Internet as a Source of Information
There are of course other sources of information, namely internet sites that provide interesting information and knowledge about kerosene/paraffin lamps. Some websites also list literature sources, some others even offer old literature about kerosene/paraffin lamps for free download. Here you can get highly interesting and informative texts from the time of the kerosene/paraffin lamps themselves, which have long been out of print and can no longer be found in second-hand bookshops either. Some fellow collectors have taken the trouble to reproduce in modern fonts some texts that exist only in old German “Fraktur” script (a kind of Gothic type) and are therefore difficult to read for many people today. Many thanks to all who have rendered services to kerosene/paraffin lamp collectors and enthusiasts in this way.
Addendum Nov. 2022: Some of the websites below do not have the https standard (the letter "s" stands for security) yet. More and more browsers are demanding this special security standard. This means that, depending on the browser used and its settings, you may or may not be able to access the affected websites. Error-free and secure use of the links is only guaranteed again if the owner of the site has installed the required security certificate (switch to https).
Website of Ara Kebapcioglu, Paris: www.lumieredeloeil.com
Ara Kebapcioglu, an Istanbul Armenian with a French passport, runs a small shop for antique lighting of all kinds in Paris, with the euphonious name Lumière de l'œil.
One of the first-class websites, very informative, in 4 languages (French, English, German, Turkish). Monsieur Ara (as he is called by French people because his family name - just like mine - is a tongue twister) tells in a concise but nevertheless informative way about all kinds of burners with their matching glass chimneys, lists well-known manufacturers and their logos on the wick knobs, also gives contact addresses of today's manufacturers, and provides a trilingual glossary of all terms that are important in connection with old lamps. He also enriches his website with photos of lamps, including fringe lamps, which he even makes personally.
Website of Jürgen Breidenstein, Witten: www.hytta.de
Jürgen Breidenstein runs a shop and online mail-order business for camping and home articles under the name Stuga-Cabaña in Witten, Germany.
An excellent website in German, overflowing with information about kerosene/paraffin lamps and old literature about them. The literature also includes other types of lamps, such as kerosene/paraffin incandescent lamps or spirit incandescent lamps, as well as different high-pressure mantle lamps. The texts (many of them with illustrations), edited for today's readers, can be easily downloaded. He also maintains a forum for collectors of kerosene/paraffin, incandescent and other related lamps with additional offerings of old literature: http://www.napoleum.de/
Website of Werner Pempel: www.wt-pempel.de
Werner Pempel is a passionate and dedicated collector of kerosene/paraffin lamps who has made his uniquely beautiful and valuable collection available to all enthusiasts with photos on his website, which unfortunately happens very rarely among collectors. A main focus of his collection are the porcelain lamps of German manufacturers (mainly from Meissen and Berlin), about which he even published an 80-page brochure (unfortunately long out of print). On his German website, Mr. Pempel provides very interesting old literature as pdf-files, which can be downloaded free of charge. For me, the second most important address for logos on wick knobs. Mr. Pempel bequeathed his lamp collection to Villa Wild in Berlin. Addendum Feb. 2023: The photos of lamps and wick knob logos on Werner Pempel's website can now only be viewed on the new Villa Wild website (see below under Museums with Kerosene/Paraffin Lamps).
Website of Michael Pietschner, Munich: www.antike-petroleumlampen.de
A very informative, bilingual (German and English) website of the Munich lamp collector Michael Pietschner, who has excellently illustrated his website with numerous photos of his lamps. On his site you will also find well compiled and didactically prepared general information as well as literature sources and links to interesting websites. And something very important: He has made the complete collection of Gerhard Bruder's burner logos available as a pdf file! Many thanks to Mr Pietschner for this.
Website of Homes Zanini, Italy: www.oldlight.it
Homes Zanini, a collector friend from northern Italy, shows his kerosene/paraffin lamps in his website with splendid colour photos. The site is in Italian, and the information on the individual lamps is only brief, but at least easily understandable for most lamp collectors. Homes' website has a completely different value: it is something for the soul, for the eyes, for art. The lamps presented are unique in their beauty; they deserve to stand in illuminated showcases in a museum or to be presented in an opulent illustrated book. Here, at this website, you can admire the aesthetics of the high-quality salon lamps.
