TeriAnn's Guide to Aladdin Mantle Lamps

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Fellboelin / Wonder Lamps / United Factories Co.


Fellboelin table lamp
Fellboelin table lamp
Earliest Fellboelin burner commonly found in North America on a 1-1/2 qt fancy foot lamp base manufactured by Plume & Atwood.


United Factories Wonder Lamp
United Factories Wonder Lamp labeled
Fellboelin burner mounted on a lamp base manufactured by Edward Miller & Co.

The Fellboelin side draft incandescent burner was designed in Germany during the early 1900's. Fellboelin was a trademark belonging to Louis Fellberg and Hans Boelert. At least 3 different versions of this burner were imported to the United states and offered for sale alone and mounted on US manufactured lamp bodies.

United Factories in Kansas City, Missouri directly imported Fellboelin burners from Germany and had them marked as "Wonder Lamps". The United Factories Co. was founded by William H. Hoffstot. H. C. Fellows was listed as the Secretary and Treasurer. The earliest listing for the company in the city directory was in 1908 at 1316 McGee rd. in Kansas City. The company was listed as offering fireless cookers, incandescent coal oil lamps, and other specialties. The city directory has the company at 1316 McGee in 1908 and 1909 then again in 1914 through 1917. These burners could not be imported after WWI started in Europe in 1914 so I have no idea what they were producing after that year unless they had a warehouse full of burners. The Company's last listing in the Kansas City directory was in 1917. The city directory listing for 1910 through 1913 was at 1028 Wyandotte rd.

Other companies imported burners with the Fellboelin trademark on the burner. Today you will find about as many Wonder lamps as you do lamps with the generic Fellboelin name on the burner.

As you look at the pictures of the burners note that there seems to be a lot of soldered connections. The Connecticut Trading Company advertised that their lamps did not have any solder joints that could become liquid during use destroying the burner. There may have been a problem with Fellboelin burners operated at their maximum mantle brightness heating up enough to melt the solder.


Fellboelin fount lamp
Fellboelin fount lamp
Late Fellboelin burner on fount lamp base manufactured by Plume & Atwood.


Wonder Lamp fount lamp
United Factories Wonder Lamp
Older Fellboelin burner mounted on lamp base manufactured by Edward Miller & Co.




Fellboelin wick adjustment knob
Fellboelin wick adjuster knob


Wonder lamp wick adjustment knob
United Factories Wonder Lamp wick adjustment knob



IMPORTANT NOTE: This web page is about the morphology of the Fellboelin burners, Fellboelin and United Factories Wonder Lamps imported to the United States. If you wish to know about the earlier German versions of the Fellboelin burner or how the burners work please purchase the book "The Evolution of the Kerosene Mantle Burner" written by Anton Kaim. His excellent book is self published and available directly from the author.

The Fellboelin and Wonder Lamp burners were also sold alone without lamp bodies:

Fellboelin burner base adapter ring

Fellboelin and Wonder Lamp burners were also sold alone as incandescent mantle upgrades for flat wick lamps
When the burners were sold without lamps they came with this adapter ring to allow the burner to fit onto a lamp base that takes a number 2 thread burner. Without the adapter ring the burner fits the American standard number 3 threads.


Fellboelin Wonder Lamp burner expanded view

All Fellboelin burners are composed of 4 assemblies: The burner base, flame spreader, burner basket and the gallery.
The burner pictured is the earliest version of the Fellboelin burner imported to the United states.

Early Fellboelin flame spreader
Early flame spreader

Late Fellboelin flame spreader
late Flame spreader

Fellboelin burner bases
Above Right: Burner base of earliest Fellboelin burner imported to the US. This uses the early flame spreader.

Above Left: Burner base of the last Fellboelin burner imported to the US. This uses the late flame spreader. Note that the last imported version of this burner does not have a ring of holes around the base where the wick adjuster shaft is located and that the wick adjuster shaft does not have a lock collar and screw.

