Pressure Lamps International

United Factories Co (Kansas City)

1316 1330 1332 1385 McGee Street, Kansas City (1908)
1028 Wyandotte Street, Kansas City (1909)
1841 Factory Building, Kansas City (1909)
809 & 1043 Factory Building, Kansas City (1909)
404 Goden & Keppel Building, Kansas


The North Carolina Advocate of 23 January 1908 describes (on p7) a new way for manufacturers to get their goods into the hands of consumers without "burdensome profits being tacked on by jobbers, wholesalers, dealers," etc. The already popular mail order house goes some way to help, as there are only two profits, one to the house and the other to the manufacturer. It goes on to describe how, in Cleveland, Ohio, eleven big factories, in order to ship their goods on a "bee-line" to consumers, have combined under one name, The United Factories Co. The group produced their own catalogue, and were prepared to send goods on approval, allowing the buyer to either return them or pay. This innovative move must have been very popular, as up to a third of the cost could be saved, encouraging people to buy more goods. The list of goods available included paint, stoves, roofing, vehicles, wheels, incubators and sewing machines. The idea may have been borrowed from a similar set-up in Manitoba, Canada, a couple of years before. The Farmers Voice (Illinois) of 15 March 1908 describes the movement as "a neighbourly arrangement whereby the selling end of a number of factories of different classes of goods is handled by a secretary who unites in one catalogue descriptions and prices of every line manufactured".

It is not hard to see how this idea would spread, and it seems that similar groups of businesses started the same kind of arrangement in other places, including New Jersey, Ohio, and  Kansas City, Missouri. One of the most successful was the Cleveland (Ohio) group which used the trademark "UNITO". The Kansas City group did not appear to use a trademark, but an early reference to the group appeared in July 1908.


United Factories advert, Kansas City, 1908

At practically the same time a wanted advert appeared  "Wanted: a Large Office Safe, give size, make, and lowest cash price" This advert might suggest that they were a newly organised concern, furnishing their new office. At this time you could buy a beautiful fireless cooker direct from the McKee Street address for between $6 and $12. By August 1908 they were advertising for representatives.


Kansas City Times, Aug 1908



Lamps as well as stoves, but a different address. September 1908

The "Wonder Oil Lamp" of this period used a burner designed and made by Fellboelin (Louis Fellberg and Hans Boelert). This model of lamp is still found in antique stores today, and has proved to be an enduring product.

An interesting article in the Chicago  Daily Tribune in May 1909 describes a form of industrial espionage, employees of the Columbia United Factories Co are applying for jobs with the National Mill Co in order to learn their trading secrets. Around this time the Kansas group are advertising for salesmen in adjoining states, (Omaha, Iowa, Nebraska,) so presumably business is still growing. Their adverts describe themselves as manufacturers of home and farm utilities, and include "ball bearing washing machines" in their products, and they claim to be the "Largest Lamp House in America" in adverts placed in New York newspapers and elsewhere.

The Morning News in Wilmington, Delaware, of 16 Sept 1909 reported that the State Dept of Delaware issued a certificate of incorporation to the United Factories Co but it is not evident which one it was. Interestingly, the United Factories Co opened a Sample Shoes Store, stating that they had stores in Chicago, St Louis and Kansas City.

 united factories KCT25111909p4

Advert from November 1909, The Kansas City Times.

In November 1909, they claimed to have 7000 agents making big money selling the "Wonder" incandescent oil lamp pictured in these adverts. That seems to be an outrageously high number of agents, but perhaps it is an exaggeration, advertiser's licence, or a misprint!


May 1910, the manager's position advertised.

The advert above appeared across America, as far away as Los Angeles in California. William H Hoffstot was president of the United Factories Co in 1909, and was also President of the Sunshine Safety Lamp Co, and it seems the address of both companies was similar, both being housed later in Factory Building, Kansas City. It is logical then to suggest that the "neighbourly arrangement" described earlier would mean  that Sunshine Safety Lamp products might have been sold through United Factories with just a slight re-badging! to help spread the word, as it were. Some, if not all Sunshine Safety Lamp Co lamps were sourced through other manufacturers so there was already a precedent for renaming  or re-branding.

