The Rushlight summer meeting was held in conjunction with the National Association of Aladdin Lamp Collectors annual Gathering at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia, Missouri, the second week of August.
The Gathering is almost a week long event. Many dealers arrived early and setup for sales from their rooms. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday room shopping was a popular activity. Vast numbers of lamps, shades, burners and miscellaneous parts were readily available. Some were quite rare. Spotted in a box of parts was a 1858 Newell patent shade holder.
Tuesday featured a tour to the Warm Springs Ranch, the breeding farm for the Budweiser Clydesdales, located just West of Columbia in Boonville, Missouri. After touring the ranch and learning about the world famous horses the group shared refreshments and then proceeded to the Isle of Capri Casino for lunch. A sumptuous buffet satisfied all and energized some for the other diversions offered at the casino. On Wednesday the majority of the over 300 registrants arrived. Room shopping continued and an auction preview was held in the evening.
The Gathering really got going on Thursday with an auction in the morning and a dinner reception in the evening. Dealers began setting up the lamp show in mid-afternoon.Seminars began Friday morning with talks on the Aladdin #113 chandelier and Lighting Your Aladdin. Dan Mattausch and George Dick gave an interesting talk on their experiences working on projects at various prominent government buildings in Washington, D.C. Bob Culver of the Night Light Club gave a talk on the lamps of the Consolidated Lamp and Glass Company. Kirk Womack spoke about the operation, cleaning and repair of the Hitchcock lamp.
The lamp show opened at noon on Friday for Gathering registrants. At 2 pm the show opened to the public. All kinds of Victorian lighting were present along with hundreds of all types of Aladdin lamps.
Twenty-seven dealers offered for sale a vast amount of all kinds of parts and lighting. Seen in a box of parts was an Atwood Argand side-draft, flat wick made round, kerosene burner patented by Lewis Atwood April 18, 1871, pat. 113833.
Early lighting found at the show included Argand, solar, and sinumbra lamps, as well as a French moderator lamp. Burners, shades, miscellaneous parts and related ephemera were plentiful.
Twenty-three people attended the Rushlight club dinner on Friday evening. Most of those were newcomers to the Gathering and curious about the Rushlight Club. No formal Rushlight meeting took place. Instead, attention was focused on the excellent meal and a description of the history and activities of the Club. Rushlight members Bill Courter, Dan and Nancy Mattausch, Gil and Noreen McGurl, and Fred and Connie Bohl shared in this effort.
On Saturday the seminars and lamp show continued. Talks focused on rare Aladdin floor lamps and the Aladdin Museum in Kidron, Ohio. The lamp show was open to the public till 3pm and a record number of people attended. Dealers reported good sales. Nancy Mattausch and Connie Bohl staffed the Rushlight Club table and recruited two new members. A banquet and program was held Saturday evening to commemorate and close the 45th Aladdin Gathering.
Next year the Gathering will be held at the Embassy Suites in Peoria, Illinois, July 9th - 14th.