a very large concern that was in business from 1824-1981 and employing over 3,000 people at its height. Records indicate that in 1934, Chance was supplying Aladdin UK with 12,000 chimneys per week. The 'Hysil' trade name often associated with these chimneys derives from Chance - a borosilicate (heat-resisting) glass mixture. The trade name was bought by J A Joblings (the UK licensee of Pyrex) in about 1960.

I do not know for sure who manufactured glass shades for Aladdin UK, but it was highly likely that this was done by Chance Bros. as well. They had a large department for manufacturing opal-flashed glass.  So they had the means to make the shades for Aladdin UK.  (This data is from research done on the Chance Bros. by David Encill).

Americans did not accept the difficulties involved with inserting a wick into the model A burner. With the wick adjustment gear inside the wick movement area the wick tended to hang up during insertion. The model A burner tooling was shipped to the Greenford plant in the UK and the model B tooling went to the Connecticut Plume and Atwood manufacturing plant.

The slightly modified model A tooling became the UK model 14 (Super Aladdin) burner that was used through 1953. This burner was also sold into Australia as the model 16A.

In 1954 this tooling was modified to incorporate improvements and reduce manufacturing costs.  This reworked burner become the model 21, then later the model 21C.  The superior burning and quality English model 21C lamps replaced the P&A made model C lamp in 1963. In 1969 the English tooling was revised yet again and became the model 23.

Had it not been for Aladdin Industries UK, Aladdin lamps could have very likely gone out of production sometime between the mid nineteen sixties and seventies. Every Aladdin burner made today is a direct descendant from the model A tooling sent to the UK and the common model 23 brass table lamp font is a direct descendant from the UK model 12 table lamp.

If it was not for the transfer of the model A tooling to Greenford UK, the 1955 flood that swept through the P&A factory would have spelled the eventual doom of Aladdin Lamps.

* From Aladdin The Magic Name in Lamps revised ed. page 43 "The Mantle lamp Company purchased and assembled lamps and accessories they sold from 1908 until late 1910 or 1911.  These included the Practicus, No 1 Sunbeam and models 1 & 2." and page 44 "Johnson applied for trademark registration of the name Aladdin while he continued selling the Practicus, soon replacing it with the Sunbeam burner made by P&A.  At the same time he was in the process of negotiating with P&A for a center draft mantle lamp that he would name Aladdin." Quoted with permission from the author, Bill Courter



1908 Mantle Lamp Co. Founded. Sold Practicus lamps

1908, possibly early 1909 mantle Lamp company no longer selling Practicus lamps and started selling Sunbeam mantle lamps.

1909 Aladdin Model 1lamp introduced, complete Sunbeam lamps no longer being sold.

1910 first two Canadian offices opened

1911 First patent covers new mantle, gallery & generator. Cap mantle replaced by KoneKap mantle

1913 First wick cleaners, with model 4

1915 Model 6 First floor lamp

1915 Model 6 floor lamps converted to electricity became Aladdin's first electric lamp.

1915 Model 6 won gold metal at World's Fair

1917 US entered WWI and parts for competitors using German made burners, mantles & chimneys became unavailable putting them out of business. Aladdin chimney production moved from Germany to US.

1917 Model 7 was first lamp using all new tooling designed just for Aladdin

1917 First bug screens

1917-18 saw a slew of patents making the Aladdin lamp unique from the competition

1918 Aladdin granted patent for #6 burner possibly spelling end of production for other companies using P&A designed mantle lamps.

1919 Aladdin Industries Ltd. UK

1919 Aladdin Industries founded to make vacuum bottle products

1921 Model 10 first reinforced wicks & end to wick carrier

1924 Aladdin Industries Ltd Australia

1926 Lippincott Glass Company purchased

1928 First Aladdin manufactured glass shades

1928 First paper shades

1928 Name generator changed to flame spreader

1928 Model 12 Lox-on mantle and chimney introduced

1930 Production began on electric lamps

1930-1935 Model 12 vase lamps

1932 First glass lamps

1932 Australian manufacture of lamp bodies started. Never manufactured burners

1933 First English made lamps

1935-1954 Glass font lamps

1937 First caboose lamps

1938 First Alacite lamps

1938 Aladdin glass shades discontinued thru 1951

1942 Alacite formula changed

1943 Name bug screen changed to insect screen

1943 -1945 No brass lamps manufactured

1944 - 1952 bakelite lamps were manufactured in Australia

1949 Mantle Lamp Co. merged with Aladdin Industries

1949 Main offices moved from Chicago to Nashville, Model 12 & Model B Nashville burners thru 1954

1949 Much of the lamp line revised.  Paint replaced plating for most metal lamp applications.

1951 Outsourced glass shades available

1952 Glass plant closed All glass molds destroyed with exception of plain stem Washington drape and font.

1952 Last floor lamp

1955 Flood destroyed all metal lamp and burner tooling. Model B discontinued. Remaining burner stock on hand went to B-53

1955 Last Aladdin glass lamp, B-53, removed from price list

1974 Glass lamp production resumed with undated model 23 Lincoln Drape

1978 Aladdin manufactured a small number of model 23 student lamps for its 75th anniversary. They were priced high and not readily available to the average consumer. Eventually the last stock was sold cheaply through an inventory liquidation house. These have become valued by collectors.

1984 Aladdin Canada closed

1994 Fenton started manufacturing a line of glass lamps for Aladdin

1999 Kerosene lamp division sold. New owners put a lot of effort into manufacturing quality and expanding the product line.

2008 Aladdin reintroduced the parlor lamp fount design was a model 23 lamp as a 100th anniversary commemoration lamp.

Late 2014 The Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company was sold to Crownplace Brands the wholesale and manufacturing division of Lehmans.

2015 Aladdin moved from Tennessee to Ohio

2015 MAXBRITE 500 burner introduced.



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