Website of Jaky Arcis, France: lampeapetroleahuile.eklablog.com
Jaky Arcis has a large collection of all kinds of oil and petroleum lamps, which are presented on this website with photos and short descriptions (language: French). The focus here is of course on French lamps. The photos can be enlarged and viewed in detail.
Website of Lothar Spaniol, Marpingen: www.antik-oellampen.de
Lothar Spaniol (died in June 2011) was a skilled locksmith and a first-class precision mechanic who was a master at taking apart even the most complicated Carcel and Moderator lamps and repairing them absolutely expertly, even making all the damaged or missing parts himself. He had amassed an amazingly large collection of rare and expensive Carcel and Moderator lamps, and of course many kerosene/paraffin lamps. The photos of his lamps can be admired on his German homepage. His website is a first address for collectors who are interested not only in kerosene/paraffin lamps but also in these mechanically very sophisticated oil lamps, because he shows in photos how the individual lamps are built and he gives tips on how to clean lamps.
Website of Torsten Scherning, Kaiserslautern: www.scherning.de
Torsten Scherning is a collector of various devices that run on kerosene/paraffin and other flammable liquids, such as lamps, heating and cooking devices, soldering irons, etc. He gives practical advice on repairing, operating and maintaining such devices and provides photos. Thus, his German website is a smorgasbord of information, practical advice, picture gallery, etc. The information and pictures about Aladdin lamps alone make a visit to his website worthwhile.
Website of Dirk Frieborg, Kassel: www.lampenmaxe.de
A very informative internet site especially about the incandescent lamps and lanterns like Petromax, Geniol, Tilley, etc. So this site is less important for collectors of salon lamps, but the way Dirk describes his lamps, tells their history and repair in detail with many photos, makes the music for me. You literally notice that he has built up an emotional relationship with his collectibles; and that is exactly what I find very heart-warming.
Website of The Lampworks (Dan Edminster), Hurleyville, New York: www.thelampworks.com
The website of Dan Edminster, a passionate collector and dealer of antique lamps, who shares his knowledge and information about American lamps here in a concise but well-structured manner. His descriptions of burners and glass chimneys, as well as his large glossary of lamp terms and lamp parts are well illustrated. He provides extensive lists of books and internet addresses. He also has profiles of all the well-known American lamp factories. His retail shop is about a 2-hour drive from New York City.
Website of Miles Stair, Oregon, USA: www.milesstair.com
Miles Stair, an enthusiastic and passionate collector of paraffin lamps, also runs an online shop selling all kinds of wicks and glass chimneys. He is one of the few American lamp collectors who also collect European lamps and burners. He shares all his experiences in as much detail as possible on his website. Therefore, his internet address is considered to be one of the most informative ever. He is also the only supplier of newly manufactured glass chimneys for 16’’’ Central Vulkan burners, 20’’’ Agni burners and 15 or 18’’’ Sonnenbrenner, which he has produced absolutely true to scale in borosilicate glass. Most recently, he even has the Phénomène chimneys for 14’’’ Kosmos burners in his range (he calls them "Sans Rival" chimneys). For people who are desperately looking for such chimneys, he is the saviour par excellence.
Addresses for Spare Parts
Here I would like to list some addresses where one can order newly produced spare parts online. Many of my eBay finds had come to me with missing shades and shade holders, sometimes also with missing or wrong chimneys and defective burners. It is not always possible to replace missing parts with adequate, authentic spares. Sometimes they are not available on the international market, or just when you need them; sometimes they can be found but not purchased because of the exorbitant price. In such cases, it is advisable to replace the missing piece with a matching but newly manufactured part. This is often the cheaper solution, especially for lamps that are not themselves a distinct rarity and a newly manufactured replacement part does not mean a bad break in style.
