THIS is a private page - not yet published! These are sumaries of transcrips between collectors
Alan: As "Eveready" was/is a BATTERY company (National Carbon?) that sold portable lights for their products, I'd doubt they'd have branded a non-electric light with that name back in the 30's-50's when they advertised heavily. I've never seen an Eveready ad with anything but electric flashlights and lanterns (Ray-O-Vac is another battery-flashlight maker brand). But cross-overs aren't unheard of, so maybe they did, or do today when brand name association is more important than the actual product being sold. - Fil ::
On back says "a National Carbon Product" - Alan
DAMN! Can't argue with that! My very own words! Logo Stamping looks German. Fount only, no rest of the lantern? ARRRGH! :: Fil ::
Neil and Alan: That was one of my questions...where was it made? (the other, what does the whole lantern look like?) I don't know enough about Petromax rip-offs to ID a fount style when it is by itself...is that what I see in Alan's images? Filler cap and pump don't look "right" to my untrained eye! I assume Petromax isn't the only German lantern copied by the Chinese. National Carbon was an AMERICAN company. Maybe there were overseas branches, and even manufactories. This whole lantern is strange to me. Why the cross-over to liquid fuel for a battery maker? All right, my curiosity is peaked! The "Energizer" batteries are made by the Eveready Battery Co, Cleveland, Ohio! Robbie says she doesn't think the old carbon battery is even sold here anymore, so the cat and "EVEREADY" logo may NOT exist on the market. I'm going to try to find these folks on the Web, and ask about National Carbon (if I can find a human being). I hope more will follow! :: Fil ::
Hi Neil - National Carbon is definitely tied in with Eveready. Originally Ever Ready, it was later to be shortened to Eveready (The American Ever Ready Company), a contraction everyone is familiar with now. National Carbon bought half the Eveready shares in 1906, and in 1907 they merged with Union Carbide to form The Union Carbide and Carbon Company. So there is a link to open flame lighting materials somewhere in there, though I wouldn't say it was any stronger than tenuous. There is a lot more history for someone to unravel, I'm sure. Patsy found only half a lantern - the tank, which is as you noted very similar to the Chinese versions, and is indeed made in Hong Kong, but I don't know when. There is not much modern material in rural Uganda, everything is either home-made or pretty old and well used, although there were a few, not many, pressure lanterns around in Masindi, the nearest town to where she was based. The Eveready tank is considerably heavier than an equivalent Petromax, weighing in at almost 900 gm compared to 700 gm for an equally "bald" Px 829 tank. I have more weighing and measuring to do, when time allows, so while this item bears similarities, it sort of feels more substantial and older than many of the Chinese items, and I would give it 30 or 40 years, and that ties in ok with Fil's preliminary suggestions. There are other possibilities, of course, but I'd LIKE to think at this stage that it's worth some follow up work. And thanks for Shinzo's link - I feel an expedition coming on here! - Regards Alan
Gents: OK...a bit more info. Alan's idea is correct, but there is some variance in dates. The National Carbon Co. began making batteries in 1890. They merged with The American Eveready Co. in 1914. In 1917, the company merged with Union Carbide to form Union Carbide and Carbon Co. In 1976, Ralston Purina Co. bought Union Carbide's Eveready (division?). The company went independent in 2000 as The Eveready Battery Co., still HQ'd in St. Louis, MO. All this from a nice lady at (800) 383-7253 "Energizer Headquarters" in St. Louis. I suspect because of all the corporate changes, there is NO "corporate history" available, except the "poop sheet" she was referring to as I asked questions. She referred me to a group of flashlight collectors (one Bill Utley at <email@example.com> ) I will e-mail him to see if the flashlight nuts are like the lamp nuts, IE: compulsive about history and companies. If so, he may be able to pin down the obvious question: If National Carbon "died" as an entity in 1919, how come the name appears on a 40's-50's lamp (pressure or no!)? Also, I have a friend who collects the Eveready store card ads (great pictures of kids and others using flashlights). I have National Carbon firmly implanted in my brain as the source of Eveready batteries...I'll ask what the COMPANY name on the ads is. So there will be two inquiries going out of here today. :: Fil ::
