Aladdin History

How the Aladdin Lamp Came to Be

The Aladdin lamp has an amazing and rich history, that all started with the vision and innovation of Victor S. Johnson over a century ago…

As a small boy on a farm in Nebraska, Victor Samual Johnson (Feb. 6, 1882 – Aug. 29, 1943) read the Arabian Nights story of Aladdin in a room of darkness except for the flickering yellow light of an open flame coal oil lamp. Later, as an adult, he found a new, bright light – it was called the “Practicus” from Germany. Johnson obtained rights to sell this lamp and then improved on its design. He would go on to call his new lamp the “Aladdin,” from the stories of his childhood.

Timeline of Aladdin History

1900s-1910s

  • 1908 – Victor S. Johnson founded the Mantle Lamp Company of America in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1908 – Johnson obtained the Aladdin trademark
  • 1908 – An incandescent burner called the Practicus (or Praktus) was imported from Germany and is first sold under the Aladdin name
  • 1909 – The first model of the American-made Aladdin lamp was sold
  • 1911 – First mantle designed and patented by Charles H. Smith for Aladdin, called the Kone Kap mantle, first used on Model 3
  • 1915 – Aladdin won a gold medal at the Panama Pacific International Exhibition for the best kerosene lamp in the world (Model 6)

1920s

  • 1926 – The name of the company was changed to Aladdin Industries
  • 1926 – Johnson bought the Lippincott Glass factory in Alexandria, Indiana to make glass lamps, chimneys and shades
  • 1926 – A factory was built on a 13-acre site, which was incorporated into a village called Aladdin; there were only 22 residents
  • 1926 – Agents recruited to sell throughout the country door-to-door; lamps were often left at the home for an overnight trial
  • 1928 – The company turned solely to franchise dealers (some 15,000 in the 1930s)
  • 1928 – Model 12 introduced the first Lox-On chimneys and the first Lox-On mantles

1930s-1940s

  • 1930 – Electric lamps first sold
  • 1931 – The Lox-On Mantle is patented
  • 1932 – Model A introduced a switch from central draft to “Nu-Type” side draft burners; with the center draft tube removed, lamp fonts could now be made of glass as well as metal
  • 1937 – Ohio River flooded Louisville and Cincinnati; Aladdin rushed lamps to thousands stranded without power
  • 1944 – Aladdin aided the war effort in WWII: they were granted permission by War Production Board to use copper to make burners which reduced need for copper wire to electrify homes; burners used in Servel refrigerators helped preserve serum and plasma on the battlefields; Aladdin also developed the midget foxhole stove, pressure lantern, barometric bomb detonation fuse, and permeability tuning for radios and precision parts for military radio equipment
  • 1945 – Victor S. Johnson, Jr. returned from service and took over, following the sudden death of his father in 1943
  • 1949 – The Mantle Lamp Company merged with its subsidiary Aladdin Industries, Inc.
  • 1949 – The company moved the central office from Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee

1950s-1970s

  • 1955 – Naugatuck River floods the Plume & Atwood fabricating plant, destroying all plant equipment, bringing an end to the production of the popular Model B burner
  • 1956 – Production of electric lamps ended
  • 1963 – Aladdin brass lamp manufacturing moved from USA to England
  • 1973 – Aladdin Knights collector organization is formed to collect and preserve memorabilia
  • 1977 – Aladdin burner manufacturing began in Hong Kong

1990s

  • 1999 – Aladdin Industries sold the lamp division to 14 members of the Aladdin Kinghts (collectors/investors), who changed the name of the company to Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company (headquarters located in Clarksville, Tennessee)

2010s-Present Day

  • 2015 – Crownplace Brands, Ltd. purchased the assets of Aladdin Lighting Technologies, Inc (ALT); all stock and assembly were relocated to Dalton, Ohio