A Dictionary of Aladdin Lamp
There are a lot of terms thrown about by Aladdin Lamp collectors
and specialized names for different lamp parts. Hopefully this lexicon
page will enlighten you.
When collecting the model A and B glass lamps you will come across
a myriad of names such as Washington drape, Corinthian, Quilt and
Majestic. These names are agreed upon collector given names that
help people identify the different styles. They are a completely
non Aladdin artificial classification system used to bring order
to approximately 100 Aladdin catalogue numbers.
Aladdin used a different catalogue number to identify each colour
of each glass lamp version. For instance an Aladdin B-91 is a glass
lamp with a white translucent diamond cross hatch pattern bowl and
a ribbed rose coloured glass foot. A B-92 is green glass lamp with
matching vertical ribbing on both the bowl and stem. Memorizing
about 20 class names is a whole lot easier than memorizing descriptions
to each of 100 or so catalogue numbers.
I have not addressed model B collector names in this lexicon.
Since my primary focus is on the metal lamps and on burners, I only
have a few glass models addressed elsewhere in this site. If you
get serious about collecting Aladdin glass lamps your first and
best tool is always Courter's book.
Air Distributor - This is a screen that fits at the top
of the burner around the outer wick tube. This regulates the air
flow feeding the outside of the wick. The air distributor was a
separate screen on models 1 through 6 and became an integral part
of the outer wick tube on models 7 and newer.
Air distributors, L to R: Model 1, Model 2, Model 7 through 11.
Alacite - A ivory coloured opal glass developed in 1938
to make lamp bowls. The original formula used uranium oxide to
its colour. The government banned the use of uranium oxide in 1942
as part of the war effort. The colour of Alacite varied in the
formula from yellow ivory to pink ivory. Lamps made from the original
formula will fluoresce under a black light.
Alpha Art Glass - Aladdin marketing term for clear soda-lime
glass used to make Model A lamp fonts. Colours were painted onto
the clear glass. Term used in the early thirties.
Art Glass - Aladdin marketing term for clear or tinted soda-lime
glass. Term used by marketing from late forties through present.
Beta Crystal glass - Aladdin marketing term for transparent
or coloured soda-lime glass used to make vase lamps, lamp fonts
and glass shades Term used in the mid thirties through mid and late
Bottom plate - see drip plate
Boudoir lamps - Aladdin UK painted some model 14 and newer lamp
fonts (not the burner) with a warn cream colour and marketed them
as boudoir table lamps.
Bug Screen - A roofed cylindrical screen
placed over the top of the chimney to keep bugs that are attracted
by light from
diving into the chimney and damaging the lamp mantle. Aladdin changed
the name to insect screen in 1943. The earliest mention of a bug
screen that I have seen has been 1917. The original style bug screen
was replaced around 1928 with a newer style that had a circle
fingers pointing downwards. The currently available insect screen
was introduced in 1949 along with the 'made in Nashville' model
B burners. In 2004 Aladdin introduced an insect screen that
is very similar to the style introduced in 1928.
If you try to match bug screens to lamps, my current guess is
that models 1 through most of model 6 (insulated undated burner
and dated burners) did not have one available. Late
model 6 (undated and uninsulated burner), along with models 7 through
11 used the original style bug screen, model 12 and Model B with
Chicago burners used the insect screen (first called bug screen
then insect screen). Model B with Nashville burners and newer
the current production insect screen.
Burner base - This is a stripped down burner that is left
after all the parts that can be removed without tools have been
Ceiling extension (pull down) - See extension
Centre draft or drought - A style of lamp and burner
that draws air from holes at the base of the lamp up through a
draft tube at the centre
lamp, through the flame spreader to the inner edge of the wick.
Models 1 through 12 are centre drought lamps. The air flow through
the draft tube increases as the burner temperatures increase causing
the flame to burn brighter. Centre drought lamps require close
until the temperature reaches equilibrium.
Chimes: The fold that connects the top half of a metal lamp
bowl to the lower half.
Chimes on the left lamp (models
3-6 table lamps) are wider and more boxy in shape than the
chimes on the lamp on the right side (models 1 and 2)
Chimney - Aladdin lamps use special tall narrow chimneys
designed specifically to work with Aladdin lamps. The chimney has
two primary functions: it forms an undisturbed vertical pathway
to draw heated air out, pulling fresh air to the burner and it keeps
breezes from affecting the flame. There are three basic types of
chimney. The standard Aladdin chimney is 12-1/2 inches tall and
the base is either "heelless" (models #1 through 11 and
23A) or "Lox-On" (Models #12 through 23). There was a
longer "high altitude" version of the Lox-On chimney that
provides additional draw for the thinner atmosphere of higher altitudes.