In the US Federal Census of 1900 William H Hoffstot's occupation was listed as "Mnf Lamps", in 1910 it was "Mail Order" and in 1920 it was listed as "Mail Order Lamps".  A completely unrelated but interesting fact is that years later in 1936 a William H Hoffstot had a yacht named "Sunshine", but we don't know if it was father or son, probably William H Jr who would have been 27 at that time while his father William H Sr would have been 70. It seems that the name "Sunshine" was still held with some affection by the family.

A 1911 advertisement by United Factories Co also shows the Wyandotte Street address, this time the advert was for the "Everkeen razor" !

Although some sources indicate that the group did not trade after 1918, other evidence suggests that the Kansas group (and groups in other cities) continued to function, remaining operational 20 years later, but how many of the original firms were still involved isn't evident.


Popular Mechanics advertisement, November 1937. Also appeared in the 1940s


The Popular Mechanics Magazine of January 1938 also contains a "Cook and Heat for Less" advertisement with an address of A-751 Factory Building, Kansas. The use of slight variations in addresses is believed to simply be a method of tracking where inquiries came from so that the success of various newspaper and magazine entries could be assessed.


1939 Advertising card


Other adverts stretch through into the 1940's so the group kept going for a while longer. When or if they eventually stopped trading is not known.

There are not many working examples of these branded lamps, but Dr Terry Marsh shows one on his excellent website at



The North Carolina Advocate, 23 January 1908  p7

Kansas City Times 4 July 1908 p1

Kansas City Times, 8 July p16

Kansas City Times 4 August 1908 p10

The Cheney Sentinel, 11 September 1908 p3

The Chicago daily Tribune, 30 may 1909 p4

The Morning News (Wilmington) 16 September 1909 p 6

The Iola Register, 1 October 1909 p4

Kansas City Times, 25 November 1909 p4

The St Louis Post Dispatch, 28 November 1909, p5

The Salt Lake Herald Republican, 8 May 1910 p20

Popular Mechanics Magazine, November 1937 and January 1938

"What's it worth" website, 1939 Kansas City Advertising card.

U.S. Federal Census, 1910 & 1920

TeriAnn's Guide to Aladdin Mantle Lamps. Web address

The Terrence Marsh Lantern Gallery. Web address:








Pressure Lamps International

Foote Mfg Co
Liberty Lamp Co

Dayton, Ohio, USA



It appears that the Foote Manufacturing Co operated out of Dayton, Ohio for only a relatively short time. Terry Marsh shows several of their lamps on his web site, and reports that the company existed from 1908 to 1917. You can see these at this location: Terry Marsh US Lamp Manufacturers A - F.   The earliest advertisements seem to be around 1908/9, then they continue for several years, when one F. J. Rogers was sales manager in 1913.


Advert from The Lima News, 1913


As the name suggests, this company was involved with the manufacture of what might be considered day-to-day products. The town of Dayton, in Ohio, was practically the United States hub for inventors and manufacturers towards the end of the 19th century, and many small manufacturing firms began life there. The most famous of all Dayton engineers perhaps were the Wright Brothers with their world leading exploits in aviation. One of the best known products from the Foote Mfg Co was the Farmers "Every Ready Toolkit", a multi-tool ancestor to the Swiss Army Knife. Another well known product was the "Mend-a-Rip" hand held sewing machine. Many advertisements also appeared in publications such a "Farm & Fireside" and The Household Journal". Agents were also required in Kansas for "The Foote Mfg Co's flat irons and gasoline lamps"


From Popular Mechanics Magazine, 1910


The surname "Foote" seems to be one of the more prolific names from the area, and there were several companies that carried the name in the early 20th century. It is difficult to unravel the links between them, if indeed there are any! For example the Foote Manufacturing Co of New York (set up by Chester and Charles Foote in 1898) may be associated with the Dayton company, one would expect that might be the case but more research is needed to single out the specific relationships. Possibly there is a link with the A. W. Foote business set up several years earlier. Interestingly, one list of miscellaneous authority expenses in Ohio from 1914 lists a company called J. B. Foote Mfg Co, who were paid $50 for "100 stars for G.A.R". This may well be the J. B. Foote Foundry, paid for casting star shaped grave markers for the GAR - Grand Army of the Republic. At that time J. B. Foote specialised in casting bells, and the business is still trading today. More information may appear here as research continues.

