Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach is credited with the invention of the modern thorium mantle. Its ability to withstand immense heat allowed it to emit higher levels of brilliant white light. A forerunner to the modern lantern, the Efficient Lamp was being manufactured by the Connecticut-based Edward Miller Company. This lamp used a pressure system to vaporize gasoline, mix it with air, and ignite it in a burner to heat the mantles.
In the year 1900, a typewriter salesman W. C. Coleman came across an Efficient Lamp in Alabama. Fascinated by the lamp’s performance, Coleman contacted its owners and started selling the product himself immediately. Later on, he purchased the rights to the design and made some innovative improvements to the design and rechristened it as the Coleman Arc Lamp or the Coleman Lantern. Over the next decade, variations of Coleman lanterns emerged and the product started gaining popularity.
Lanterns were the first product created by Coleman in 1901. Gas lanterns by Coleman are one of a kind. With Coleman lanterns of the present date, one does not require to get in to messy mantle changes and rattle globes anymore. It takes only a few seconds to replace the mantles. The lanterns are made of heat-resistant glass. Coleman lantern is a lightweight, portable device that supplies bright, efficient light while protecting its contents from wind and rain. The Coleman Lantern was introduced in the year 1914 was able to illuminate a circle of 100 ft in diameter. Moreover the Coleman Lantern featured a protective metal hood to ward off wind, rain, and curious insects. Its handle and solid styling allowed the Coleman Lantern to be easily carried, hung from a branch or raft, or to be placed on the ground.
Coleman lantern is more practical than its ancestors because it operates on the principle of incandescence and it relies on light produced by heat. The heated mantles in a gas lantern emit far more light than the flame of an ordinary oil lamp, providing better visibility in a larger area. Revised Coleman lantern remained in production for the next 53 years.
Initial improvements in the 1920s introduced the Coleman Instant-Light Lanterns; which eliminated the need to preheat the generator. In early models, the generator would have to be manually heated before it could start vaporizing the fuel. Later innovations by Coleman brought multi-fuel lanterns capable of burning kerosene, gasoline, benzene, petrol etc. The development and use of heat-resistant glass also solved the problem of glass shattering due to cold rain.
Newer electric-start models of the Coleman Lanterns no longer require a match. Propane bottle fuel now eliminates the need for building pressure manually. However, even after taking into account all these changes, the design of the Coleman lantern has remained essentially unchanged since the early decades of this century. Now the Coleman Lanterns are so popular with the campers that it has the list of the must have list for the campers. This shows the commitment of Coleman enterprises towards the quality and excellence in the service.