Drip tray - Also known as a bottom plate. This is the plate
that fits to the base of centre draft font lamps. This would keep
any flaming object from falling down through the centre draft tube
and landing on something flammable below. Drip trays used from
1 through very early model 6 had threads in the centre of the plate
suitable for mounting the font lamp. Only the models 3 & 4 took
of these threads for mounting lamps. In this web site I refer to
drip trays as bottom plates.
Left to right: Model 1 & 2 drip plate, model 4 through early
6 drip plate, model 6 drip plate. Models 7 through 12 drip plates
looked like the later model 6 drip plates but had different
diameters. The set screw used on early drip plates had a flower
Extension - (ceiling extension or pull down)This is a device
that hangs from the ceiling that allows a hanging lamp to be pulled
down for lighting, extinguishing or refilling. The extension body
covers a spring loaded drum that holds chain. Extensions were offered
as an option for hanging lamps. Aladdin offered ceiling extensions
until around 1950 (I suspect they were discontinued at the time
Aladdin moved offices from Chicago to Nashville in 1949).
This extension is Aladdin
catalogue number 1B and was sold for model 4 through 6
hanging lamps. The wire
cross bar is more often associated with model 4 and the fancy
cast one with models 5 and pre 1917 model 6.
Flame spreader - First known as a Generator. The name was
changed in 1928 between the model 11 and model 12 production to
avoid customer confusion with a gas lamp generator. Only model
6 and 11 flame spreaders made for the replacement parts market
after 1927 bore
the name 'flame spreader' embossed on the top. Thimble style flame
spreaders that originally came on pre model 12 lamps from the
had 'generator' embossed on the top. Model 6 and the taller model
11 flame spreaders were kept in production into 1954 to serve
as replacements for model 3 through
See generator for pictures.
Font - This is the name of the lamp body used for hanging
and wall bracket lamps. Without the mounting bracket, the complete
lamp with burner is called a' font lamp'. Mounted, it is called
a hanging or wall bracket lamp.
Gallery - The gallery fits onto the top of the burner and
holds both the mantel and the chimney in place. You remove the
to light the lamp. There are several versions of the gallery. The
earliest version (Models 1 and 2) fit the cap mantle and a heelless
chimney. Models 3 through 11 used gallery variations that
fit the KoneKap mantle and a heelless chimney. Models 12 through
23 used gallery variations that fit the Lox-on mantle and Lox-On
chimney. Model 23A fits the Lox-on mantle and heelless
Left to right: Model 1 (early model 2 had a metal ring inside top
to block top centre ring of holes), late model 2 gallery, model
3 and 4 gallery. They looked the same except for markings. These
were the only Aladdin galleries to have the model number stamped
on the side. Early model 4 lamps were sold with model 3 stamped
Left to right: model 5 & 6 gallery, model 7 & 8 gallery
(some were nickel plated and sold on early model 9 lamps), model
9, 10 & 11 gallery, model 12, A, B, 14 & Super Aladdin gallery.
Generator - Later known as a Flame spreader starting in
1928, fits to the top end of the inner wick tube and meters air
to the burning wick. All but the first generator has tiny holes
along the top edge that directs metered (by the hole size) air evenly
along the inner base of the wick. This injection of air into the centre of the burning circular wick spreads out the flame towards the base of the mantle . The fresh air coming into the centre of the flame also reduces any tendency for the wick to produce smoke and soot.
The first four lamp models each
saw dramatic changes in the generator shape. The model 4 generator
with it's thimble shape worked well enough for Aladdin to retain
the basic shape in later lamps. Basically the only things that changed
between models 4 and 11 were the length, air hole placement and
the labeling. Model 12 saw the flat top changed to an inverted cone
with a single hole in the bottom centre. This model 12 design is
in use today and is correctly called a flame spreader. See Flame
Spreader for additional information.
Early Aladdin generators, L to R: Models 1, 2, 3 and 4
The model 4 generator is the same size and shape (except
for top row of holes placement) as was used on models 5 and
Model 11 generator
The model 11 generator is the same size and shape as is
used on models 7 through 11. They came new in a cardboard
Without the brass bottom extension, the model 11 generator
is the same shape and size as model 4 through 6 generators.
The one in the picture is labeled flame spreader indicating
it was made for the replacement parts market sometime between
1928 and 1954 after model 11
production had ceased.
Model 12 and newer flame spreader
The model 12 flame spreader is also used on all newer model
burners and is still in use today in unfinished brass. The
model 12 flame spreader is the same size as the model 4 through
6 generators. With the top middle hole soldered shut, the
model 12 flame spreader will work on these earlier burners.
Harp - This is the fame assembly for a hanging lamp without
the font lamp installed.
Inner wick tube - The wick is held in place between the
inner and outer wick tubes. On model 1 through 6 the inner wick
tube is an integral part of the lamp font. On model 7 through 12
lamps there were two inner wick tubes. The lower tube is integral
to the lamp font and the upper inner wick tube is integral to the
burner base. The side drought burners, model B and newer have a
short inner wick tube integral with the burner. The lamp font has
no inner wick tube. The flame spreader fits inside the top of the
inner wick tube.
