200A and 202 reproduction
frames back
in stock.

Dubblbubbl
So I’m sitting here watching my ntm 237 bringing the light today and started wondering why Coleman made the switch to white gas from Kero.  The more I get into this hobby the more I appreciate the Kero burners.  I could see that they wanted a cleaner burning fuel for stoves, so maybe that’s the reason.  You could also argue that they went to a single fuel for their gpa’s for the military and that bled over to the consumer market or vice versa.  Could be that the move to electricity was the end of using kero as the main lighting fuel and Coleman was staying ahead of the decline of gpa lighting.  Maybe this was just a natural progression to more refined fuels because they started to become more available.  Comments, wags, conspiracy theories all welcome.

Was just reading that Coleman redesigned the arc and developed gas power from there, so not really a Kero centric company that turned to gas, more of a coverage of all the fuel sources at the time kind of thing, and kero use declined over the years so kero appliances just became a smaller share of his business.
Rob in NC
MilSpecOps Syndicate #1962
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #1962

Sometimes we are the windshield, Sometimes we are the bug...
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25 502s
It seems like it was more of a switch from gasoline to white gas. Most of the really old lamps/lanterns seemed to run on gasoline originally. Kerosene has always seemed to be a secondary fuel source to me but maybe I’m wrong. 
Jason
not looking for any more Bday gpas. Honestly, if you have a 10-72 don’t let me know about it.
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0214
Coleman Slant Saver #56
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #31
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Gunhippie
Coleman made very few devices that used kerosene, and those mostly later.

What we call "white gas" was called "gasoline" for many years. It was what powered your car and even your radial-engine airplane, so it made very good sense to use if for portable lighting and cooking appliances. Coleman even sold a self-starting siphon so you could fill your lantern or stove direct from the tank of your Model T.

It wasn't until the emergence of high-compression engines, mostly after WWII, that "ethyl" gas became common. This used ethyl lead to increase the compression at which the fuel combusts, and to slow the combustion. It was also hideously toxic, but that's another story.

I believe that Coleman Fuel/Camp Fuel became a thing about 1950, as "leaded" gas became more and more prevalent, and even Regular gas had too many additives to run for long without clogging a generator.

Some companies--Coleman included--made "dual fuel" or "regular gas" appliances that were supposed to be able to use Regular Unleaded Gas (or even leaded) by using a larger diameter gen. This just delayed how long it took to clog the gen.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
Texan's last words: "Y'all--hold my beer--I wanta' try sumptin'."
Timm--Middle of nowhere, near the end of the road, Oregon.
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Gavercronos
Coleman products were originally designed for gasoline. Now when I say that I don't mean the unleaded gas you put in your car these days, but the pure "white" gas that was what you got before even leaded gas was a thing. Coleman kero burners are almost all derivatives of gas appliances (and the ones that aren't are copies of European designs). Camp fuel became a thing when white gas disappeared from most gas stations. So, to answer your original question, they didn't switch. And, as for the military, they have converted most of their ops to jet fuel, derived from kerosene and suitable for diesel engines, not really paralleling the camping appliance market at all.
WillCat

Chautauqua County, New York
Slant Saver [svg] Frank MakerNew York State Route 5 marker

Wanted: GPA dated 5/89 (Red 286?  Black Powerhouse? 508? Early Unleadeds? Canadian things? I'll settle for a propane job at this point) Vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster bowls and accessories, Ruby-cased 10in lamp shade, 7D Mag-lite
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Dubblbubbl
Just for reference, I remember when unleaded gas hit the market and remember how it eventually took over the pumps.  Gas wars would kick the prices down to under 50 cents a gallon, this was back when you could still find white gas at the pumps, usually a remote indie out in the country.
Rob in NC
MilSpecOps Syndicate #1962
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #1962

Sometimes we are the windshield, Sometimes we are the bug...
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Dmacp
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wondering why Coleman made the switch to white gas from Kero.