Regarding pressure lamps, several adverts appeared in the magazine Farm, Stock and Home during 1916 for the two mantle "Liberty" air-burning kerosene lamp and an outdoor lantern, and as usual these adverts were designed for attracting prospective sales agents rather than at selling the product to the public. Perhaps the advert with the best artwork appeared in October 1915, in the Household Journal. The position of the valve-wheel is clear, and the construction of the frame can be seen.



 Advertisement from the Household Journal, October 1915




Advertisement from Farm, Stock and Home, January 1916




Advertisement from Farm, Stock and Home, September 1916




Advert from Farmer's Wife, December 1916


The similarity of a lamp advertised by the Liberty Lamp Co, along with the similar Box number suggests that the two companies may be very closely associated, if not the same. The Foote Manufacturing Co used Box numbers such as 1114 and 1514 in this publication, while the Liberty lamp Co used 1214. Other similarities in the adverts support this idea, note the $42 per week expected earnings listed in both, the same name for the lamp, and the same air to fuel ratio. The style of the two adverts is also quite similar.



Farm Stock and Home. 15th January 1916 p66



The proximity of the Thomas Manufacturing Co in Dayton possibly suggests a liaison between all three, and there are certainly some sharp similarities between Foote  and Thomas lighting products and the Liberty Lamp. The Thomas and Foote companies certainly started life in the same place in the same way, by making and selling a range of domestic, every-day items in a burgeoning market. Liaisons between manufacturers has been observed in other towns, so it is entirely possible that ideas were shared here, either with or without friendly collaboration. 

Any additional information would be welcomed, and if you can add to this page please let me know through the contact page.



Farm Stock and Home. 1st January 1916 p24

Farm Stock and Home. 1st September 1916 p622

Farm Stock and Home. 15th January 1916 p66

Farmers Wife. 1st December 1916 p156

The Household Journal (incorporating Floral Life) Vol XII No 10 Oct 1915 p11

The Terence Marsh Lantern Gallery website at

The Holton Recorder. 27 May 1915 p16

The Lima News. 14 March 1913 p6

The Democratic Banner 9 October 1914 p7



          •  K
Kailong Co Ltd China (Shanghai)  
Kamishima Japan (Kozimacho)  
Kansas City Safety Lamp Company USA (Kansas)  
Kaufman (A. G. Kaufman) USA (New York) Kaufman, Powerlight
King Light Co USA (Peoria, Illinois)  
King - Seeley USA Kamplite, Scotsman, Kooklite
K.A.Kirkbride & Co India (Bombay, 'Mumbay') Litehouse
Kitson Empire Lighting Co England (Stamford) Kelite, Kitson
Kitson Engineering Co. (London) Ltd England (London) Kitson
Kitson Hydro-Carbon Heating and Incandescent Lighting Co USA (Philadelphia) Kitson
Kitson Incandescent Heating & Lighting USA Kitson
Kitson (The Kitson Lighting and Heating Co. Ltd.) Australia (Brisbane) Kitson
Kopson (W. Kopson & Co.Pty) Australia (Sydney) Kayen
Knight Light & Soda Fountain Co USA (Chicago) Knight Light, Sunray (also Otto Bernz)
Kwong Ming Factory China, Laos Light Brand, Duralight LPG


          • L
Lea Hin Co (PTE )Ltd Singapore Butterfly
Leacock Coleman Centre USA (Ronks, PA) Leacock
Liberty Lamp Co USA (Dayton, Ohio) Liberty
Light Hand Unknown DILA
Lighting Trades Ltd. (formerly Curtis & Harvey) England (London) The Evening Star
Lindermann (A.J.Lindermann & Hoverson Co.) USA (Milwaukee) Lindolite
L'Ouragan France  
Lovson Export Ltd India (Nariman Point Mumbai)  
Lux (A/B Lux) Sweden (Stockholm) Lux, Autolux, Lux-Invert, Lux-Inverella, Sirius


