Lighting the 1901 Way

After a recent visit to the Coleman factory outlet and museum in Wichita, I was struck by how good the 1901 solution to the lighting problem still works today.

I purchased one of Coleman’s new North Star Dual Fuel lanterns. It costs 5 to 10 cents per hour to operate and can use standard unleaded fuel from any gas station, and puts out the same amount of light as a 75 watt bulb. Battery-powered lights cost roughly 50 cents per hour tooperate and put out far less light.

It was also intriguing for a geek to look at the mechanism, largely unchanged since 1901. The lantern vaporizes the fuel by using heat, then burns that. You pump it up with pressure once an hour, which keeps things moving.

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