Tubular Lanterns

Tubular lanterns are more commonly referred to as ‘barn lanterns’, because of where they were commonly used. Tubular lanterns have become the mainstay of my collection, although I started collecting railway lanterns first. 

What Are Tubular Lanterns

Tubular lanterns use tubes connected to below the burner to force air up under the flame, which supplies the flame with more oxygen, and  creates a brighter flame. There are two types of tubular lantern, the hot blast and the cold blast.
The hot blast lantern was the first to be invented. I have a history of the invention of the tubular lantern on my American lanterns page, where the tubular lantern was invented. The hot air rising from the burner of the lantern directly exhausts into the tubes of the lantern, in taking fresh air with it. This is where the ‘hot blast’ term comes from. Air rising into the tubes, from the exhausting flame creates a draft to an air chamber around the burner of the lantern. The fresh air that has been brought into the lantern provides the oxygen to keep the lantern burning. This forced draft of air gives more oxygen to the burner, making the lantern burn brighter.
The cold blast came about in the 1890s, first made and produced by C.T. Ham Mfg. Co. A cold blast differs from the hot blast because the hot air rising is mostly exhausted from the lantern, instead of being forced through the tubes. Cold blast lanterns have an inner chimney where the exhausting air creates a draft that brings fresh cold air into the lantern through vents. This cold air is brought down to through the tubes and into an air chamber around the burner, the same as a hot blast. With the lantern getting almost entirely cold fresh air, the burner gets a lot more oxygen and burns hotter and brighter.

History of Tubular Lanterns in Canada

 The first tubular lantern in Canada was patented in 1872 by John Henry Stone, quite a lot later than the USA where the first tubular lantern was patented in 1867. By the mid 1880s, tubular lanterns were becoming popular with tinware manufacturers, with plenty of new names beginning to pop up. Because tubular lanterns burner so much brighter than dead flame lanterns (lanterns that only have a passive airflow through the lantern, such as railway or fixed globe lanterns), once the tubular lantern became available, pretty much everyone who needed a lantern got a tubular lantern.
In the 1890s, E.T. Wright & Co.  came out with their cold blast lantern. It was extremely similar to the C.T. Ham offering, from the US. So similar in fact it has caused many collectors to believe E.T. Wright bought their lanterns from Ham, which is not the case. The cold blast soon became the most popular offering for lanterns. Ontario Lantern Co. came out with their cold blast lantern in 1897, it was named the Royal Cold Blast. The Kemp Manufacturing Co. was quick to join the trend, coming out with their first lantern, the Kemp’s Cold Blast in 1899. In 1900, W.W. Chown & Co. followed suit, and released the Defiance. By 1900, there were 4 lantern manufacturers in Canada. In 1904, the Schultz Mfg. Co. joined them. Over time, one by one, the manufacturers started closing of being merged into each other, by 1933, there was only one manufacturer of tubular lanterns in Canada.

Below are all the tubular lanterns in my collection. I have separated all my tubular lanterns by manufacturers. Click on the buttons below to see information on each manufacturer, and all the lanterns I have by the different makers.

J.H. Stone & Co.

J.H. Stone & Co. was founded in 1873, by John Henry Stone. This business was mostly for the production of his lanterns, and is the first lantern focused business in Canada.

E.T. Wright & Co

E.T. Wright & Co. was formed by brothers Edwin Thomas Wright and Harry G. Wright in 1883. Their first lantern was made in 1888 and quickly became the largest lantern maker in Canada, until the business closed in 1933.

Burn & Robinson Mfg. Co.

Burn & Robinson was formed in 1885 by Walter S. Burn and William Aspley Robinson. This company was a takeover of J.H. Stone & Co.

Eclectic Security Tubular Lantern

Alliance Manufacturing Co.

The Alliance Mfg. Co. was founded in 1890 with the sole intention of producing the 'Eclectic Security Tubular Lantern'. This was one of the smallest lantern companies, employing only 25 men.

The Ontario Lantern Co.

The Ontario Lantern Co. was founded 1890 by Ernest Schultz and Montreal salesman Walter Grose. This company was a takeover of Burn Lantern Co. Also the namesake of this website.

The Ontario Lantern & Lamp Co.

In 1904, Walter Grose 'compelled' Ernest Schultz to sell his shares of the Ontario Lantern Co. This resulted in the new company name and an expansion into electric and kerosene lamps

Schultz Mfg. Co.

When Schultz sold his shares of the Ontario Lantern Co. he used it to form the Schultz Mfg. Co. where he again focused on tubular lanterns.

The Dominion Tubular Lamp Co.

The Dominion Tubular Lamp Co. was formed in 1883, part owned by Steam Gauge & Lantern Co., Dominion Tubular's lanterns closely resembled Steam Guage products until the 1890s.

J.M. Williams Hinge

J.M. Williams & Co.

J.M. Williams & Co. has the distinction of being the first manufacturer of lanterns in Canada, along with being one of the first tinware companies in Hamilton. They made lanterns over a 15 year period.

The Kemp Mfg. Co.

Started by brothers Albert E. Kemp and William C. Kemp, in 1888. Kemp Mfg. Co. would become one of the biggest tinware companies in Canada.

W.W. Chown & Co. / C.F. Smith Mfg. Co.

C.F. Smith started his manufacturing business in the 1860s, eventually W.W. Chown would purchase the business. Since these two comapnies are closely related and make identical products, I have included them together.

American Made Lanterns

Although this is a site about Canadian lanterns, i also have a number of American lanterns. American lanterns and inventors did have connections to our Canadian counterparts.

Burn Lift Lantern

Burn Lantern Co.

The Burn Lantern Co. was formed in 1890 when William Robinson left the Burn & Robinson to return to other business interests. Walter Burn decided to focus on his lantern production.

The Lantern Footwarmer Co. was set up in Cobourg, Ontario, in 1908. Their sole product was the Lantern Footwarmer. A unique product designed to warm your feet wherever you went.

Hardware Companies and Jobbers

Hardware Jobbing was when a middleman, wholesaler, dealer, etc. would have their name put on a lantern or globe.