          • M
Magic Light Co USA Magic
Magraw Edison USA (Boonville)  
The Maloney Lighting Co USA (Scranton, PA)  
Mannesmann Germany  
Mantle Lamp Co USA (Chicago) Aladdin
Manufacture des Armes et Cycles de Saint Etienne France (Saint Etienne) Saint Etienne
Maris & Besnard (Phares Besnard) France PeeBee
MARS m. b. H. Germany (Berlin) Parva, Parvus, Magna, Magnus
Martin & Morehead USA (Chicago) M&M Arc Lamp
Martin Kontrolfassen Fabrik Gm Germany Anno
Maruti India Maruti
Meenen, Anton (Spezialhaus für Beleuchtung und Heizung, Berlin SW. 48.) Germany (Berlin) Saekular
Mehta Products (R.K.) India Molimex
Mercantile Supply USA  
Merkel Co (Herman Merkel Co) USA  
Messenger & Son England (Birmingham)  
Metalwarenfabrik Josef Rosenthal Austria (Vienna) Phoebus
Metall Warem Kombinat Germany (Leipzig) MEWA, Bat
Meyer & Niss Metallwarenfabrik GMBH Germany (Hamburg) Picostar, Daylite, Bosse, Petro-Delux
Edward Miller Co USA Efficient
Edward Miller & Sons USA Coleman Arc
Missouri Lamp & Mfg Co USA  
Montgomery Ward & Co. (retailer) USA Nu-Lite, Wards, Hawthorne, Western-Field
Murray & Esser Lighting and Supply Co. USA (Spokane, WA) M&E (badged AGM products)


          • N
Nagel Chase Manufacturing Co USA (Chicago) Dreadnought, Wizard, Quick-lit
National Carbon Hong Kong, India (Bombay) Eveready
National Light, Heat and Power USA  
National Stamping and Electric Works USA Nu-Lite
National Stove Industries India (Bombay) Silvana, Bismar
Nettlefold (T. S. Nettlefold & Sons Pty. Ltd) Australia (Melbourne) Kayen
New Atmo Gas Implement Co USA  
New Speciality Mfg USA  
Noel (John S. Noel Co.) USA (Grand Rapids, Michigan) Noel
Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute India (Phaltan) Noorie
Nipo Not Known Nipo-Lite
Nobel Company Ltd Japan (Tokyo) Nobel
Nobel Industries Ltd England Kynoch, Royal Daylight
Nomad China (Hong Kong) Nomad
Nova Europe  


          • O
Ohio Street Lighting Co USA (Ohio)  
Oil Lighting Ltd England (London)  
Olso Light Company England (LOndon) OLSO
Optimohar Industries India (Mumbai) GoldMohar
Opimus (A.B. Optimus) Sweden, Portugal & Zimbabwe Optimus





          • F
Fabrik Elastischer Gluhkorper Aktien Gesellschaft Germany  
Falk Stadelmann & Co Ltd. England (Birmingham) Veritas, Nova
Farmers Union Trading Co, (Auck) Ltd New Zealand (Aukland) Arcolite (agents only)
Focus Spain (Badalona) Focus
Foote Mfg Co USA (Dayton) Liberty
Form-Tech Inc USA (Mansfield, Ohio) FT Military specification lantern
F. Francis & Sons England (London) Defiant


          • G
Gamble Skogmo Inc USA (Minnisota) Retailers - brand name only
Gasoline Appliance Co of America USA  
Giesch (H. E. Giesch) Germany HEG, Gisco
Gilbert & Barker USA  
Globe Light Co USA  
Gloria Light Co (The Gloria Light Coy Pty) USA (Chicago) and
Australia (Melbourne)
Gloria, Instanto, Oxo-gas
The Glory Light Co. China Stenly
Gold Brothers Ltd England  
Good Manf Co USA (New York) Justrite
Graetz Germany (Berlin) Petromax, Petroman
Grandmaster China (Hong Kong) Grandmaster
Guangzhou Foreign Trade Corp China (Guangdong)  


          • H
Hakukosha (Dai-Nihon-Hakukosha Manufacturing) Japan  
J.B. Hall & Co Chicago, USA Incandescent
Handi Works Pty Australia (Brisbane) Handi, Kero-Pet
Heath & Sons (Samuel Heath & Sons) England (Birmingham) Thermidor
Hebei Import and Export Corporation China (Shijiazhuang)  
Heinze GmbH & Co Germany Petromax, Geniol
Hercules India Hercules
Herz Manufacturing Co USA (St Paul, MN) Marvel-Lite
Hipolito (Casa Hipolito SARL) Portugal (Torres Vedras) Hipolito
Hirschhorn A.G. Germany (Berlin) AIDA, Hekla, Hirsol
Hjorth (A/B B.A. Hjorth & Co) Sweden (Stockholm) Primus
Home Comforts Corporation USA Powerlight (Agents)
Home Mfg Co USA Home Reading Light
Høvik Verk Norway (Høvik) Standard (Stan-dard)
Hunter (J.M. & B. Hunter) England (Birmingham)  
Hydro-Carbon Co USA  


