200A and 202 reproduction
frames back
in stock.

Hi all,


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.




before…. Hiatt auction Coleman R Reading lamp.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp before.jpg 

and after….. Coleman R Reading lamp.jpg   Coleman R Reading lamp lit.jpg 

Coleman R Reading lamp parts.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp Burner with cowl.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp stamped cowl.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp soldered badge logo.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp burner parts.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp burner assembly.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp generator.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp generator restoration.jpg Coleman R Reading lamp mantles.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp number on mixing chamber.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp pre heating fork.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp pre heat and Bunsen flame.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp  Bunsen flame.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp lit mantles.jpg  Coleman R Reading lamp lit mantles and shade.jpg   

Three Coleman reading Lamp patents.... Coleman R Reading lamp patents.jpg
American old timer  "Reading" type lamps....
American oldtimer Reading lamp type lamps.jpg 

As always Connie, beautiful work.  Thank you for sharing
nice looking example , rarely find em with both fiber wheels intact :-) does yours have the cork feet ?
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
Yes Steve, cork feet on this one !

Coleman R Reading lamp font bottom.jpg 
Gorgeous and so well documented.  Thanks for your brilliant posts, Conny.  
- Courtenay
Be Prepared
Thank you for sharing, a very interesting read.
Toowoomba Queensland Australia
Mil-SpecOps #1970
Coleman Slant Saver #51
ICCC Member #1826
Another absolutely gorgeous restoration Conny.  Thank you for sharing the fruits of your labors.


Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do.
Very very nice...😳
just something i find interesting is how the original valve wheels on the model R are installed with the brass hex portion showing on the outside . every other lamp im aware of has the hex portion on the inside hidden , and the smaller round portion showing from the outside ..... i had replaced quite a few of these wheels on some of my R's but i did em with the round facing out not trying to deceive any one , but sometimes i second guess my decision and wonder if i should turn em around ... ?

this is Connys lamp showing how it was originally done .
Coleman R Reading lamp Burner with cowl.jpg 
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
Mister Wilson
Beautiful lamp and beautiful work.  Thanks for sharing, I always love seeing your lamps.
H.C. Lanterns dealer
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #2001 A Turd's Odyssey
Canadian Blues #028
Coleman Slant Saver #31
Looking for 6-56 and 6-58 Birthday lanterns.
There's been an alarming increase in the number of things I know nothing about.
Man that is beautiful!
ICCC # 1402
nice green shade.


just something i find interesting is how the original valve wheels on the model R are installed with the brass hex portion showing on the outside . every other lamp im aware of has the hex portion on the inside hidden , and the smaller round portion showing from the outside .....

Steve, I haven´t thought about that earlier. I could be true for Coleman lamps, I wouldn´t know as I don´t have any more Coleman oldie lamps to compare with. I did a quick survey of my other American oldie lamps, and found at least eight American manufactures of table lamps, with the hex portion of the metal on the outside of the fiber wheel…………...

American manufacturers with hex nut on the outside of teh fiber whell.jpg 
Another interesting  feature of the Coleman Reading Lamp is the generator ball safety check valve. I haven´t seen that on other lamps.
It seems W.C. Coleman was into trying to optimize safety in his lamps. It says he encountered an old wrongful dead lawsuit over an Efficient lamp exploding and maybe that´s why the safety issue with the generator check valve


then  it appears to me that all the older lamp makers put that hex on the outside ? im not a very well rounded lamp guy , most of my stuff is all Coleman . and i had noticed when they got air o lantern and quick lite's they all had the round facing out . thanks for sharing that Conny .
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
i just received this brass piece today from another CCF member ( typicaly its nickel plated ) it was in a Leonard Johnson auction parts lot ( thanks major_man Mike ). its the top section of a model R fuel riser that would have been cut off by the factory or other dealers  if it was getting a quick lite burner up-grade ( sad ) they would then thread the riser to fit a Q burner assembly . 
the other little piece you see screwed on here is the very bottom of a original model R generator cut off and threaded to fit the same Q burner assembly , this is another way i have seen some converted by cutting down the genny ........ but doing it this way makes for a very tall lamp , i have shown pics of this in the TALL lamp conversion in the past , tall is top heavy is why i think the factory authorized upgrade cuts that riser down so much ???

click on the little thumbnail pics for much better viewing .



here i stuck on a Q burner just to show how it fits here . NOW all this brings me to yet another question . the cut off riser pipe is quite a bit larger diameter pipe than a Q burner fitting , so im not sure how they would cut the pipe down to proper diameter before threading or did they use a coupler here with threads on the inside not the outside ? you follow me ? i havent looked hard enough at a factory upgrade to tell . dont have one here to look at but i know someone who does :-)
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
here is a conversion i got some years back from Will . it now is back to original cuz when the generator is cut it doesnt ruin the fount by cutting it down . but sure makes for a tall lamp !!!

might need to click on the pic to see it good ?

[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
Steve, I can take a look at my converted Model R when I get home from work and let you know.
but doing it this way makes for a very tall lamp , i have shown pics of this in the TALL lamp conversion in the past , tall is top heavy is why i think the factory authorized upgrade cuts that riser down so much ???

Steve, I´ve seen examples of that conversion Model R into a CO burner assembly. As the original R lamp has it shade fitting low, some of these conversions R lamps with an upright shade holder, makes a top heavy lamp out of proportions. Looks silly to me!

Great restoration job. Looks fantastic! My Model R....


Let it burn....        
Don... Oregon
USA 236 Syndicate #003  Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0126  The Coleman Blue's 243's #097
Coleman Slant Saver 007  ICC #1438   NRA #147137741
As usual i love reading and learning from your posts
ICCC 957
steve p
Thanks for sharing another beautiful restoration with us Connie!  Seeing the different patents side by side is great information. 
 Thanks to all that posted pics of there lamps and other info that added to the  thread. 

 We,re chained to the world and we all gotta pull.
                                                                 Tom Waits
That is beautiful work
and also a fantastic lamp.

Fernando Alicea
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