Compiled by Darcy Vantiger October 2006
Frequently Asked Questions
This section contains those questions which have often been asked regarding Aladdin Mantle Lamps. It is not to endorse or recommend, but rather offered to be helpful and useful. The information has come from various collectors who have responded to these questions over the years and thanks to all for their suggestions and experience.
How can I identify my kerosene Aladdin Mantle Lamp?
There are various models of Aladdin kerosene lamps. Early models were all metal and later models had a glass font. The key to identifying each model is the Aladdin name and number on the knob which raises and lowers the wick. If the knob doesn't say Aladdin then it is not an Aladdin brand lamp, as all were marked with the company name. Very early models did not have a number on the knob, but the company trademark (Aladdin) was embossed on the wheel. You will find examples of the knobs in other areas of this website to help in identification.
Pictures may be found on various Aladdin collectors’ personal websites. An Internet search for “Aladdin kerosene lamps” or “Aladdin lamp collector” will find additional websites.
In the books offered on this website you will find information on ordering “Aladdin, the Magic Name in Lamps” book and price guide on kerosene lamps directly from the author J.W. Courter. This book offers the most complete information on Aladdin kerosene lamps. If you merely seek to find information about that one lamp you've inherited or received as a gift you may be able to find a copy of these books in the collectable section of your local library or a large antique dealer in your area may retain a copy for personal reference and share information in response to your polite inquiry for assistance.
My kerosene lamp is not marked "Aladdin" what might it be? Where can I find information on other oil or kerosene lamps?
Many of the names commonly found on lamps which may be similar in general appearance to an older metal Aladdin lamps are Rayo, B&H (Bradley & Hubbard), Rochester, Miller and others. Information on these various types of lamps can be found by using an Internet search of the brand name found on the burner and/or font. The new book Center-Draft Kerosene Lamps 1884-1940 is an excellent referrence
Other collector organizations have websites related to non-electric lamps. These include:
A review of the information and archives on these sites may help you in identifying a lamp.
What are the parts of kerosene Aladdin Mantle Lamp?
There is a descriptive section of this website which will provide you with a diagram and name each part of the lamp. This will provide you with the proper name and purpose to each part. There is also a convenient guide to Care and Lighting of an Aladdin Mantle Lamp and the parts are shown as part of the instructions. Studying these diagrams to determine if all the parts of your lamp are present.
Where can I find parts for an Aladdin Mantle Lamp?
The most commonly needed replacement parts are a wick, chimney and mantle. These are available for newer and many older models from online retailers or Aladdin distributors. An email, phone call, or fax to these retailers can lead you to the correct parts for your lamp. These parts may also be available at a hardware or antique store in your area. You may also wish to visit the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company homepage (www.aladdinlamps.com) and tour the website for parts and lamps in current production and distributed by the company.
Burner parts and galleries for older models may only be available from collectors or vintage lamp dealers. There are regional and annual meetings of collectors in various areas of the United States. A trip to one of these meets would be an excellent place to acquire parts and information on vintage Aladdin kerosene lamps.
Can I buy a new kerosene Aladdin Mantle lamp?
Yes, the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company sells new lamps and accessories. there are retailers listed on the company website that sell new Aladdin Kerosene Mantle lamps. A variety of new models is available. Many are offered through online retailers with pictures of the newest items available.
The new lamps are kerosene style and there are electric conversion burners which will fit the lamps.
What fuel does the Aladdin Mantle Lamp use?
The Aladdin Mantle Lamp was designed to burn kerosene and it was the only fuel originally recommended by the manufacturer. Water clear or highly refined kerosene is referred to as K-1 kerosene. It may be found in hardware stores, building suppliers, or fuel distributors. Much controversy has arisen in the United States over the introduction of red dye into kerosene for road taxation purposes. There is concern the dye may have ill effects on the wick and impede performance. We recommend that colored or scented fuels NOT be burned in an Aladdin lamp.
