1889-1892 The “Burn” Lift Lantern

There were two main products of the Burn Lantern Co. era, the “Schultz” Lantern, and the “Burn” Lift Lantern. Although both lanterns were designed by Ernest Schultz. The Burn Lift lantern was the successor to the Burn & Robinson Improved Lift Lantern, also designed by Schultz. The B&R Improved is one of the most popular lanterns in Canada during the 1880s, so naturally a successor with improvements over that model was a logical step for Schultz.

It’s main change was the lantern now didn’t use the glass globe for the structural integrity of the lantern, it more just holds everything in place. On the B&R improved, when a user lifted the lantern, the full weight of the globe was put on two brass clips on the edge of the globe. With this lantern, the weight of the lifting is done by the globe guard. Wires straddling the tubes lift up on the guard, bringing the globe with it. This method is a much safer design, for the globe, than the B&R Improved.

The Patents

On the top of the lantern are 3 patents:

  • Febuary 22, 1886. This is for the original “Schultz’s Improved lift lantern that the B&R Improved is made off of.
  • April 17, 1886. This is Walter Burns only lantern related patent, at least in Canada. Although it is not supremely relevant to this lantern, it is instead for the globe guard used on the B&R Improved. I’m not sure why this patent is on the lantern, other than to protect their patent rights.
  • February 1, 1888. This patent covers the lifting mechanism, globe guard and a few other things, like the safety locking cone found on Schultz lanterns. Reason I date this lantern to 1889 and later is the original version of this lantern was made with the Burn & Robinson style bail connectors, not the wrap around bail seen on the lantern. Ernest Schultz first started using that bail in 1889.
It’s entirely possible this lantern is an extremely late Burn & Robinson, just before the switch to the Burn Lantern Co., but unfortunately, with just the patent dates and no other markings it is impossible to know.

My Burn Lift Lantern

My lantern came to me via a friend who found it in an antique store. He was kind enough to purchase it and send it my way. It came with a badly crunched tube, it was so bad there was almost completely sealed inside the tube. In order to make sure the lantern was use-able I took the tube out and pushed the dents out from the inside. This is fairly simple, just using a socket the same diameter of the tube, and hammering it though with a long extension bar. Unfortunately, this method is not perfect, so it still retains some ‘scars’ from the bad dents in the tube, but it’s use-able now. Other than that there weren’t many issues with the lantern. It was my usual soak in lye, clean up and clean with a rust preventative. It’s an absolutely stunning lantern.
I like to start the year with a lantern in mind I would like to find before the end of the year, it’s like my New Years resolution, but for lanterns. This lantern was my 2020 goal. Thanks to my friend, I completed that goal by mid May. Last year was my Burn & Robinson Improved, which I got on June 1st, so I’m improving.

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