          • I
Imber Research Ltd England (Greenford) Imber, Imber Research
Imperial Brass Co USA (Chicago) Solar Incandescent
Imperial Gas Machine Co Not known  
Incandescent Light and Stove Co USA  F-P , Stubbers
Incandescent Light and Supply Co USA (Kansas) Magnalite, Marvelite, Kerolite, Kerogas, Radiant, Royal
Indo International Ltd India (Mumbai) Indo, Prabhat
International Light USA  
Irby Gilliland USA Efficient Lamp
Ireland & Matthews USA  
ITATI Industria Argentina Argentina ITATI


          • J
Johannesburg Metal Pressings South Africa (Johannesburg) Apex
Jordbruksmaskiner (A/B Jordbruksmaskiner) Sweden (Stockholm) Luxljus
Juchat (Maurice Juchat) France (Paris)  
Justrite Manufacturing Co USA (Chigago) Justrite





          • A
Acorn Brass Manufacturing Co.  USA (Chicago) Acorn, White-Lite, Doran, Uni-Lite, Uni-Arc, Match-Lighter
Adams (C.J.N. Adams Corp.)  USA (Iowa) Workhorse
AES (Aktiebolaget Eskilstuna Separator)  Sweden (Eskilstuna) Rex Lampan
Aetna ( Aetna Lighting & Heating and
Aetna Manufacturers Sales Co)
 USA (New Haven, Conn)  
Agar Cross & Co  Argentina  
AIDA Gesellschaft fur Beleuchtung und Heizung  Germany AIDA and AIDA Express
Akron Lamp & Mfg Co  USA (Akron, Ohio) Diamond
Aktiebolaget Aladdin (Aladdin Invert, A/B Aladdin)  Sweden (Stockholm) Aladdin, Minerva
Aladdin Industries Pty Australia (Sydney) and Sweden (Stockholm) Aladdin
Albalux (Alba-Lux) Germany Albalux
Albert Lea Gas Light Co. USA (Albert Lea, Minn)  
Allen-Sparks Gas Light Company USA (Grand Ledge, Lansing, Michigan USA) Allen, Little Giant, Princess, Giant, Astley
American Gas Machine Co USA Peerless, Kamplite, ReadyLite
American Lighting Co USA (Chicago) American Gas Lamp, American Arc
American Recreation Products USA (New Haven Mo) Wenzel, Ozark Trail
American Self Lighting Lamp Co USA (Peoria, Illinois)  
Anil India, China Kohinoor
Arch & Skirbeck (J.B.Arch & Son) UK (Boston) Skirbeck Lamps, Arch Lamps
Archer Warner & Co USA (Philadelphia, New York) Astral, Solar (not pressure)
Arcolite USA (Chicago) Arcolite
Arihant Trading Co. India (Mumbai, Delhi) Mayur, Peacock, Kanchan
Arrow China Arrow
Armstrong Products Co USA (Huntington, WV) APC Military specification lantern
Aschwanden Germany Aschwanden
Ashflash Corporation Hong Kong Ashflash
Astarte Italy Astarte
Atati Argentina Atati
Aurora Industria Argentina Aurora
Austramax Australia (W. Brunswick) Austramax
Auto Fab Manufacturing USA (Mansfield, Ohio) AFM Military specification lantern
Autolux Sweden Autolux
Automatic Gas Lamp Company USA (Omaha) Automatic
Auerlicht Gesellschaft m. b. H Germany (Berlin)  
AYMARÒ Industria Argentina Argentina Aymaro


