This company has its roots in Wisconsin, when in 1875 John Lindemann and his son Albert started up a hardware store in Milwaukee. As well as selling the general diverse range of hardware typical of this period, John and Albert brought in more work by dealing with light metal fabrications and "tinning". The business grew, and in 1890 the original firm of J. P. Lindemann & Son became incorporated as The A. J. Lindemann & Hoverson Company, with Albert J. Lindemann as president and H. C. Hoverson taking the position of company secretary. From the beginning the company specialised in the kind of light steel products found in every kitchen - cooking and roasting pans and stove pipes, and then the more elaborate solid fuel stoves and ranges. As wood and coal gave way to modern fuels such as oil, gas and electricity, so the product range expanded, and eventually cooling equipment in the form of refrigeration was added to the extensive list of kerosene stoves, gas cooking equipment, ovens and heaters. L & H, as they became known, were quite well known for the elaborate and ornate nature of their stoves.
This is a catalogue entry from the early 1900s showing one of Lindemann & Hoverson's stoves, called the CHARM.
.....and this is an electric toaster from 1931
By the end of the 1920s, the product range had expanded even more, and under the L & H badge there were electric ranges, air heaters, solid fuel kitchen heaters, hot plates, urn heaters, water heaters, flush wall heaters, and portable heaters, a gasoline pressure lantern bearing the brand name Lind-o-Lite, and a gasoline table lamp of the same brand.
This is a Lind-o-Lite 115A lantern with plated fount.
The depression years hurt the company, as did a labour strike that started in 1935 and lasted for two years. At the beginning of WW2, manufacture switched to wartime production under the leadership of 37 year old Eugene A. Lindemann. The first president, Albert J. Lindemann died soon after in 1941.
The company survived the war, but after some mixed fortunes, was bought in 1958 by a partnership made up of Chilton Metal Products, Inc. of Chilton, Wisconsin, and Otto A. Boheim, a Milwaukee industrialist.
Lind-o-Lite lanterns are not too hard to find, they were heavy, well made products that were designed to last. We know that lanterns were produced in the early 1930s, but I suspect that they were never a match for the cheaper and more readily available Coleman and AGM lanterns. I don't think it likely that any lanterns were made during or after WW2, since the company mainstream products then were electrical. I suggest that it is unlikely they would have returned to diversified production after the war, and anyway, competition in the portable lighting field was extremely fierce.
The lanterns we know of are the models 110A and 115A, these are almost identical, except for the size of the rim of the hood, the 115A having a wide reflector compared to the 110A. It is very likely that there were design modifications over the production life, for example most but not all 115A lanterns seen today have a fuel valve built into the tank, and most but not all have chrome tanks and green hoods. All have an integral air pump. At this stage, we don't know for certain which modifications (if any) warranted the use of a new model number.
The table lamp was available with a variety of shades and finishes, each shade and finish appearing to attract a separate model number. So the 310A, 320A, 330A and 340A table lamps are all very similar technically, but they differ cosmetically, all had integral pumps, and all had a shaped wooden handle. with a variable hexagonal section. At least one version was sold through at least one catalogue house of the time - Montgomery Wards in the early 1930s and probably also through Sears Roebuck in the mid 1930s.
The brand name Lind-o-Lite is embossed in the base of all the lamps and lanterns seen so far, but there is a known association with the name Kerogas, and it is possible that these Lind-o-Lite lanterns may have been marketed through other outlets with other names.
A. J. Lindemann & Hoverson Company (1981) Milwaukee, WI. Records, 1888-1981. UWM Manuscript Collection 93. University Manuscript Collection. Golda Meir Library. University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee.
A. J. Lindemann & Hoverson Company, (1934)., Milwaukee, WI, Catalogue of Products. 42pp.
A. J. Lindemann & Hoverson Company, (1932) Milwaukee, WI, Catalogue of Products. 41pp.
A. J. Lindemann & Hoverson Company, (1929) Milwaukee, WI, No. 29-R-2, Catalogue of Products.32 pp
McRae N. & Graf F. (2002) A Pressure Lamp Catalogue. International Guild of Lamp Researchers.
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