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

Contents  >  Introduction to Australian Aladdin lamps



An introduction to Australian Aladdin Lamps

Aladdin lamps were formally introduced in Australia in 1916 when T. Smith of 44 William Street, Melbourne became an independent authorized Aladdin dealer. He directly imported Aladdin lamps from the United States starting with the model 6 and tried to establish an independent dealer network along the lines of the American independent dealer network.

1916 ad
from Argus, Saturday, 21 October 1916 courtesy of Anthony Trueman

Sales Catalog showing range of Aladdin model 6 products offered for sale in Australia, pdf


Though only about 150 US made and marked Aladdin lamps were sold by Mr. Smith it was enough to attract the Notice of Aladdin in the US.  Aladdin Industries Limited, Aladdin Australia, was incorporated 2 May 1924 by Mr James Baker and established at Aladdin House, 49-53 Shepherd Street, Sydney with Victoria Showrooms and Warehouse at 429 Bourke St., Melbourne.  Like Mr. Smith before, Aladdin Industries started offering American made mantle lamps and supplies to get started. Mrs. Baker became the company secretary and company director taking an active part in running the company.

Aladdin Austraila story





First manager of Aladdin Australia


Initially all the lamps sold by Aladdin Industries Ltd. in Australia were American made.  The only difference between American model 11 and the Australian model 11 lamps is that the wick adjustment knob was labeled Sydney instead of Chicago.

Aladdin model 11 Sydney wick adjustment knob
Model 11 Sydney knob
1922 through 1928

After the model 12 was introduced in the United states Aladdin Australia also started offering the American made model 12 lamps. The only difference between American and pre 1932 American made model 12 lamps is that the wick adjustment knob was labeled Sydney instead of Chicago. These lamps are covered in the pages for the American model 11 and model 12.


Aladdin model 12 Sydney wick adjustment knob
Model 12 Sydney knob
Late 1928 through WWII

According to Peter Cuffley* The model 12 burners arrived with blank wick adjustment knobs and the cover was added locally using a hand press.  Aladdin Australia, like Aladdin Chicago ran an old lamps for new campaign to accelerate the adaption of Lox-On mantles and chimneys. 


Model 11/12 transition lamps

During the transition between model 11 and model 12 lamps Aladdin Chicago used up existing inventory of model 11 table lamp body parts combining them with new model 12 lamp body parts creating a series of transition lamps with a mix of parts from the two models. These transition lamps with model 12 burners were shipped to Australia to be sold.  During this time both Aladdin Chicago and Aladdin England made burners were made from a mixture of model 11 and model 12 burner parts to use up the inventory of model 11 burner parts. Aladdin England sold their hybrid burners domestically.  Aladdin Chicago placed model 12 Sydney wick adjustment knobs on their 11/12 hybrid burners and sent them to Aladdin Australia.   American Aladdin collectors never see any of the hybrid 11/12 lamps unless they also collect Australian model 12 lamps or the hybrid burners unless they also collect either Australian or British Aladdin lamps.

Aladdin model 11 -12 transition
Transition left to right:   Model 11 - Model 11 foot & stem, 12 lower bowl, 11 above chime, 12 burner -
Model 11 foot, lower stem, 12 upper stem and lower bowl, 11 above chime, 12 burner - Model 12 lamp
courtesy of Anthony Trueman



Burner hybrids

(details provided in Peter Cuffley's book* pictures by Anthony Truman.)

Early during WWII Aladdin Australia experienced a shortage of new model 12 burners so started converting model 11 burners from previously turned in lamps to become model 12 burners.

