Aladdin Electric Lamps
Throughout the 1930s, electric lamps became increasingly more practical and fashionable. Many companies competed on the market to give consumers electric lighting of a scientifically determined quality. They also competed for consumers who wanted either reasonably priced or high priced lamps. The Mantle Lamp Company of America joined the competition in 1930.
In 1928 The Mantle Lamp Company decided to sell only through franchise dealers. This was a significant change in their marketing strategy as mail orders and traveling sales agents were discontinued. Aladdin's franchised kerosene system of more than 10,000 dealers blanketed the United States. Aladdin electric lamps were not only known as quality products on their own merit, but benefited greatly by the loyalty of hundreds of thousands of families who had been reared by the white light of the magic Aladdin kerosene lamp. Obviously, in the thirties and early forties, this gave Aladdin a great advantage in reaching a significant market that was not as readily available to competition; no competitor could possibly support such a sales force. Even in the urban centers, Aladdin electric lamps enjoyed a very fine reception.
The first lamps appeared on the market without the benefit of the Aladdin name or trademark. They were sold without a trademark until the name Vogue was used in 1932. Beginning in 1933, the company sold its complete line of electric lamps and Whip-o-lite shades under the name Aladdin.
The Mantle Lamp Company quickly developed a variety of lamp styles. They were exhibited in the National Chicago Lamp Show from January 4 to 16, 1932, in competition with 155 lamp manufacturers, and again in the first New York Lamp Show from August 15 to 19, 1932, with 161 manufacturers.
|M-1-14 Oxidized bronze metal table lamp, 1935. Image courtesy Dave Corbissero|
At that time, Chicago was considered the furniture capital of the United States. Furniture buyers purchased lamps when visiting the salesrooms at the Merchandise Mart and the American Furniture Mart. These showrooms, plus the seasonal lamp shows in New York, Chicago, High Point (North Carolina), and San Francisco, were the primary sales outlets to Retail stores for electric lamps throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
For additional information, be sure to visit our Publications page. There you will find the books: "Aladdin Electric Lamps" and "Aladdin Electric Lamps Collectors Manual and Price Guide" - excellent resources for beginner and seasoned collectors alike.
- E Series, 1930 - 1932 / Vogue, 1932-1933
- Moonstone 1934-1939
- Beta Crystal, 1935-1939
- Opalique, 1938-1941
- Alacite, 1939-1952
- Killer 1950s lamps, 1951-1956
Introduction to Aladdin electric lamps 1930 – 1956
Aladdin® Kerosene Lamps
Aladdin® Electric Lamps
|W-300 wood Bowling Pin table lamp, 1948. Courtesy Don & Diane Carey.|
Aladdin made all kinds of electric lamps—glass, metal and wood table reading lamps, boudoir and bedroom lamps, pin-up lamps, urn lamps, TV lamps and floor lamps; but no hanging lamps. Most Aladdin lamps are signed with paper label or name embossed in the mold. The lamps were sold by sales numbers.
For example M-1 is a metal lamp; G-30 is a glass lamp; W-300 is a wood lamp; and P-500 is a pottery lamp. Some lamps popular with collectors have been also been given common names.
Aladdin became leader in design and innovation with new products in paper shades, cast metal floor lamps, shade finials and character collectibles such as Hopalong Cassidy lamps. Eugene Schwarz was Aladdin’s gifted designer.
Virtually all of the colorful glass was made during the 1930s and 1940s when Henry Hellmers was superintendent of the glasshouse in Alexandria, Indiana. Hellmers was known for the glass he made for Akro Agate, Heisey, Cambridge and other glasshouses during his career.