Some individuals express concern over odor and seek alternatives to kerosene. Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company offers “Genuine Aladdin Lamp Oil” as an approved alternative. Other fuels which have been tried successfully are Lamplight Farms "Ultra Pure" lamp oil (marked 99% pure paraffin/clear only) and a newer product from KleenStrip named “Kleen-Heat (formerly "Clear-Lite") synthetic kerosene. Proponents of these products feel there is less or no odor produced during use. Some users have advised that alternative fuels may burner hotter than kerosene and caution should be taken if trying any fuel other than kerosene or Aladdin’s Lamp Oil. Original instructions did not recommend any fuel other than kerosene, and stated that any alternate fuels are potentially dangerous and you should read thelLighting instructions for further information.
As stated in the original instructions: Never use gasoline, Coleman fuel, or other fuels in these lamps.
Where can I find information and parts about an Aladdin Blue Flame heater?
The sister company of the original Mantle Lamp Company of America, located in Greenford, England, produced a kerosene heater based on the Aladdin burner. Most Blue Flame heaters are a pale green enamel finish and operate only on kerosene. Spare parts for Blue Flame heaters are limited and may be difficult to find. There are two common models of heaters. First was the Series 15 and followed later by the Series 16. The wicks for these heaters are not interchangeable.
Series 15 wick Part # P.159905
Series 16, 25,32,37 Part # P.169901
2” burner Part # P.939907
Some parts such as wicks may be located by contacting the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company or some of the large Internet Aladdin dealers. Due to the lack of parts it may be wise to purchase a heater complete and in good condition.
How do you clean an Aladdin metal lamp or burner parts?
First a word of caution. Always begin with a conservative approach before using any harsh or aggressive cleaning techniques. Most early models of Aladdin lamps and burners, Model 12 and before, were made of brass and nickel-plated. The “silver-looking” nickel finish is most desirable and easier to keep clean. The later 1930s lamps were produced with a bronze or brass plating finish that is easily removed by cleaning. One should always start with a conservative approach. Often a mild washing with soap and water may be all that is needed to reveal the original finish of the lamp.
There are as many cleaning methods as there are collectors and each has a preference or secret for success. Often the problem is kerosene residue and many products clean well. Household cleaning agents (Formula 409, CLR, etc), or citrus degreasers (Oil Eater, Desolv-it) or others may remove the residue.
A good cleaning is best followed by a metal polish with a conditioner. The most preferred polishes have been Wenol, Simichrome or Blue Magic Metal Polish. These metal polishes are found at antique stores or automotive supply houses. These polishes help prevent the metal from quickly tarnishing again.
For badly tarnished brass or burner cleaning a mild citrus solution (A packet of unsweetened Lemon Kool-Aid to 1 quart hot water works well) or undiluted distilled white household vinegar work very quickly to remove the discoloration. The item must be completely submerged in solution. If any acid type cleaning is used a close eye must be kept on the item in solution and limited to 10-15 minutes at a time. Over exposure can leave a pink copper color to the brass.
On nickel plating a surprising result can be obtained from the use of spray type oven cleaner (spray on, leave in warm 200 degree oven for 5-10 minutes and rinse thoroughly) or also the citrus solution. I note that many collectors prefer to work outdoors on a warm day. Very badly pitted or worn plating may not respond and may remain dull. Follow with a polish as discussed above to aid the shine after such a cleaning.
If your finish looks as if it may be something other than a plain brass or nickel finish it maybe one of the "specialty finishes' or colored lacquers which were used through out Aladdin's production lines. BE CAUTIOUS as these finishes were very fragile and easily damaged or removed. The newer Model 23 brass lamps were lacquered to prevent tarnishing and care should be taken not to remove this original lacquer if possible. If you think you may have one of these finishes consult the instruction manual and seek out the advice of a knowledgeable collector.
How do you clean an Aladdin glass lamp?
Most household glass cleaners such as Windex may be all that is needed on a dusty lamp. As with the metal lamps a mild washing in lukewarm warm and mild soap may be all that is needed to remove light kerosene residue. Early glass Aladdin lamps are sensitive to changes in temperature. The lamp should be at room temperature and the water close to the same. Sudden changes in temperature can cause the glass to crack.
A mild solution of Dawn dishwashing soap, a few ounces of ammonia and lukewarm water is often a great cleaner for glass lamps that have a great deal of kerosene residue inside the font. The solution can be use for the whole lamp or just poured into the font. As stated above care should be taken to match the temperature of the lamp and use lukewarm water.
