The story behind Collectlamps
When I was young, many summers and weekends were spent with my father traveling from antique shop to flea-market, to auction. We both collected various items and enjoyed not only the “hunt” but the sights and small towns we stopped at along the way.
One day, when I was about 18, I happened to notice an old oil lamp up on a shelf at a local antique shop that I visited regularly with my father. It probably been there for as long as we had been going to this shop, and I knew nothing about oil lamps, but that day and for some reason it caught my eye and came home with me. I cleaned the oil residue from the font, cleaned the collar, burner and chimney, and placed the lamp on my desk.
The next time we went antiquing, my father purchased an oil lamp and told me his was older. This prompted me to do research on lighting and I came across Thuro’s books. Researching, I found both lamps pictured and it turned out mine was older! While reading and looking at the wide variety of lamps pictured, another thing happened that day, it was from that moment on that my collecting (or obsession) with lighting began.
As with most collectors, I started out purchasing common clear glass kerosene lamps and learned the various patterns, then realizing the wide variety of burners and trimmings for them. My interests changed over years of collecting and becoming familiar with the wide variety of lighting devices and fuels there were. So it became not just the lamp anymore, but the stories and history behind lighting.
As my interest was sparked, I found myself at a loss for finding information realizing most of the lighting related collectors books date back to the early 1900’s and were out-of-print. I stumbled upon the Rushlight Club, an organization dedicated to the study and preservation of early lighting, and became a member in 2000. This, combined with the technology of the internet, has opened doors to learning, collecting, and networking, for not only myself but all enthusiasts. This site is an attempt at “giving back” and to assist both beginners and all collectors by sharing some of the pictures from my personal collection.
I feel privileged to make the aquaintance of many knowledgeable collectors and dealers, and have been able to assist others in their collecting and interests in lighting. Through the years, I have found lamp collectors are willing to share knowledge with each other (even when competing to acquire something). Never have I met a better group of people as lighting enthusiasts and I am proud to be associated with them.
I Hope you enjoy the site and pictures,
Jamie T. Jones