Pressure Lamps International

CJN Adams Corp. Wellman, USA

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CJN Adams Corporation produce and market a multifuel pressure lantern that bears the brand name "Workhorse". This "young" company was started in 1995 as a family business in rural Iowa. The company's original imperative was to provide domestic products to the family farms of America and, more specifically, the Amish communities of America. The success of the early years has culminated in considerable diversification of products and service, so much so that there is now service provision to all kinds of places and all kinds of people around the world. The company still trades as a Conservative Mennonite company, but with strong links to Asia through it's China office. The Asian links facilitate production of certain types of products in small quantities, not possible or at best extremely difficult without access to factories that are capable of quick turn rounds on small runs.

To quote from CJN Adams Corp's own mission statement, the Corporation exists for the purpose of:

1. Building cultural bridges
2. Encouraging and enhancing personal growth in its employees, customers, and suppliers
3. Assisting in raising the standard of living and quality of life in third world and emerging nations
4. Sharing God’s love in ways understood by its recipients throughout the world


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This is the Workhorse 500 cp lantern

The Workhorse lantern is a multifuel lantern producing a variable light output from very low up to around 500cp. Kerosene, unleaded petrol (gas) and white gas can all be used with this lantern to give up to 24 hours light. The construction is mainly brass, chromium plated for durability. There is a built-in preheat torch to enable the lamp to be easily started when using kerosene. The final assembly in the US is carried out using a mixture of imported and domestically manufactured components. These lanterns are very reliable, but as with all appliances using flammable gasoline and kerosene, care needs to be taken when using the lantern. A maintenance page was once provided by CJN Adams on their website to help keep your lantern in good working order, but it has recently been withdrawn. 

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Logo from a Workhorse 500cp lantern


Current address of the company is:

CJN Adams Corp.
1010 540th St. SW Wellman,
IA 52356



CJN Adams Corp: (2002) Web site formerly located at (but no longer contains reference to pressure lamps)

Marsh T. (2002) pers comm.


There has been a certain amount of publicity recently about exploding lanterns (2004, McRae, Failure by Design: in Ralph L. (Ed.) Under Pressure, Issues 1 and 2)

Neil McRae of St Albans, UK considers the use of gasoline in some lanterns to be dangerous. He says that there are major design points that are crucial. If the pump tube discharges air into the fuel at the bottom of the fount, and if the pump check valve in the tube is a typical European type with no positive shut-off, then fuel discharge might occur back through the pump tube should the valve leak in use. He goes on to say that if the upper fitting to the fount is lead solder sealed, or has a lead washer seal, there could be a mechanical failure if a descending flame from a damaged mantle overheats the joint. So in his view, some lanterns could be very dangerous on two counts when used frequently with gasoline. Neil has a good point here, and I tend to agree with him except that I would add that gasoline under pressure has the potential for danger under any circumstances.

My own opinion is that any lantern should only be used in accordance with the maker's instructions. Periodic replacement of valve seals, washers and mantles is essential for safe operation, and I have never known fuel to leak or joints to fail on a properly maintained lantern. On the other hand, there have been many serious incidents caused by foolishness, ignorance, and lack of maintenance; and many of these incidents have been wrongly blamed on the lantern design. It is true that the German Bundeswehr changed their instructions for fuel from gasoline to kerosene in their pressure lanterns after a number of unintentional fires, but there are many reasons for this, including the simple common sense reason that kerosene is a safer and cheaper fuel!

Please accept that all hydrocarbon fuels can be dangerous, and a badly maintained lantern is a hazard, no matter what make it is or what fuel is used. If you are in any doubt, or don't know what fuel to use in the Workhorse lantern, contact Adams Corp on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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