This is my example of the "Model R" Coleman Reading Lamp. I acquired this lamp from the Hiatt auction a couple of years ago. I'm not a typical Coleman collector, I have a only a few Coleman lamps, but W.C. Coleman´s first designed table lamp is a must for a collector of early American old-timer table lamps.
This lamp is probably an early example 1909 - 1910, with "pat. appl´d for" on the shade holder, nickel handle and the brass plate "The Coleman Reading Lamp - Manufactured by - The Hydro Carbon Co. Kans." soldered on the font bottom plate.
There are three patents associated with this lamp US965872A, US976723A and US989766A.
I have some thoughts and comments about these patents according to the final designed Reading lamp that first came out from the Hydro Carbon Co. Wichita factory, in October 1909. The first two patents were applied for in July 7th and Nov. 17th 1909, and a third one in March 25th 1910. The first and third patent were the first ones that was granted in 1910, thus the stamping on the cowl/shade holder for the "second" edition of the R lamps after Nov. 1910, with "Pat´d Aug.2. - Nov.22. 1910".
However it is the second patent granted as late as in April 18th 1911, that shows the "real" R reading lamp; more or less a blue print of what became the end result of the Reading lamp.
We have no evidence of this particular patent ever been visible in any stamping on any R lamp. Why not? Maybe at that time mid 1911, the new Model A and later H were already at the assembly line in the Wichita factory, and did not call for an additional promoting of the "old" R lamp.
The first patent applied for in July 7 1909 shows a very similar lamp to the end result R lamp but differs in some ways. Another type of font, not exactly the "pear" shape we know of and also an inner "spider" supporting the cowl. Instead of a ring at the top of the smoke bell, a ball shaped finial is there. The securing screw for attaching the burner to the generator/burner is winged and positioned inside the cowl, instead of what we know of as the through cowl securing pin screw. Small differences but they are there, so in Nov. 17 1909 another improved patent is applied for, as I see it "the right one", but is not granted until April 18 1911.
Meanwhile Coleman applied for a third patent in Mars 25 1910, this time with a new type of burner where the generator is situated beside a supporting rod holding the shade holder and shade. Obviously this Coleman version as stated in the patent drawing, never came into production.
The lamp cleaned up well and with a new asbestos generator packing it lit up nicely with a generous light under the original nr 74 opal dome shade.
Three Coleman reading Lamp patents....
American old timer "Reading" type lamps....