What's up with Aladdin? Suddenly, I can find lanterns and mantles again

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Here on the Eastside (15-20 miles east of Seattle), I walked into two stores this week that haven't had Aladdin lanterns or mantles since January. One was an Ace-affiliated hardware store, and the other was a local farm-supply store. Each of them had three of the lower-priced lanterns available (between $58 and $71), plus plenty of chimneys, wicks, and lamp oil. The Ace-affiliated store also has some of the higher-end models with glass globes, plus a couple of dozen mantles.

Has anyone else noticed Aladdins showing up in your area again? Does this mean Aladdin might finally be catching up to the demand?

-- Don (whytocay@hotmail.com), June 05, 1999


Aladdin was bought out by another company. The new owners opened up a bunch of new factories, thus the availability. Unfortunately, they are also raising prices. A good source of information on Aladdin lamps is http://www.aladdinknights.com . It is a collector's group. I was originally looking for an aladdin lamp for Y2k, and was discouraged when they weren't available. But when I bought an antique Aladdin lamp, I became a collector. They really are great, and provide a MUCH nicer light, IMHO, than todays electric lights. Oh yeah, definitely Y@K compliant .

Hope this helps,


tfletch's Daily Y2k Report http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lab/7404/index.htm

-- Tracy Fletcher (y2k_tfletch@geocities.com), June 05, 1999.

Not only Aladdin lamps - quite a few generators and so forth for sale on radio Ad. shows, as well as some available in stores.

It was noted a week or two or three ago here --- the Y2K buying has been way down --- but don't think its "all over", use this lull to your advantage.

Aladdin probably has caught up with demand (in addtion to the previos posts factors) because demand is down.

But nothing factual has changed, just peoples perceptions.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), June 05, 1999.


Yes, I started seeing Generac generators here last week too. The local Costco has about 8 4200-watt (8-horsepower Honda OVC engine) and 10 5000-watt (10-horsepower Tecumseh engine) generators. I assume at these prices they're the 3600-RPM ones that aren't intended for continuous service over long periods of time.

-- Don (whytocay@hotmail.com), June 05, 1999.

I've been told that Ace is allowed 300 lamps per week for their entire store chain. Perhaps this is raising with the new factory. Don, what speed RPM should a generator run at for long term use of 3600 rpm is too high?

-- smfdoc (smfdoc@aol.com), June 05, 1999.

A generator that has been designed to run in a "continuous duty" application will likely be turning at 1800 RPM. I am not certain of the actual mathematical relationships, but the following illustration may be helpful:

A typical "emergency" generator for home use will be rated in the vicinity of 4000 watts. This generator will likely be designed to turn at 3600 RPM as it produces its rated power, while delivering a 60 cycle AC current. The gasoline engine that turns this generator will have to be capable of producing somewhere around 8 HP @3600 RPM to successfully "drive" this generator.

Let us now change the design of the generator such that it no longer must turn at 3600 RPM but instead will produce 4000 watts of 60 cycle power at 1800 RPM. Now the gasoline engine need only turn at 1800 RPM to power this generator. The problem that must now be overcome is that to produce the 8 HP necessary to "drive" this generator, the engine that powers it must produce 8 HP at a much slower speed (1800 RPM). In order to do this the engine size must be increased and/or its efficiency must be significantly increased to the point where if it were turning at 3600 RPM it would likely produce something approaching 16 HP.

What all this means is that an engine/generator needing to turn at only 1800 RPM will not only experience much less wear over the same length of time as a 3600 RPM model, but the engine that is powering it can be said to be "effortlessly" powering it. This is why virtually all "continuous duty" generators turn at 1800 RPM (not all, but most).

I hope this has been helpful.

-- Dave Walden (wprop@concentric.net), June 05, 1999.

smfdoc - the technical reason is that the less expensive generator is a two pole type and needs to turn at 60 rev/sec (60x60=3,600 rev/min) to deliver 60 cycles/sec. A more expensive 4 pole generator needs to turn only half as fast, 1,800 RPM, to put out the same 60 cycles per second (60Hz). If you had an eight pole generator, you'ld need only 900 RPM, but that's BIG! equipment. These would all be direct engine-generator connected. You will find some Aisan gensets that are belt driven with unequal pulley size that the engine runs at 2,200 RPM or whatever but the generator still runs at either 1,800 or 3,600 RPM. These usually also come with a second set of pulleys for 50Hz which is the standard in many countries.

-- Ken Seger (kenseger@earthlink.net), June 06, 1999.

It's good to know that the US is coming good with oil lamp suppplies etc. Here in the UK I have had to search London to find wicks that would be of use, let alone fit my existing 2 oil lamps and little cooker. I found the wicks on the very top shelf of an old hardware store and even the people running the store had forgotten they were there. Lets face it, no wicks, no burn. Production of oil lamps et al seems to have ground to a halt and only if one is lucky can these items be found in a 2nd hand shop. One even has to know where to buy paraffin. There is no doubt about it, the UK is really prepared for all contingencies - like hell! Does anyone else have experience of the UK indifference?

-- Sheila (symphony.9@btinternet.com), June 06, 1999.

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