Bill: I was given your name by a nice lady at "Energizer Headquarters" in St. Louis. I am hoping that flashlight collectors are as crazy as liquid fueled lamp collectors are when it comes to chasing down the companies and history behind the objects of their affections. Here's the situation: the fount (fuel tank) from a likely kerosene fueled pressure lantern (like a Coleman, for example) recently turned up in Uganda (it now resides in England, where this inquiry started). It is clearly stamped with the old "EVEREADY" logo (dang, that's hard to do with just font changes!). The back side says "A NATIONAL CARBON Product"; the lantern (we only have the fount, not the business part...burner, hood and superstructure) was made in Hong Kong. It appears to be a copy of one of the German pressure lanterns of the 30's, but is of EXCELLENT quality (heavy and structurally strong), so it isn't a cheap rip-off product. OK so far? I know that National Carbon merged with Union Carbide in 1917 to form the Union Carbide and Carbon Co. My problem is not just the lantern fount, but the "fact" that National Carbon was the source of the good old Eveready battery is firmly stuck in my mind. If the National Carbon name "died" in 1917, why is it in my current memory? I'm just not old enough to remember it historically. Back to the lantern fount: I cannot quite fathom a "cross-over" product for a portable electric lighting company being a liquid fuel pressure lantern! Maybe Uganda is the key...if a company wanted to do business in Africa in the 40's or 50's (that's when I'd pin the lantern's period), maybe they would need something other than perishable batteries and battery powered products to sell? Maybe a pressure lighting device would fit where batteries were either impractical or unavailable most of the time (out in the boonies, well away from a regular source of supply)? Also, could the name "National Carbon" have survived as a foreign subsidiary of Union Carbide? We're of course more interested in the lantern (identifying who made it is the next step) than the evident private label branding, but being compulsives, we see questions, and would LOVE to have them answered. I hope I have hit upon a group of collectors as impassioned as The International Guild of Lamp Researchers (I'm the secretary, and "front man" for our web page <www.dapllc.com/lampguild/>) ! This Eveready quest now spans Africa, England and the US. We may have to go with just what we can see, but that won't really satisfy any of us involved! Answers would be the whipped cream and cherry on the sundae, or pan gravy on the meat and potatoes! I checked with a friend in St. Louis who collects the Eveready advertising (the old store cards with kids, pets, etc. in Saturday Evening Post cover style showing flashlights in use)... Bud and Betty Imboden said to say "Hello", and hope you can help! He said he found reference to "Eveready, National Carbon Co. 1936-1958" in the index of your recent book. THAT sounds like a "BINGO!" We hope you can help! Thanks for listening to the ravings of a semi-madman, anyway! :: Fil Graff, Secretary, The International Guild of Lamp Researchers ::
Fil,Have a look at the BOX on this electric arc lamp.http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/ebayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item= 1188528843 It's not"sunshine of the night", but it's still sunshine, so NC were sharing a much used name at that time. I was tempted to bid on this! Regards Alan
Fil, You will already have done this for sure, but the search of eBay for "National Carbon" yields magazines between 1929 and 1939, and some other partly relevant links between NC and EVEREADY. Regards Alan
Alan: Hell, there it is! The National Carbon Co., and 1929 date! They DID operate under the old name, despite Union Carbide parentage! The note in the book (ref: e-mail to Bill Utley) mentioned 1936-1958, but it evidently started before that. I'm just hoping Utley knows something about the "other products" (THIS thing is certainly an "other"!) , or whether National Carbon DID do business in Africa. My St. Louis friends know the poster advertising, but not the products or the history (nor do they particularly care!) And this arc lamp sure ain't battery! Look at the cord. As it is a heath device, there probably wasn't a trade name conflict. Besides, think of "Sunshine Safety Products" which became Coleman's "Sunshine Products" in Chicago, 1928-1934 at least. N-C wasn't the only user of the name! And you might want to temper you bid interest when you consider what it would cost to ship FORTY POUNDS across the pond! Any progress in identifying the maker of the fount? :: Fil ::
New info 2007 - National Carbon / Eveready were operating in Bombay at least from 1934, probably earlier. Mr Jivji Kasamji of Pune in India has a commemorative plaque in his shop celebrating 25 years work, 1934 to 1959. He also has a photograph of the first meeting of distributors, dated 1958 with his grandfather on it.
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