On centre drought lamps the inner wick tube is also known as the
centre drought tube.
Insect Screen - A screen placed over the top of the chimney
to keep bugs that are attracted by light from diving into the
and damaging the lamp mantle. Before 1943 Aladdin called insect
screens "bug screens". See "bug
JAP Bronze - Oxidized copper finish optional on parlor
lamps, most model 12 versions, the model B oriental and treasure
lamps. The lamp was first copper plated then dipped into an oxidizing
solution to achieve the finish.
coat of clear lacquer was added for finish protection. The end
colour depended upon how long the lamp was left in the oxidizing
Model 12 bronze is darker than model B bronze. Aladdin offered
a bronze finish on some 1949 and later model B lamps that is a paint
Lox-On Chimney - An Aladdin chimney with two small locking
flanges formed at its base. This chimney works with the model 12
through 23 galleries.
Match holder - Aladdin provided a wall mount match holder
with each model 5 (1913) through 11 lamp sold. The match holder
was made of copper plated tin and had pockets for holding, a spare
generator, a wick cleaner, an instruction book and of course matches.
There are two versions of the holder. One without the Aladdin
name and one with the name in script. The one without the name
to have been sold during 1914 with model 5 and early model 6 lamps.
The version with the script would be 1915 model year and newer.
holder and parts for model 6
Mantle - This is a thin filament net that becomes incandescent
when heated emitting a bright whitish light. This is what generates
the legendary bright Aladdin light. The flame at the wick only serves
to heat the mantle into incandescence. There are three major variations
of the mantle. The first is a Cap mantle with a single support arm.
This was a European design and was used on early model 1 lamps.
Later model 1 and model 2 lamps were supplied with a double armed
Cap mantle. The cap mantle was not made by Aladdin and they had
no control over manufacturing.
Starting with the model 3 lamp through the model 11 an improved
KoneKap mantle has been used. The KoneKap mantles incorporates
cone that had been part of the gallery and has a more precision
mounting system assuring a more standardized space relationship
between the mantle and the flame. The Kone Kap mantle, model 3
gallery and flame spreader were Aladdin patents and
brought full manufacturing,
quality and sales control to Aladdin. Welsbach manufactured a line
of KoneKap mantles for P&A manufactured mantle lamps.
The third type of mantle is the Lox-on mantle which was introduced
with the model 12 lamps and is still used today on new Aladdin
lamps. Both KoneKap and Lox-on mantles are available through Aladdin
Moonstone glass - A misty translucent alabaster glass used
to make lamp fonts.
Nashville Burner - In 1949 Aladdin moved it's headquarters
from Chicago to Nashville Tennessee. Burners manufactured prior
to that date in the US for the North American market were marked
Chicago. Model B burners made from 1949 through 1954 were marked
'made in Nashville Of course the burners were all made in Connecticut
at the Plume
& Atwood factory and not in Chicago nor Nashville Also during
during this period model 12 burners were still
in limited production for the replacement parts market.
burners were marked' made
in Nashville Nashville burners are only original on model B lamps
manufactured 1949 and later.
During 1949 there was a metal lamp manufactured that used the
lamp bowl from the model B Treasure lamp and a model 12 foot. It
also had a model B burner marked Nashville This single year production
lamp is known as the Nashville Treasure.
Oil Pot - A specialized type of font lamp designed to sit
inside a lamp base and only be exposed for viewing at the top flange
Centre draft round wick lamps burn brighter than flat wick
lamps. The oil pot allowed centre draft round wick lamps to
be used with glass lamps. This is the construction of the
often elaborate 'gone with the wind' style lamps. Oil pots
were also used with some hanging, piano and floor lamps. There
seemed to be
companies during the
and early 1900's engaged in making glass and formed metal lamps
that used oil pots purchased from other companies.
There was an
industry standard oil pot size and oil pots were interchangeable
between lamps. Model 1 through 6 Aladdin oil pots were marketed
as lighting upgrades for existing lamps that used oil pots. The
pot was used in Aladdin's first floor lamp.
The oil pot font used in Aladdin models 1 through
6 oil pot lamps is a generic off the shelf P&A design
that had been in production from the late 1800's. This oil pot
font was not retooled for the larger base model 7 burner and production
of Aladdin oil pots ceased.
Aladdin had it's own glass division and decided to have Plume &
Atwood tool up a model 12 oil pot to produce vase lamps.
Aladdin produced a nonstandard size model B oil pot for the very
first model B floor lamps. This
was in production through 1934 and represents the last of the special
made Aladdin oil pots. The model 23 majestic lamp uses a
standard #23 font lamp as an oil pot.
