Pressure Lamps International

Sunshine Safety Lamp Co.

 The Sunshine Product Co.

©AWMoore 1999


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1926 Sunshine Letterhead dated October 29 1926

Established during 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, the Sunshine Safety Lamp Co marketed a small range of lamps and lanterns. There may perhaps have been a manufacturing plant, but it is not certain that Sunshine Safety Lamps ever made their own products. It is known that they bought lanterns from The Coleman Lamp Co in 1913, and continued to do so for several years under the presidency of W.C.Fowler until 1928 when Sunshine was absorbed into Coleman. They also purchased lamps from National Stampings of Chicago (Nulite) - these were embossed with the Sunshine oval logo.

There appear to be some subtle differences between Sunshine and Coleman products of the 1920s, not least that the Sunshine and Coleman logos were different. There may be design differences too. It is quite likely that the Sunshine Safety Lamp Co sourced their products from a variety of manufacturers, although the strength of their growing links with Coleman in the early and middle 1920s suggests they would have used Coleman as the major suppliers of their lamps and lanterns. It is also possible that Coleman made some components while other parts were bought in elsewhere or manufactured by Sunshine.

In common with the other main lamp makers of the time, the lamps and lanterns were designed to burn "common gasoline", and to be "match lighting". They were advertised as being so safe that a child could use them.

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Sunshine Lantern and Table Lamp from the 1926 period

The Coleman Arc and Air-O-Lamp were just two of the products sold by the Sunshine Safety Lamp Co before 1920, and it seems unlikely that there was any great range of devices available under the Sunshine name. A 1920s wholesale order form lists only 5 items for sale - the lantern with mica chimney, the lamp with either corrugated opal shade or with "expensive fancy shade", mantles, and the gasoline fueled flat iron.

Later in their history, around 1927, the name changed to the Sunshine Products Company, with a similar small range of products, but including a radiant "bowl fire" heater and a portable "room heater".

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The Company produced lanterns for mail order houses such as Sears, but continued to sell it's own range of cookers, lamps, lanterns, torches, flashlights, domestic irons and associated products through agents into the mid 1930s. The Kansas City part of the company finally closed in 1931/2, but SPC continued operating from its Chicago address. Sunshine Products finally disappeared as a business around 1935. The models they produced included, amongst others, F-101, F-102, F-103, F-104 and F-105 table lamps, and lantern models F-124, F-125, F-143, and F-145.

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F-104 Gasoline table lamp from a 1933 flyer

This 300cp lamp was over 19 inches high, with "instant lighting" capability. With three pints of fuel in the tank it would burn for up to 18 hours. The tank was finished in brown, and the lamp was available with a range of different shades, so for example, it would become an F-105 when fitted with a white corrugated shade. The model shown has what the makers describe a "pineapple effect" shade which was very popular at the time, but more expensive than other styles, costing about 30 cents more than the standard ribbed shade.

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Lanterns F-125 and F-146 (right) also dating from 1933

The F-146 was a strongly built lantern with a mica globe, and held enough fuel for about 14 hours use. It had a built in pump, and was of the instant lighting type, requiring only a match applied to the mantles as the valve was opened in order to start. The F-125 used a separate pump, and was "match generating", in other words it required the looped generator to be heated with a match before the valve was opened. Both lanterns gave about 300cp of light.

 

Links to other sites

Links to other sites - this page is desperately in need of an update! It's coming soon, but in the meantime here are a few of the best internet sites for lamp collectors.   David Greenwood - a knowledgeable and friendly collector is at http://www.tilleylamps.co.uk/    Currently off-line Fil Graf has one of the original reference sites at http://www.lampguild.org Juan has a good site for Focus and Petromax at ...

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