          • B
Bardeau Établissements France (Courbevoie) Bardeau
Barnard (W.T. Barnard & Co. (Lamps) Ltd) UK (London)  
Barnett & Co USA Barnett Gasoline Lamps
B.B Light Company USA (Idaho Falls)  
Belknap Hardware & Mfg Co. USA (Louisville) Bellknap, Bluegrass (badged Thermos)
Berger Mfg Co USA  
Berlyn (M. H. Berlyn Co Ltd) England Parasene
Bernz (Otto Bernz) USA (Newark, NJ) Bernz (badged Knight Light)
Best Street Light Co. USA (Canton) Best Light
Bibigas Industria Argentina Argentina Bibigas
Big Wheel China Big Wheel
Bismar (NSI) India (Pune, Maharashtra) Bismar NSI
Bissell (F.H.Bissell) USA  
Blanchard Lamps (British) Ltd England (London) Blanchard
Boelte & Weyer Co USA (Chicago)  
Boise Cascade Corporation Japan Camplete
Bradford (A.O. Bradford Co) USA (Boston) Kero-lite
Brandt (Martin Brandt & Co) Germany (Berlin) Brama
Brilliant Gas Implement USA Brilliant
Brite Lite Co USA (Albert Lea)  Brite-Lite
Brooklyn Brass Manf Co. USA  
Bhawani Industries India (Bhayandar)  
Bystrom Gas Lamp Co USA (Chicago)  


          • C
Campway Not known Campway
Cañón Germany, Spain Cañón
Canton Gas Co USA (Canton)  
Canton Incandescent Light Co USA (Canton)  
Casa Klaebisch Spain (Barcelona) Estellar
Cat Brand China Cat, Cat-Max
Chicago Solar Light Co. USA (Chicago) Solar, Nu-Lite
China Great Wall Industry Guangzhou Corp China (Guangzhou) Keromne, "Petromax", Santrax
China National Light Industrial Products Import and Export Corporation China Anchor
Chun-Hsiang Gas Lamp Factory China  
Cixi Sea Anchor Pressure Lantern Co. Ltd. China (Cixi, Ningbo) Sea Anchor, Butterfly
Cleary (British Petroleum Co Ltd) England (London) Cleary
Cole-Halstead Light & Sales USA  
Coleman Lamp Co USA, Canada, England Coleman, Cole-Max
Columbus Lamp Co USA  
Companion Australia Companion
Louis Compain et Cie. France (Paris) Culmen, Autonome, Yakel, Succès
Continental-Licht und Apparatehau Gesellschaft m. b. H.  (COLAG) Germany (Frankfurt am Main) Continental, Record, COLAG
Cougar Australia Cougar
Crompton India Crompton
Curtis & Harvey Ltd (Lighting Trades Ltd) England (London) The Evening Star


          • D
Daniel Light Co (Daniel Gasoline Lighting) USA Little Wonder
Dara   Dara
Day Lite Germany Day-Lite
Dazzle Products India (Calcutta) Britex
Degea Aktiengesellschaft (Auergesellschaft) Germany (Berlin) Summit
Detray & Weyler Mfg USA (Chigago)  
Deutsche Gaslühlicht-Aktien Gesellschaft Germany (Berlin) Feneka-Lampe
Deylight Germany Deylight
Diamco Aktien Gesellschaft fur Glühlicht Germany Petromax
Diamond Lighting Co USA  
DILA   Light Hand
Ditmar Austria (Wien) & Germany Maxim, Maximette
Double Rabbit   Double Rabbit
Doud Lighting Co USA Supreme
Dooremans & Co Holland (Apeldoorn) Astona
Drukov Družstvo Czech Republic (Brno) Luna
DuraCamp Japan DuraCamp
Dutrut - Bernier - Desrues France (Paris) Liberty, DBD


          • E
Eastman & Fishrup USA Acme Arc Vapour Lamp
Eckel & Glinicke G. m. b. H. Germany (Berlin) Olymp, Lukrata, Sinumbra
Economy Gas Lamp Co USA (Kansas City) Economy
Economy Gas Light Co USA (Kansas City)  
Economy Gas Manf. USA (Rochester)  
The Empire Light Company Ltd Canada (Montreal) Empire Light
Ehrich & Graetz Germany (Berlin) Petromax, Petroman
Eskilstuna Separator (A/B Eskilstuna Separator) Sweden (Eskilstuna) Rex-Lampan
Esuya Japan (Ginza,Tokyo) Baron
Everbright Lamp Co Canada (Toronto) EB
Eye China Eye Brand