Rob I don't think they ever did that. They made some appliances that would run on Kero, most ran on gas too
Dan
ICCC member #604
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Dubblbubbl
Dmacp wrote:


Rob I don't think they ever did that. They made some appliances that would run on Kero, most ran on gas too


yeah after googling a bit I found that Coleman was always a gas appliance manufacturer.  Was just thinking that maybe way back the may have focused on Kero since that was used in almost every household, but that is not the case.
Rob in NC
MilSpecOps Syndicate #1962
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #1962

Sometimes we are the windshield, Sometimes we are the bug...
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MartyJ

What everyone else said.  You have to look at the big picture.  The rise and success of Coleman hinges around the existence of a huge rural community In the US in the early years.  In the 20’s when Coleman (AGM & others) became successful, a lot of the population (thus market) was rural and largely centered around agriculture.  Only through the depression era work projects did large scale hydroelectric plants get built and provide cheap electricity to these markets.  Until then many places had no or limited electricity.  Especially on the farms. Farms ran on gasoline (Unleaded as already pointed out).  Gasoline for the truck, tractor and pumps.  If you look at the Amish today, most rural Americans lived that way in the early 20th Century when Coleman was getting started.  Some of us even remember gasoline powered washing machines and other home appliances.   Lighting, heat and cooking was a reasonable extension of that fuel.  If you look at early quicklite adds, you will see camping as somewhat far down on the listed uses.  They were farm and work lights.  Also during this time, the idea of car camping got started, mainly as recruitment for use in the newly expanding National Parks and the early stoves were sold with siphons to get the fuel from your car.  Why carry a separate can of fuel?  Eventually, most people moved off of farms and there is affordable electricity everywhere and gasoline is 99% used for cars today.

as to kerosene, No one had kerosene cars or tractors.  Kerosene was used on farms but not like gas.  Europe, on the other hand, does not have oil wells like the US so gasoline was and still is, much more expensive.  They developed a system or kerosene and diesel use. 

Now, white gas has limited use, it is much easier to use profane for camping and, other then us old nostalgia freaks, LED lighting is more practical and cheaper.  I keep buying Coleman gas hoping in some small part I can assist in keeping its production economically practical for a while longer.  Someday, that will fall by the wayside also. Unless, of course, they come up with a white gas powered cell phone. Kinda like a Jon-E-phone. 



Marty
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Gunhippie
Don't forget that a vaporized gasoline lantern or lamp with mantles produced FAR more light than the alternatives available in rural areas. Even an Aladdin mantle kerosene lantern is much dimmer than a Coleman!
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
Texan's last words: "Y'all--hold my beer--I wanta' try sumptin'."
Timm--Middle of nowhere, near the end of the road, Oregon.
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MartyJ
Gunhippie wrote:
Don't forget that a vaporized gasoline lantern or lamp with mantles produced FAR more light than the alternatives available in rural areas. Even an Aladdin mantle kerosene lantern is much dimmer than a Coleman!


so true.  It is like comparing a candle to a flashlight.   It must have seemed very bright compared to a wick lantern also much more heat output in the milking barn. Besides the methane of course.  
Marty
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Gunhippie
It still tickles me that some of the earliest gas mantle lamps and lanterns were called Arcs, because an electric carbon-arc light was the brightest artificial light source known at the time! But electricity was pretty limited back then.
It's priceless until someone puts a price on it.
Walk a mile in a man's shoes before you criticize him--then you're a mile away, and he has no shoes.
Texan's last words: "Y'all--hold my beer--I wanta' try sumptin'."
Timm--Middle of nowhere, near the end of the road, Oregon.
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outlawmws
Arc lights were in use until recently too.  I used to use Arc light for exposing light sensitive print materials for checking artworks for circuits.  (you couldn't run those through a blueprint machine without ripping the tape off...) - All dead tech these days... 

Even the precision machine we used to cut rubylith material for micro circuits on clear sheet is dead tech.  I was one of only a few people that knew how to properly move and level those machines.  Accurate to less that .001 across 5-6 feet.  Most circuits were reduced 20:1 to increase the accuracy, many were 40:1, and some component pieces were spliced into the 40:1 art for a total of 160:1. 

The "good old days"
[Logo%20Outlaw-half] 
Coleman Blue's 243's #341 - 275 Appreciation Syndicate member 0242
FAS #001 Confusing Future Generations of Collectors, One Lantern at a Time!

“A Human Being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, give orders, take orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook  a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.  Specialization is for insects.”            - Lazarus Long


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andjones
Kerosene was the first petroleum based fuel used for lighting in wick lanterns. Gasoline/naphtha was waste that needed to be refined out of the kerosene. Many house fires were caused by poorly refined kerosene that still had too much naphtha and lighter components in it. This is where John D Rockefeller had the idea for Standard Oil. He would refine the "standard" kerosene that all others would be measured against.

