Coleman® Model 2LQ427
Born in September, 1925

Old Town Coleman Center & Museum, circa 2003

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Always tilt the lamp or lantern to place the Filler Cap above the Fount when releasing pressure. This ensures that air (not fuel) will be released.

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How to date your Coleman® Lamp, Lantern and Stove

Caution:  Be wary of words like “always” and “never” when looking for Coleman® date information.  William C. Coleman was a master a re-using and adapting, and some pretty odd things were put together in Wichita Kansas over the years.

Dating a Coleman® lamp, lantern or stove is usually very easy. Most Coleman® lamps and lanterns manufactured in the United States after 1925 or so have a manufacturing date stamped on them, and it is usually on the bottom or the side of the fount.  Most Coleman® 2 and 3 burner stoves have manufacturing stamps on them starting in the early 1960s, while single burner stoves were dated from their introduction in the early 1940s.

To date your US-made lamp, lantern burner or single-burner stove, first make sure the fuel cap is down tight and then turn it upside-down and look at the bottom.

1.  Lanterns and stoves made from about 1951 to present are usually stamped on the bottom of the fount.  You will see two sets of numbers; the number on the left is the month and the one on the right is the year of manufacture.

200A Lantern dated Apr 1982

2.  Appliances made from about 1947 to 1953 can have an alpha-numeric code on the fount bottom.  The number indicates the year of manufacture while the letter, most assume, is the first (A) or second (B) half of the year. I do not believe anyone is 100% certain what the letters mean, but most accept “A” indicating January thru June and “B” indicating July thru December. 

220D Lantern dated "A" 1950
500 Stove dated "A" 1953

Note:  Canadian-built lanterns can have “C” and “D” stamped on them.

3.  Lamps, lanterns and burners made from about 1924 to 1947 usually have a similar stamp with two sets of numbers, except that the numbers are reversed. The number on the left indicate the year, and the number on the right is the month.

BQ Lamp dated Sept 1926 454 Burner dated Jan 1930

The year will be shown as a single digit for most appliances built in the 1920s and 30s. Somewhere around 1941 this changed to double digit year markings. 

For unmarked or unreadable markings, you can use the company name stamp to identify a span of years the appliance was made:

1913-1925:  Coleman Lamp Company
1925-1934*:  Coleman Lamp & Stove Company
1934-1945:  Coleman Lamp and Stove Company
1945-Present:  The Coleman Company Inc.

* Previously believed to be 1928. Special thanks to D&D LanternWorks for confirmation.

4.  Two and three-burner stoves usually have two date marks:  one on the case and one on the tank.  The case marking is usually on the bottom and obvious.  To see when the tank was manufactured, turn it upside-down and look at the underside of the mounting tabs.  These date stamps follow the month-left and year-right format.

Case September 1980
Tank tab June 1980

5. Earlier two and three-burner stoves will have model number plates or decals on them. If you can locate that information, please refer to our production information pages under reference to see when it was built.

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