Australian model 11 12 hybrid burner
Model 11 burner reworked to be a model 12 burner. Painted black to go with black steel font

Aladdin hybrid burner gears
Model 12 gears replaced the model 11 gears

Aladdin model 12 Hybrid burner
A second set of indents were added to the draft tube to anchor the shorted model 12flame spreader



Australian made lamps:

 In 1932 Australia started implementing large tariffs for imported lamps and lamp parts to protect jobs for Australian workers during the depression. In response Aladdin Australia started offering their own newly designed lamps and using up the existing inventory of American imported lamps. The 60% tariff prevented American made glass lamps from being imported.

courtesy of Anthony Trueman

The high tariffs caused Aladdin Australia to start manufacturing their own lamp fonts but continued importing burners first from America then from England. Instead of copying American or English lamp designs the Australians came up with their own unique lamp font design based on something that could be called a spigot and cup design. Burners require a high precision in manufacture and are by far the most expensive part of a lamp and many people in the rural Australian outback were too poor to afford multiple Aladdin lamps. So Aladdin Australia came up with a design that allowed a shelf lamp style font with a hole in the centre bottom that could be moved to any one of several different bases or even be used as a shelf lamp. This allowed a single shelf lamp to become a hanging lamp, a wall mounted lamp, a floor lamp, or a table lamp sitting on different length stems. There was even a base that was designed to allow the lamp to be carried by hand from location to location, called the hand carry lamp. What made all this possible is a tube that fit inside the centre hole in the font and a cup that the lamp font sat on. For the model 12 burner the tube in the font was the inner draft tube needed for the centre draft burner. The cup that the font rested on had slots, and the spigot holes to allow air to be drawn up into the burner. When the model 16 burners began importation after World War II the centre draft hole became an enclosed tube and the cup and spigot vent holes were eliminated.  Again with the practice of using up already made parts to maximize profit, early lamps with side draft burners were sold on stands with model 12 slotted spigots and cups.

Aladdin Australia model 12 cup
Model 12 cup is designed to hold the centre draft model 12 lamp bowls.
Note the slots and holes to allow air flow into the lamp's inner draft tube.
Early model 16 side draft lamps were sold on model 12 bases until the inventory was depleted.

Aladdin Australia model 16 base
The later cup is for the model 16 side draft lamp bowls.

Aladdin Australia model 12 lamp base
Model 12 lamp bowls had the inner draft tube for the burner and three bumps on the bottom
to allow air flow under the bowl when used as a shelf lamp.
NOTE that this is an example of Aladdin using up an already stamped No. 12 lower bowl part with a blind spigot to create a transition model 16 side draft lamp.

Aladdin Australia model 16 lamp base
The model 16 lamp bowl has a blind pocket to fit the base.
The three bumps were eliminated since the burner did not need to draw air from the bottom
of the lamp when used as a shelf lamp.

Above 4 pictures courtesy of Anthony Trueman


Lamp bases and holders:

Many people living in Rural Australia were poor and Aladdin burners were expensive. The Australian system allowed the owner of a single lamp to move it into different locations as needed through the purchase of less expensive bases & holders. Below is an example of how a single lamp could become a hanging, wall mounted, table, and floor lamp as needed. And starting in late 1939, you can purchase an adapter to turn the lamp into an electric lamp.

Aladdin Australia lamp holders



There are 2 notable exceptions to this style of a single Lamp font that could be moved to several lamp bases. About 1950 through about 1955 Aladdin Australia  made a brass table lamp, style 1680, that had a one piece stem and base. This was soon replaced by English made model 14 brass table lamps that were sold under the same catalogue number.

Aladdin Australia model 1680 table lamp

The other exception was a plastic table lamp designed for use primarily in children's rooms and for the elderly. This lamp, style 1653, came in different pastel colours and was designed to be extremely resistant to tipping over with a deep narrow kerosene bowl inside a wide base. This lamp was in production from 1953 through 1956 and was one of the last lamps manufactured in Australia. These were sold in 2 versions, a standard and a deluxe. The standard was completely plastic while the deluxe. (illustrated on the right) came with a protective metal foot on the base.


Australian Aladdin lamps were made from a variety of metals. The metal lamp bowls were mostly made from brass, some from copper or a combination of the two. During the war years they were made from steel, with a combination of steel and brass as existing stocks of parts were used up early and right after WWII.

Aladdin Australia lamp bowls
Polished lamp bowls showing different metals used in construction. Except for WWII it seemed to be whatever they
could purchase for the best price. There was no effort to match metals on tops and bottoms.

