Report of the Rushlight Club 2014 Summer Meeting & NAALC Gathering, July 17th-19th, Indianapolis, IN

Photo of lighting available in room trading

The Rushlight Club Summer meeting was held in conjunction with the Aladdin Gathering and Lamp Show sponsored by the National Association of Aladdin Lamp Collectors (NAALC). The meeting hotel was the Marriott East in Indianapolis, IN. Room trading, one of the benefits of the show, took place all week and featured a wide variety of lamps, chimneys and parts. Arriving early in the week afforded those looking for rare or scarce items the best chance of success. Some early lard-oil and multiple wick burning fluid burners were available as well as Jones and other early kerosene burners.

Aladdin 1996 Gathering Raffle Quilt

The Aladdin auction on Thursday, previously open to Gathering registrants only, was open to the public though still limited to Aladdin items. Rushlight member Marje Walker won the bid on a lamp quilt made for the 1996 Aladdin Gathering.

The display room theme was non-pressurized mantle lamps. On display were dozens of mantle lamps including early alcohol, gravity fed gasoline, and imported German and American kerosene mantle lamps that preceded the successful Aladdin Model 1 in 1909. The display included Aladdin and competitors lamps through the 1940's and provided a unique opportunity to see many rare early mantle lamps.

Photo of Mantle Lamps in Display Room Photo of A.Barbarin Pat. Platinum Mantle 9-1-1868

Also on display was an early gas burner and platinum wire mantle, patent no. 81733, 9-1-1868 by A. Barbarin.

Photo of Cartoon Depicting Competition Between Edison and Brush Seminar Display of Early Light Bulbs
Photo of Dan Mattausch-Drake Well Book Seminar

Several of the educational seminars on Friday and Saturday were given by Rushlight members. Keith Letsche presented a seminar on competitors to Edison and his electric lamp. Keith explained the competition between major lighting figures such as Edison, Brush, Swan, Westinghouse and others and discussed their various technical achievements in perfecting the electric light bulb. Keith had many early light bulbs on display to illustrate his presentation.

Dan Mattausch discussed the Drake well museum, which preserves the history of the first well drilled specifically for oil. Dan also spoke about the Patrick C. Boyle lighting collection which is housed at the museum. Boyle's collection is noteworthy because he was collecting contemporary lighting. Boyle also wrote a manuscript "Development of the Light Industry" again interesting because it was written from the perspective of one who lived during the kerosene era. Dan is co-author and co-editor of the book "Lighting the Way" which contains information about the Boyle collection and the text of his manuscript.

Photo of Plume & Atwood Double Harvard Student Lamp

Heinz and Ursula Baumann gave a slide presentation on Vapor Lamps of the 19th Century. Several vapor lamps were on display to illustrate the construction and the various means to transfer the heat of the flame to vaporize the fuel.

The lamp show, held on Friday and Saturday, offered collectors items from open pan, petticoat whale oil, and early lard lamps through Aladdin and electric lamps. Among the many lamps available at the show was a Plume & Atwood Double Harvard Student Lamp.

Rushlight Club Show Table & Educational Display

The Rushlight Club had a display table (photo left) at the lamp show to make people aware of the Club and of the benefits of membership. Club members volunteered and took turns to man the table and answer questions. The table display showed the differences between open pan, crusie and betty lamps.

The Rushlight Club banquet on Friday evening was attended by about forty people. Rushlight members Bob and Laura Daniels were asked to light the rush in recognition of their work in planning and hosting this year's Gathering and Lamp Show. Bob and Laura were again honored at the Saturday evening Gathering banquet and were presented a special Aladdin lamp commemorating their efforts as meeting hosts. The extent of the Gathering Lamp Show is shown in the photo below.

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