Not shown: There is an intermediate Fellboelin burner base imported to the US that is the same as the late burner base except that it has a ring of holes around the base where the wick adjuster shaft is located and the wick adjuster shaft has a lock collar and screw. The intermediate burner base uses the late flame spreader.

The threads at the top of all the Fellboelin burner bases are the same size as are the American standard number 3 threads at the bottom.

Tip of early Fellboelin burner base
Top of early Fellboelin burner base. Note tube for mounting early flame spreader. The outer wick tube is 3 cm or about 1-3/16" dia at top

End of late Fellboelin burner base
Top of late Fellboelin burner base. Notice indented ring in inner wick tube which seats late flame spreader. The square object inside the inner wick tube is the top of the wick adjuster gear. Outer wick tube is 2.5 cm, or about 15/16" dia at top.

Inner wick tube of Fellbeolin burner


Wick adjustment gears of Fellboelin burner


All versions of Fellboelin and Wonder Lamps imported to the United States used the same flat wick and wick raiser assembly. The wick seems to be metric size but a 3" wide wick should fit OK.

Fellboelin wick holder assembly


Fellboelin lamp burner baskets

Bottom of Fellboelin burner basket

The threads on the base of all the burner baskets are the same size making them interchangeable on all the Fellboelin burner bases.

A keyed burner base moves the gallery up so that the wick can be lit without removing the gallery. Unkeyed burner baskets are mostly found on early burners.


Early Fellboelin  gallery raiser

Early Key gearing used two half round gears to raise and lower the gallery. Over time and use this arrangement tended to hang up and stick.

Late Fellboelin  key Late Fellboelin key open

Late Fellboelin key assembly replaced the gears with a simple raising arm


Fellboelin galleries
Left: Late gallery                       Right: Early gallery

Both galleries have the same mounting slots and will fit any of the burner baskets. Both galleries have slots for the gallery raiser arms so will work with both keyed and unkeyed burner baskets.
The design of the gallery is covered in the US by US patent 930063, applied for on 9 July 1908 by Louis Fellberg in Germany and granted on 3 Aug 1909. The patent is for a centre draft lamp and burner that used the same gallery configuration as the Fellboelin side draft burners imported to th US.

Fellboelin gallery diagonal view Fellboelin gallery bottom view



Filler cap from Fellboelin lamps
Fellboelin filler cap
On lamps made by Plume & Atwood

Filler cap for Wonder Lamp
Wonder Lamp filler cap
On lamps made by Edward Miller & Co.



United Factories Wonder Lamp ad
From 1909 Popular Mechanics

Fellboelin  mantle lamp1909
1909 ad from the House Furnishing Review, Vol 29, July, 1908

As a side note, the Aida side draft incandescent mantle burner is a German burner manufactured by Hirschhorn and imported into North America around 1907. Only small numbers appear to have been imported to the US.. They disappeared from the US market on or before the start of WWI in Europe in 1914.

Most German burners that were imported into North America were imported by just one or two companies and remained in the North American market for 5 years or less before the beginning of World War I in Europe. With few exceptions German designed and manufactured burners have a brief and simple history in North America that can often be summed up in just a couple of sentences. Which is unfortunate because the evolution of a new lighting technology is told in their designs. Early American burner designers examined the existing German designs and built their first incandescent mantle burner designs based upon the best German designs available to them at the time.

These German burners have a richer history in the country where they were designed. If you would like to learn more about the history of these burners and how their designs evolved, the place to look is a book by Anton Kaim called "The Evolution of the Kerosene Mantle Burner". This is a self published book sold directly by the author and does a very good job of covering the inception and comparative evolution of the mantle burner. This book an excellent reference for burner and parts identification. The book covers the Burners developed in Europe, German burners imported to North America and Aladdin brand burners. I consider this book to be a must for the book shelf of anyone interested mantle burner design, evolution and history.




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