Some enterprising individuals decided that the waste naphtha might be used for other purposes. One of these purposes were the GPAs that we know, love and collect. Of course the development of the gasoline engine happened around the same time. Early gasoline engines ran on nearly the same fuel as white gas, so getting your lantern fuel from the gas pump was natural. The need for dual fuel lanterns only came about when additives to and formulations of gasoline were necessary for the higher performance engines later on. The additives and gasoline formulations were different enough that changes needed to be made to the lanterns to utilize this fuel. 

Kerosene use in KPAs came about a little later as kerosene usage went down because of electrification and the superior lighting of a GPA. Kerosene producers needed to find additional uses for there product as wick lanterns fell out of favor. Kerosene stoves have been around for quite a while, many of them were either wick or pot type that ran at atmospheric pressure. Putting kerosene under pressure and forcing it through a generator to vaporize it made the KPA more powerful and efficient than the GPA. The KPA may have replaced the GPA except for the jet engine. A new large consumer of kerosene type fuels would have been a boon for the producers and the need for KPAs diminished.

GPA production has always far outpaced KPA production. One reason for this may be because of the ability to crack large hydrocarbon chains into smaller chains that produce the lighter refined fuels such as butane, propane, naphtha, and gasoline. Technically gasoline is a blend of refracted fuels and special additives.

I am writing this from memory of knowledge that I have gained over many years. Some is a little conjecture, but I think it's reasonable. The timeline should be pretty accurate even though I have not used dates. I would say this covers close to 75 years, from the discovery of petroleum oil in 1875 to the development and widespread use of the jet engine around the 1950s. The science/art of pressurized appliances hasn't changed much for many years. The most notable changes are the convenience features (instant light, built in tip pricker etc.) and production cost reductions. We are using the same technology in much the same way, as was developed over 100 years ago. Some of us have lanterns that old to prove it.
Andy

Burning all the fossil fuel I can afford, because it's still legal!
Looking for 11/52 and 10/62 lanterns

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adelcoro
921235F0-B633-4E6F-A585-C14F5579A59D.jpeg  3D92860E-B09B-4DFB-9647-E59B35934CA9.jpeg  Coleman lanterns were engineered to burn gasoline Later came the modern (improved) white gas. (naphta)
White gas is basically purified ,cleaner burning gasoline, for longer  generator life and without all the extra additives found in car gasoline (very toxic to burn). 

Even the so called "K" models lanterns were "multi fuel"and not strictly Kerosene burners. (ex. 247 237 ect..) 


Makes you wonder why 99% of Coleman Lanterns and stoves ever sold were gas burning models? 
The outdoorsman demanded reliable, long lasting clean burning lanterns. 
 If Kerosene or coal oil fuels were readily available ,the multi fuel models were obviously very popular with farmers and railroad companies (work related safety) 
Generators had to be cleaned or replaced very often. Every corner store sold them and for very cheap. The railroad companies furnished the generators for their employees.

-The European manufactures ex Petromax ,optimus etc. (Preston loop vaporizer) ,were specifically engineered to burn kerosene. 

Coleman kerosene exports were sold overseas to compete with the European models.


Agostino
ICCC 957
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D421
Where does whale oil fit in all this?
Everyone likes the dog catcher...until they catch your dog.
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Whitegas Extraordinaire
D421 wrote:
Where does whale oil fit in all this?


Domenic
Here is western NY state whale oil was replaced by coal oil in the late 1840's!

I still can't believe whale oil was found in industrial lubricants in the states as late as the early 70's. I believe the Japanese used it for high end lubrication until the late 70's early 80's?

Thank you!
Kevin
I frighten easily!

My current shade is Coleman!!

To me a lamp without a shade is creepy!

ICCC # 1865

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D421
It is my understanding that ATF was developed to replace whale oil as a lubricant.

However complete cities lighted their streets with whale oil for many years. Whale oil street lamps is credited with reducing crime in London.

For its day it was the best lubricant available for many things. I am sure its not as good as things we have now.

I was wondering if any wick lamps were specifically made to burn it.
Everyone likes the dog catcher...until they catch your dog.
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bowenstudios
D421 wrote:


I was wondering if any wick lamps were specifically made to burn it.