Base stems were mostly made from wood, turned into several different patterns. More expensive table lamp stems were of metal. Bases were mostly steel filled with sand as a weight. Some bases of shorter lamps and the hand carry model were made from wood. When Bakelite became available  it was used extensively in three different colours.

Assorted Aladdin Australia lamp pedistals
Assortment of table lamp pedestals. Tall ones create banquet lamps, short ones, personal lamps.

Aladdin Australia Bakelite lamps
Bakelite banquet and personal lamps in dark brown (most common) and white.
Not pictured is a light brown Bakelite colour called Silky Oak.
Above courtesy of Anthony Trueman




Aladdin Australia made their own lamps, wick cleaners, bug screens, and Chimneys. Mantles were imported from the UK as were most burners. Some American made model  B burners were also imported from America. The UK imported model 14 (Super Aladdin) burners were called model 16A burners, and American Model B burners were called Model 16B burners.  Aladdin Australia opened a subsidiary, Aladdin Lampshades pty. Ltd, to manufacture shades for the lamps.  Since mantle lamps were a largely a seasonal product the company expanded into other products such as kerosene refrigerators, room heaters, greenhouse heaters, irons, thermos products, and storm lanterns similar to the Coleman lanterns. During WWII they also manufactured products for the military to aid the war effort.  By 1960 Aladdin Lampshades pty. Ltd was no longer manufacturing shades. Its assets were liquidated in 1965.


Aladdin Australia bug screen

Side view Australian bug screen
Aladdin Australia bug screen


Aladdin Australia chimney markings
The most common Aladdin Australia chimney marking



Electric converter for side draft burners:

About September or October 1939 Aladdin Australia introduced their own electric light converter for the model 16 lamps, Catalogue model 2110. As of 1953 this converter was still listed on the current price list. This adapter converted the Aladdin models 16A and B burners to electric and quickly converted back to kerosene if the electricity failed. Origionally named "Kerelec" it is listed as "Kerolec" in the 1952-53 price list. A typo?

Aladdin Australia electric conversion
If anyone has a actual picture to share I would appreciate a jpeg.




Aladdin Australia advertising sign


Two Aladdin Australia tack signs made before 1927. Both are painted on non-galvanized sheet iron that
have tack holes predrilled st the corners.

Aladdin Australia advertizing tack sign
Both sign photos courtesy of Anthony Truman


By 1938 Aladdin Australia was offering a range of electric lights for people living in regions that have been electrified in addition to their range of mantle lamps. The urban parts of the country were rapidly becoming electrified while almost all of the northern rural areas were still without electricity

Aladdin Australia electric lamps
1938 ad for Aladdin Australia electric lamps courtesy of Anthony Truman



Aladdin Australia electric lamps 1963
Aladdin Australia display of their electric lamps in a 1963 furniture show in Sidney.

Aladdin Australia 1938 ad
1938 ad courtesy of Anthony Truman


Catalogues & price lists:

1938 or 1939 catalogue  (pdf file)

1953 Aladdin Australia wholesale catalogue & price list  (pdf file)



Aladdin Kerosene lamps in Australia by Allin Hodson
1999 ISBN 0646377558, printed by Hyde Park Press.
This out of print book is a must have for any collector interested in the unique lamps manufactured in Australia

Oil and Kerosene Lamps in Australia by Peter Cuffley
1982 ISBN 0 9009674 1 9 1 Printed by Pioneer Design Studio
Chapter 8 covers Incandescent lamps and is mostly focused on Aladdin lamps. Contains history not found in Allin's book.



Note dates are approximate to help date literature by its address.

1924 Aladdin House, 49-53 Shepherd Street, Sydney. Victoria Showrooms and Warehouse, 429 Bourke St., Melbourne.
1927 started the move to 61-63William street, Sydney Both this and the previous addresses were active for about 3 years
1938 to 1957 61-71 Bourke St, Waterloo
1957 moved to 43-53 Bridge Rd. Stanmore

* Peter Cuffley, author of "Oil and Kerosene Lamps in Australia


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© 2002, 2015 by TeriAnn Wakeman. All rights reserved.
This web site is not affiliated with Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company. Aladdin, and Lox-on are registered trademarks of Aladdin Industries LLC