Old English - An "old gold" colour finish applied
to some early Aladdin Lamps.
Outer wick tube - The wick is held in place between the
inner and outer wick tubes. On model 1 through 6 the outer wick
tube is an integral part of the burner base. On model 7 and newer
burners the outer wick tube is removable and has the air distributor
as an integral part.
Removable outer wick tube as is used on Aladdin model 7 through
Parlor Lamp - This was a turn of the century table
lamp style that was optional in models 1 through 4. The lamp
bowl used appears to be the same one used for the Practicus
lamp and was presumably made from existing P&A tooling.
Available in old English or JAP bronze finish (Model 1 also
available in polished brass finish). They used a gallery
mounted shade holder with a shade ring. They were the only
Aladdin lamps to use this shade holder.
Rose Gold - A gold coloured zinc copper alloy plating used
on some model B lamps
Satin Brass - A scratched finish applied by a fine brass
wheel then covered with a clear lacquer. Used on some early lamps
Sauerisen cement - The original glue used to hold parts
for glass lamps together. It is a white substance. One of the major
ingredients is plaster.
Side Draft or Side Drought - A type of burner that
draws all the air used for the wick from the holes on the side
is also known as an "Instant on" burner because the warm
up time is considerably faster than a centre drought burner. Aladdin
model A and newer burners are all side drought.
Silcrom - A deep smoky chrome appearing finish
used by Aladdin UK on some model 21 and newer lamps as a cost reduced
finish. It was used on both burners and lamp fonts. I don't
believe the finish was ever offered to non-UK markets.
Smoke Bell - A shallow cone shaped part that is suspended
a couple inches above the chimney on a hanging lamp. The purpose
is to break up the hot air flow and dissipate it before it reaches
the ceiling. An Aladdin hanging lamp used without a smoke
bell could heat a ceiling to the point that it will burst into
bell used with model 1 through early 6 hanging lamps
Wick - A cotton tube split in half about 1/2 of its length.
The wick transports kerosene from the bowl to the top of the burner.
Starting in 1919 Aladdin started manufacturing their own wicks.
Aladdin wicks last a very long time with proper care and if fresh
high grade uncoloured, unscented kerosene is used. Colouring and
scenting agents can clog a wick over time.
Wick adjuster knob - This is the disk like knob used to
adjust the height of the wick in a lamp. This is what most people
use to identify the model of Aladdin lamp. The only differences
among the models 9, 10 and 11 burners seem to be the label on the
wick raiser knob and the flame spreader. At the other extreme, models
1, 2, 2-3 transition and 4 share the same wick raiser knob.
Wick adjuster knobs:
Top Left to Right:
Models 1, 2, 2-3 transition, 4
Bottom Left to Right:
Model 6 with stamped date
Model 12 Nashville
Wick Cleaner- Aladdin started providing wick cleaners with
each lamp around model 4 and continues to do so today. Over the
years Aladdin has provided at least 30 different varieties of wick
cleaner including at least of 4 of the newer plastic style. Wick
are used to clean carbon deposits off the top burning edge of the
wick so that the wick will burn with a more even flame. The newer
cleaners work better than the early types. Three prong wick cleaners
were used through model 8. Steel wick cleaners were used during
WWII. Brass wick cleaners were used again after WWII on model B
and C lamps until model 21C was introduced. Since then the wick
cleaner has been plastic. Collecting wick cleaners can easily become
a Aladdin lamp sub hobby.
different wick cleaners. About 1/3rd of the verities produced.
Wick Holder - A metal tube attached to the lamp wick that
is moved up and down by the wick riser in the burner base. Wick
holders were used with unreinforced wicks in lamp models 1 through
9 (first year of production). Around the beginning of the model
10 production (second year of model 9 production) a reinforced
wick was introduced. This wick came with two metal buttons on
side that connected the reinforced wicks directly to the wick
without the use of a wick holder.
On models 1 through 7 the wick holder was also the wick riser.
Wick holders, L to R:
Model 1 and 2 The oval holes served
as the ratchet gear for the side mounted wick raiser gears.
Model 5. Models 3 through 7 used wick holder that
has a straight ratchet gear mounted to the lower side.
Model 8 & early 9 used a short wick holder with
a wick raiser. With the introduction of the reinforced wick
the wick holder disappeared.
Wick raiser - Wick raisers were introduced with the model
8 lamp and have been part of different burner designs through the
The model 8 and early 9 wick raiser attached to a short wick holder.
With the introduction of the reinforced wick, the wick raiser attached
directly to the two metal side tabs of the wick and completely eliminated
the separate wick holder.
Left: Model 8 through 11 wick raiser.
Right: Model 12 wick raiser
Whip-o-lite - The trademarked name for a style of translucent
paper developed and used by Aladdin to make paper shades. It stands
up to heat and is evidently washable.