I remember reading, probably on the kirkman site, that whale oil lamps were the ones with the taller globes as it took a longer flame to get efficient light. When they switched to kerosene they came out with more lamps that had the short globes.
-Mike
______________________________________

BernzOmatic Appreciation Club #651
Mil-SpecOps #0651
The Coleman Blue's 243's #154
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Chucker
I read even in 1970 Chrysler Corp. was using whale oil in some tranny's. Wow. 

Also, Shell introduced high octane gasoline good for airplanes by the late 30's,  Mostly anti-knock compounds were introduced. Just in time for WWII. 
Chuck
"...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" Romans 5:3-4
Eye-SEE-C-C Member #1333 -- MilSpecOps #003
"Michigan - from the Ojibwa word “meicigama,” meaning “great water.”
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Tigerfans2
Chucker wrote:
I read even in 1970 Chrysler Corp. was using whale oil in some tranny's. Wow. 

Also, Shell introduced high octane gasoline good for airplanes by the late 30's,  Mostly anti-knock compounds were introduced. Just in time for WWII. 


https://www.rsc.org/AboutUs/News/PressReleases/2009/SpitfireFuel.asp
Coleman Slant Saver #58
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #8
Coleman Blues 243's #16
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Chucker



Great story of the Battle of Britain and octane. Sun Oil Company was obviously instrumental in 1940. I will submit Shell took the lead however years earlier:

"The development of 100-octane aviation gasoline on an economic scale was due in part to Doolittle, who had become Aviation Manager of Shell Oil Company. Around 1935 he convinced Shell to invest in refining capacity to produce 100-octane fuel on a scale that nobody needed since no aircraft existed that required a fuel that nobody made. Some fellow employees would call his effort "Doolittle's million-dollar blunder" but time would prove him correct. Before this the Army had considered 100-octane tests using pure octane but at $25 a gallon it did not happen. By 1936 tests at Wright Field using a cheaper alternative to pure octane proved the value of the fuel and both Shell and Standard Oil of New Jersey would win the contract to supply test quantities for the Army. "

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Doolittle

Chuck
"...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" Romans 5:3-4
Eye-SEE-C-C Member #1333 -- MilSpecOps #003
"Michigan - from the Ojibwa word “meicigama,” meaning “great water.”
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Tigerfans2
I didn't link to say Sun vs Shell but as an anecdote about the value of the higher octane fuel in the war.
When speaking of the greatest generation (and I believe it was) we can't forget the merchant seaman who boarded the tankers carrying Avgas with the U boats sitting just offshore.  Waiting....
Coleman Slant Saver #58
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #8
Coleman Blues 243's #16
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coleman54

 Coleman worked both sides of the road early on, at least as early as 1917 for Gasoline and Kerosene, in the US they did not promote kerosene as diligently as was for Canada and the export business. 

US / 1917

C9A74840-8F00-45D4-982D-C90443C19782.jpeg

 US / Export advertising A8D99732-AA7A-428F-877F-36CBC31A38E2.jpeg  7D27A692-C6A2-4E7D-BE72-07F3D0959A88.jpeg   

Larry

Inquiring Minds Want To Know
MilSpecsOps  #1954  Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #0124  The Coleman Blues 243's #77  
Coleman Slant Saver #01  Coleman Quick Lite Crew #01 Sears Collectors Club #16 
Goldbond Collector #02  BernzOmatic Appreciation Club #003    Part Time Stovie  Frank Appreciation Syndicate #007
Perfection Collectors #3   ICCC #1412

