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

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Sunbeam Lamps and burners

1909 (late 1908?) - 1912

Early Sunbeam burner
Early Sunbeam burner



Late Sunbeam burner
Late Sunbeam burner


Plume & Atwood developed a centre draft burner which was first offered for sale by The Connecticut Trading Company (CONTRACO) in mid 1908. At the same time Plume & Atwood also developed a side draft mantle burner which they named the Sunbeam burner. In 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 started offering lamps with the newly developed Sunbeam side draft burner on Plume & Atwood founts.* This was soon followed by the Mantle Lamp Company ending up with an exclusive license to sell the centre draft lamps manufactured by Plume & Atwood under the brand Name of Aladdin. When the Aladdin model 1 was introduced The Mantle Lamp company stopped offering Sunbeam lamps. They continued offering Sunbeam burners as a mantle lamp upgrade to owners of flat wick lamps. The Sunbeam side draft burner first appears as a stand alone product on the 1909 Aladdin model 1 catalogue as a No. 150 Sunbeam burner.

I also found a single internet reference to a Dial Sunbeam Mantle Lamp Company in Chicago. This reference was a title to a picture of a Sunbeam #1 burner on a Plume & Atwood 1-1/2 quart fancy foot table fount. To date I have yet to find any other reference indicating that the Dial Sunbeam mantle Lamp company actually existed but since The Mantle Lamp company did not have an exclusive license for the side draft burners it is possible that someone other than The Mantle Lamp Company may have been offering complete Sunbeam mantle lamps in the late 1908, early 1909 time frame.

The Mantle Lamp Company did not have an exclusive arrangement to sell the Sunbeam burners. By 1910 Plume & Atwood was selling lamps with the Sunbeam burner to The Home Supply Company who offered them under the "Beacon" trade name. Also for a short time an unknown company offered Sunbeam #1 burners as flat wick lamp upgrades under the trade name "Universal".

Aladdin catalogues and price lists provide a time line for the development of Sunbeam burners. The early Sunbeam burner appears in the 1909 Aladdin model 1, 1910 model 2 and 1911 model 3 catalogues.

The 1911 model 3 spare parts says that an Aladdin model 3 flame spreader and gallery could be placed on the early Sunbeam burner base to allow the Sunbeam burner to use the new KoneKap mantle. I think Aladdin was in error with that statement because the Aladdin gallery had much larger mounting flanges on the gallery that keeps the gallery from seating properly on the Sunbeam burner base. To date I have not seen any indication that Aladdin ever shipped that combination Sunbeam burner from the factory. It may have just been a suggested upgrade made by a marketing employee that did not realize that the difference in size of the locking tabs made the galleries and burner bases incompatible.

In 1912 Plume & Atwood was granted a patent ( 1044961 ) for a revised Sunbeam burner. The 1912 Aladdin catalogue shows a drawing of the new version of the Sunbeam burner that uses a KoneKap mantle. It was still listed as a catalogue number 150 Sunbeam burner. This was the last year that the Sunbeam brand name was mentioned in any of the Aladdin literature that I have. The 1913 Aladdin catalogue offers a side draft burner with a drawing that looks like the late Sunbeam burner but the name Sunbeam does not appear. It is believed that this is the Lumineer burner. Though the burner continues to be used by The Home Supply Company's Beacon lamps 1913 was the last reference to the burner in any of my Aladdin literature.

* 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.


Sunbeam wick adjuster knob
Both early and late burners have the same marking on the wick adjuster knob


Sunbeam mantle lamp
Sunbeam fount lamp


Early Snbeam burner expanded view

"PAT. APP. FOR" is stamped at the base of the burner but a patent search has failed to locate a patent that covers this burner. This burner was manufactured by Plume & Atwood and may be the first side draft burner designed within the United States. Plume & Atwood sold this burner to multiple companies.


Early Sunbeam burner outer wick tube diagonal view Early Sunbeam burner outer wick tube and air diffuser
Early Sunbeam burner bottom view

Outer wick tube and air diffuser

The early Sunbeam air diffuser is one piece and fitted to the outer wick tube before the tube's top flange is assembled onto the tube. Note the 2 pins at the bottom of the outer wick tube. The outer wick tube is attached to the burner base in a bayonet style.

Early Sunbeam base diagonal view Early Sunbeam base
Early Sunbeam base undersaide view

Burner base

The Sunbeam burner bases were designed to use a flat wick. The rectangular hole on the bottom is for the wick holder which fits from the top.


Sunbeam lamp wick
The early Sunbeam mantle lamp used a flat wick with the top section sewn together.

Beacon lamp wick holder
Wick holder for both models of Sunbeam burners. The wick holder mounts from the top of the burner with the cylinder at the top. The bottom flange is usually bent over to keep the wick from accidentally being adjusted past the gears.

Sunbeam burner gallery top view

Early Sunbeam burner gallery

Late Sunbeam burner gallery

Sunbeam mantle burner gallery bottom view

Note that while the early Sunbeam gallery appears identical to the late Aladdin model 2 gallery the locking tabs that lock the gallery to the burner base on the Sunbeam are much smaller than the locking tabs on the Aladdin model 2 gallery. The early Sunbeam gallery is identical to the early Beacon gallery. The late Sunbeam gallery is identical to the Lumineer and the late Beacon gallery.

Late Beacon burner exploded view

This burner design was patented by Plume & Atwood ( 1044961 ) in 1912. This design was used on the late Sunbeam burner, the Beacon model 2-4 burners and the Lumineer burner with minor modifications


Late Sunbeam burner base Late Sunbeam outer wick tube

Outer wick tube for the late Sunbeam burner

Bare Lumineer burner base, top Bare Lumineer burner base, bottom

Late Sunbeam burner base


Early Sunbeam flame spreader for the Beacon model 1 burner
Flame spreader used on the early Sunbeam burner

Late Sunbeam flame spreader

Flame spreader used on late Sunbeam burner





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