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.
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 homepage, 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, Werner 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.
Website of Gerhard Bruder: (page deleted)
Gerhard Bruder specialised in kerosene/paraffin burners. In particular, his collection of wick knob logos is the most extensive of its kind and a first-class address for identifying a burner. Whenever you have held a burner with an unknown wick knob logo in your hands, you have consulted his website and with over 90% probability found the logo there. Much to the regret of countless collectors, this website has since been deleted! But see the next website.
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 kerosene/paraffin lamps, which are presented on this website with photos and short descriptions. 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, maintains a forum with other interested people and provides photos. Thus, his German homepage is a smorgasbord of information, questions and answers, 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 (only in German) 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 International Guild of Lamp Researchers, Pennsylvania, USA: www.lampguild.org
A very rich collection of information with useful internet addresses, publications and books, with a large archive of questions and answers, with addresses of restorers and access to thousands of US patents on lamps and lighting. The in-house magazine "Light International" can be downloaded as a pdf-file. Much of the information here is American-heavy, although Ara Kebapcioglu from Paris, as a founding member, often makes European contributions. This website is my first door to the Anglo-American world of lamp collecting.
Website of The Lampworks (Dan Edminster), Hurleyville, New York: www.thelampworks.com
The homepage 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.
Website of Sirlampsalot Publications (David Broughton), Canada: www.sirlampsalot.com
David Broughton is a past president of Historical Lighting Society of Canada. He has reissued many old catalogues of American lamp manufacturers and dealers as facsimiles (especially catalogues of Bradley & Hubbard, Edward Miller, etc.) and sells these books at acceptable prices. Ordering via e-mail and payment via PayPal without problems. Undoubtedly interesting for people interested in old American lamps.
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).
Petroleumlampen Kretzer is the second online supplier that also lists a wide range of spare parts for kerosene/paraffin lamps. I used to be able to buy many globe holders and shade holders with rare dimensions from this shop. Unfortunately, the range has become increasingly narrow in recent years. The most extensive number of Vesta shades, including coloured ones and those with printed decoration, can still be found here.
A third German supplier 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.
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.
Petroleumlampen Kretzer: www.petroleum-lampen.de
Gaudard A. & P.: www.gaudard.com
Hurricane Lamps: www.hurricanelamps.co.uk
Old Flames Limited: www.oldflames-lamparts.co.uk
The Oil Lamp Store: www.theoillampstore.com
The Stone Door: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/thestonedoor/Lamps-Lamp-Parts-
Karlskrona Lampfabrik: www.lampfabriken.com
Midwest Emporium: http://stores.ebay.de/Midwest-Emporium
Miles Stair’s Wick Shop: www.milesstair.com
The Vintage Lighting Store: http://stores.ebay.de/The-Vintage-Lighting-Store
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 big countries with epochal-important lamp development and production like France, Germany and Great Britain there are no museums for lamps! The two Belgian museums owe their existence to two great lamp collectors who founded their personal museums.
Musée du Luminaire - MULUM
(Collection of Philippe Deitz, with his personal guidance)
rue Mère-Dieu, 2
(Lighting history as a whole – Collection of Ed van Belle)
2072 – Zsámbék (just west of Budapest)
Magyar utca 18
ulica Pilsudskiego, 16
38-400 Krosno (quite east of Krakow, close to border with Ukraine)
Dr Werner Touché (+ 2019) bequeathed his extensive lamp collection to the Hamaland Museum in Vreden. There was also an exhibition of his lamps there. This museum was closed until recently for extension work. It remains to be seen whether Mr Touché's collection (or at least selected parts of it) can now be viewed there. Another renowned lamp collector, Mr Werner Pempel, who has also been known for years through his website, has bequeathed his entire collection to Villa Wild (former domicile of Emil Wild in Berlin, one of the founders of the Wild & Wessel company) in 2020. Whether this collection will be open to the interested public as a permanent museum exhibition in the rooms of Villa Wild, I do not know at the moment.