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Jeepstircrazy
Hi all, New guy here,... I just wanted to add my two bits to this thread...Marty J stated that back in the day nobody ran kerosene tractors... not so ... McCormick Deering was not the only manufacturer of tractors that ran on Kero. I owned two 1929 McCormick Deering 1020's that had a small tank  (one gallon) for starting the tractor and then you would switch over to the very large kerosene tank once the engine was preheated. Sound familiar? Also the interesting thing about the Old Order Amish (Shwartzentruber) clan in my area use kero wick lamps but love diesel engines for sawmills or other jobs that need lots of power and economy. The gas engines they prefer for laundry and pumping water are generally Hondas. I asked my Amish neighbor why they didn't use Coleman lanterns for chores at night or when he and his boys work till 9:30 p.m. during our long nights here on the Canada border,  because my eyes don't work very well when I've walked into their dusty, dark workshop after the sun goes down. I don't know how they turn out such fine woodworking in such poorly lit shops. Anyway,  he replied "I'm not going to be the first one to use one!"  So until someone convinces their "Bishop" that it would be a bright idea 🙂 , they carry on. The problem here is that their buggys only have one kerosene lamp and that on the left side of the buggy. They refuse to use a slow moving vehicle reflector and as you can pretty well guess there are several accidents yearly that produce injuries and too often death. The great state of New York seems to fear repercussions from any attempt at making them comply to any safety precautions. It is quite a problem with the locals that get ticketed for having a license plate light out or a cracked taillight lens! Anyway I am new to collecting Coleman lanterns but have owned two coleman 236 models with metal cases made in Canada for  over 30 years and recently got a 237 from an antique picker that wanted to know if I had any to sell. At first I said yeah, let me gather them up. ( I had been picking a few up here and there to resell at a flea market) once I pulled them out of the barns they had been scattered around in ( I am a packrat, and I have an old dairy farm with about 5 big rambling barns) I realized how much I actually like them and after perusing the web and seeing youtube videos of restoration etc. I'm hooked! I hadn't even realized one I had picked up was an early Quick Light with brass vent! It was filthy when I got it and then it got overspray grey paint on it when I was painting a wall. Well because I want to get New York state behind me and I haven't been in the barber shop working since March 14th I plan on doing some restoration once winter hits, meanwhile I'm getting 
rid of stuff and trying to organize things for an auction. I've got two years to go ( till my daughter graduates college)and then I want to move to the coast of Maine , somewhere. I want to add that I watched a video of a guy transforming a gas lantern (Coleman) to a kerosene burning lantern and I thought WHY?  Then this picker showed up with the 237 and I saw  the alcohol cup in it and saw also that the collar had instructions in English French and what appears to be German on it. Awesome! I can't find a date anywhere on the 237....or on the Quick Light for that matter... anyway I think I said two cents but put in 20 bucks worth of BS! I enjoy all your pictures , collections an info! Glad to be here! Oh and I picked up a 242C that has an 8 and a 3 on the bottom and I am still not sure what that means for a manufacturing date ... the 8 is on the left....
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What's the lowest you'll take for this lantern?                                                

          Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Vintageish
White gas was the standard fuel during earliest auto mass production.
It was reasonably clean/clear and 50 octane was the usual.
That worked great in Coleman gas lamps , and if you visited a gas station you had a fuel source.

As demands of higher compression developed a need for higher octane fuel , cheaper alternatives to increase octane meant fuel additives. 

Anti -knock compound could have been an alcohol , but tetraethyllead was cheaper. (Look up 1921 Charles Kettering and Thomas Midgley and General motors.

So from clean burning "gas" we had gas with multiple additives. Additives that did not function as well in lantern generators , let alone the health concerns , limited as they were.

With newer fuel blends of higher octane the norm , where did that leave the availability of 50 octane cleaner "white" gas?
It was in Coleman's best interest to assure supply of white gas.  And they did. Vs folks getting it at the pump as in days gone by.

Until unleaded fuel was adopted by the U.S.  , Burning Colemans indoors was not applauded by later (seventies?) instructions.
Dual fuels started up again when leaded gas was gone. Yet the additives in our newer fuels don't seem to do anything good to generators.....

I acquired a J.C. Higgins stove from Dads estate recently that says something about automotive gas (I think) , like auto fuel. 
It seems to predate unleaded fuel though.... 

Kero's smaller popularity in more recent times might be due to the development of the instant lights. No pre-heating.
Purty colors. Well , cept'n maybe that brown when it's on fire...
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arizonacamper
Something most people don't know is that prior to World War II most vehicle engines had fairly low compression 5 to 1 possibly 6 to 1 being the highest so low octane fuel was the norm for the time.
It was after the war when the Vehicle Manufacturer started upping the compression to get more power from the engines and the reason why higher octane fuels came into being. The first engines that came out with what was considered a really high compression for the time was the early Chrysler Corporation Hemi engines. they came out around 1950 or so and from what I was told back in the day they were truly amazing as far as power output compared to what everybody else had at the time.
Shawn
Owner of Copper State Diesel And Automotive. See my facebook page.

Lanterns are like tools. 
You can not have too many unless your wife says so!!

Gas is what you use for washing parts diesel is for making power!

Coleman blues 243 #147
Coleman 275 appreciation #74
Milspec syndicate #39

Looking for any lanterns or stoves dated 5/63 or 1/72
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