1897 Royal Cold Blast

The Royal Cold Blast is the first cold blast lantern made by Ontario Lantern Co. designed and patented in 1897 by Ernest Schultz, who was the head of the company. The Royal Cold Blast was made for a short period of time, starting in 1897. By 1899 the company had switched to the Banner line of lanterns. It got it’s name because Ontario Lantern Co. just a short time before the production of this lantern had bought the Dominion Tubular Lamp Co. DTL used the Royal name on their lanterns and lamps. Ontario Lantern took their most popular lantern, the Royal Safety, and kept making it as a new Ontario Lantern product. So the Ontario Lantern Co. had the Royal Safety hot blast line, and the Royal Cold Blast line together.

The Royal is one of the most interesting lanterns out there, at least in my opinion. The most notable feature is the outside springs. Ernest Schultz designed the outside springs, so the spring steel wouldn’t lose it’s tension when the lantern was hot. On virtually all cold blast lanterns, there is an internal spring in the chimney, this is what puts pressure on the chimney, holding the globe in place. Over time and while burning, the spring does lose some strength. The softening of the spring maybe isn’t to the extreme Ernest thought it would, but it is noticeable on lanterns. Especially ones that have been around for 100 years, but not on the Royal.

The other striking feature is the large circular top. In the world of lanterns, this is definitely a unique look. The designer, Ernest Schultz really took the approach of functionality and style. All of his lantern designs incorporate features that are certainly stylistic, crinkle corners, the fancy detailing of the Banner lanterns, etc. This is no different. Without a doubt this lantern stands out when compared to other cold blasts, which was what he wanted.

The lantern also has the original “self extinguishing” burner in it. The burner is designed so that when you lower the wick, the wick tube closes at the top putting the flame out. Ontario Lantern Co. bought the rights to this patent and included it in their cold blasts from 1897-1900.

The Royal to me is the most unique Canadian cold blast lantern, and of the most unique cold blasts ever made. The outside springs, and large circular top make for an incredible lantern. I put a green globe in mine as I felt the combination was well suited. Interestingly this lantern is also the best burning lantern I have ever used, a steady, bright, incredibly large flame. In a way it’s a shame this lantern was not made for longer.


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