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

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Practicus (1908)

Practicus table lamp
Practicus table lamp
Photo courtesy of Bill Courter

 

The Practicus burner was developed by Eckel & Glinicke (E&G) in Germany around 1906. The burner was used on lamps made in Germany, the UK and the United States.

The Practicus lamp sold in the United States was first developed and sold by the Connecticut Trading Company (CONTRACO). This lamp used the the Practicus burner imported from Germany on a brass lamp base manufactured by Plume and Atwood in the United States. The lamp used chimneys, wicks and mantles made by E&G in Germany and imported to the United States. The Western Lighting Company was fomed in 1908 to sell Practicus lamps purchased from the Connecticut Trading Company.

Upon seeing the Practicus burner, Plume and Atwood sat about developing their own center draft mantle burner based upon the Practicus design.

Early in 1909 Plume and Atwood started offering their own center draft mantle burner. When the burner became available the Connecticut Trading Company stopped importing Practicus burners and started selling the Plume and Atwood lamp under the CONTRACO brand name. The Western Lighting Company changed its name to The Mantle Lamp Company and sold the new Plume and Atwood lamp under the Aladdin name.

Note: information from "Aladdin The Magic Name in Lamps" by J.W. Courter

Practicus wick adjuster knob
Practicus wick adjuster knob

Praktus wick adjuster knob
Praktus wick adjuster knob

Practicus Fount lamp

Practicus fount lamp. E&G Practicus on a P&A lamp base.

Practicus parlor lamp
Practicus parlor lamp
Photo courtesy of Bill Courter

Praktus parlor lamp
Praktus parlor lamp
Photo courtesy of Bill Courter

Practicus student lamp Practicus student lamp fount

Practicus student or Library lamp
Manufacturer unknown, possibly the Connecticut Trading Company.

Practicus student lamp detail Practicus student lamp foot

 

Practicus burner

 

Practicus burner base

Practicus burner base bottom Practicus wick adjustment gear

 

Practus flame spreader
Flame spreader from the parlor lamps
Photo courtesy of Bill Courter

 

Practicus flame spreader
Flame spreader from Practicus table lamp
Photo courtesy of Bill Courter

 

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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