Caution should be used when cleaning glass lamps which have painted finish, metal connectors or metal stems/bases. Prolonged soaking can loosen the glue which holds the lamp together. Also some painted or metal finishes used on the glass/metal lamps can be destroyed by certain cleaning agents. These lamps should be cleaned with a conservative approach. If in doubt contact a knowledgeable collector or dealer to make certain what you have before proceeding.
How do you remove a stuck flame spreader or loosen other stuck parts?
Many collectors remove the burner from the lamp & soak the complete burner in fresh kerosene for a day or two in order to lubricate and disassemble it better. The addition of penetrating oil may be helpful if the burner is still stiff after a long soak. It may take some time to loosen an old burner. Have patience.
In old Aladdin lamps the flame spreader may be stuck in the center wick tube from a build up of dried kerosene. Soaking with penetrating oil such as WD-40, or Liquid Wrench for as long as 24 hours may loosen the flame spreader. In addition to the penetrating oil the heat from a hair dryer or similar device can help to expand the metal and allow removal of the flame spreader. We do not recommend a flame torch. Do not pry against the center draft tube as this may damage the burner and prevent it from functioning properly. On center-draft burners a piece of doweling, rounded and padded on the tip, can be use to gently push the flame spreader from underneath. On side-draft burners the flame spreader must be removed from above. If destroyed, it can be replaced by currently available flame spreaders. Some of the early model flame spreaders are scarce and valuable. Be careful and do not bend or damage them with pliers or tools.
How do I replace a wick in an old model Aladdin Lamp?
A replacement wick must be properly mounted in the wick carrier and fit into the burner. It is important that the center wick tube be clean and smooth. If you have an old lamp with a wick struck to the center tube it can often be lubricated with fresh kerosene to loosen. If the wick refuses to move it may be best to cut the wick and remove it to avoid damage to the gears in the burner. An old wick that has been dry and dirty will not work properly and should be replaced by a clean new wick. Aladdin wicks are currently available for models 9 through 24, plus A,B, and C. They are of good quality and function well. New, old-stock wicks may be bought from specialty lamp shops.
Why did my Lox-on chimney break?
The most common answer to this question has been "do not over tighten the chimney" in the gallery. The glass expands when heated against the metal gallery and when inserted too tightly in place the glass cracks from the strain.
The Lox-on chimney was not intended to lock tightly into the gallery. The tabs are to hold the chimney on the gallery for removal during lighting and this provides protection against breaking the mantle . The original Model B instructions stated: “Chimney should not be turned in the gallery more than is necessary to hold it snugly. Too much turning pressure against the prongs will prevent even expansion of chimney when heated, and breakage may result. When breakage occurs at bottom of chimney it is invariably the result of not following these instructions”
It is possible to break a chimney in the gallery even before it is put into use and heated. Some chimneys are not well made as production quality has varied greatly in recent years. The very old chimneys are among the best quality, but are highly valued by collectors and are most often used for display. The current new chimneys are of high quality & less likely to break.
Did Aladdin make electric lamps?
Yes, from the company produced a broad line of both table and floor lamps. There is a complete guide to Aladdin Electric Lamps and an accompanying price guide in the books section and are available directly from the author J.W. Courter.
Another company produced electric lamps using the Aladdin name in the 1930s. You may find a lamp that was produced by the Aladdin Mfg. Company, Muncie, Indiana. These lamps are mostly a metal base with reverse painted glass shade. This company discontinued using the Aladdin name after a legal suit with the Aladdin Industries in 1936.
Where can I find more information on Aladdin Kerosene or Aladdin Electric Lamps?
So you have read through the various sections of this website and gained a general over view, and now you want to learn more. You are now ready to order “Aladdin, the Magic Name in Lamps” and price guide on kerosene lamps or the “Aladdin Electric Lamps” and price guide directly from the author J.W. Courter. As mentioned previously, if you merely seek to find information about that one lamp you've inherited or received as a gift you may be lucky enough to find a copy of these books in the collectable section of your local library or a large antique dealer in your area may retain a copy for personal reference and share information in response to your polite inquiry.
Requests for specific information on many lamps and pricing information will not be posted on this website out of respect for copyright law & the long hours of research on the part of Mr. Courter. It is hoped once your interest goes beyond that first lamp you will make the purchase of a book for yourself.