Jürgen Breidenstein currently offers the widest range of products for outdoor activities in his online shop Stuga-Cabaña. On his clearly and comprehensibly structured website, he offers all possible items, including ovens, cookers and much more. In addition to many types of incandescent lamps (Aladdin, Petromax, Geniol, etc.) and some conventional kerosene/paraffin lamps, he also has many spare parts such as Kosmos burners, all kinds of wicks, the most common glass chimneys, Vesta and Rochester shades, even some ball shades, flame discs, , font collars, glass fonts as well as lamp bases, etc., in his range. He also offers a repair service, which is already unique among online shops. Another highlight is his very extensive, freely accessible range of old, no longer available literature (see above).
Another German supplier of new spare parts is Pelam, which specialises more in Petromax lamps and storm lanterns, but also has Vesta shades, wicks, glass chimneys and Kosmos burners in two sizes in its range.
If you are looking for old spare parts instead of newly produced goods, with some luck you may find what you are looking for at the Petroleumshop in Ilmenau.
Spare parts such as glass chimneys, shade holders, wicks for USA lamps can easily be obtained from US online retailers (please note: high shipping and customs costs). I would like to highlight one website in the USA in particular: Miles Stair's Wick Shop. Miles Stair is not only a dealer but also a collector of kerosene/paraffin lamps; and he is also very interested in European lamps and burners. Very valuable: from him you can get imitation glass chimneys for R. Ditmar's Sonnenbrenner and - in a slightly stylised form - for Agni, Vulkan and Central Vulkan burners of Wild & Wessel, or even Phénomène chimneys for Kosmos burners. He has them newly manufactured in borosilicate glass.
Gaudard A. & P.: www.gaudard.com
Old Flames Limited: www.oldflames-lamparts.co.uk
Karlskrona Lampfabrik: www.lampfabriken.com
Miles Stair’s Wick Shop: www.milesstair.com
The Vintage Lighting Store: stores.ebay.de
Associated Kerosene & Oil Lamps Australia: www.oillamps.com.au
Museums with Kerosene/Paraffin Lamps
Finally, I would like to list a few museums that have large, noteworthy collections of kerosene/paraffin lamps and are worth a visit. Do you notice anything? In the large countries with epochal-important lamp development and production like France, Germany and Great Britain there are no large, special museums for lamps! Nevertheless, part of Dr Touché's collection is now on permanent display in a museum complex in Vreden. The two Belgian museums owe their existence to two great lamp collectors who founded their personal museums.
www.kult-westmuensterland.de (language: English)
(Collection of Dr. Werner Touché)
Dr. Werner Touché († 2019) bequeathed his extensive collection of kerosene/paraffin lamps to the Hamaland Museum in Vreden. There was also a special exhibition of his lamps there in August 2011. In the meantime, the Hamaland Museum is housed in the kult Westmünsterland museum complex after extension work. Parts of Mr Touché's collection can be seen here in the Schaudepot section (Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm).
Museum für Licht und Beleuchtung
lichtforumnrw.de (language: German)
A relatively small collection of lighting objects (including some kerosene/paraffin lamps) in their found condition.
https://sammlung-villawild.de (language: German)
(Collection of Werner Pempel and a steadily expanding collection of Wild & Wessel lamps)
Am Sandwerder 1
Mr Werner Pempel bequeathed his entire collection to Villa Wild in 2020. Villa Wild was the former domicile of Emil Wild, one of the founders of the Wild & Wessel company. The building is now privately owned and is not a museum. The owners are endeavouring to further enrich the collection by acquiring many W&W lamps. The lamps (with photos and brief information) and all wick knob logos by Werner Pempel are made available on the website. The collection can also be visited on request (see website for contact address).
Musée du Luminaire - MULUM
lesmuseesdeliege.be (language: French)
(Collection of Philippe Deitz, with his personal guidance)
rue Mère-Dieu, 2
www.visitbruges.be (language: English)
(Lighting history as a whole – Collection of Ed van Belle)
zsambek.hu (language: Hungarian)
2072 – Zsámbék (just west of Budapest)
Magyar utca 18
muzeum.krosno.pl (language: English)
ulica Pilsudskiego, 16
38-400 Krosno (quite east of Krakow, close to border with Ukraine)