Who manufactured Coleman lamps and stoves in Australia?

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Tony Press, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    What do we know about who manufactured Coleman lamps and stoves in Australia? And when?

    What I know so far is that in 1930, Australia held a Tariff Board Inquiry into raising the tariff on imported lamps to 30%.

    Australian manufacturers of lamps were in favour; importers of overseas lamps were not, and argued that Australian manufacturers could not supply the volume, especially that required for the rural market.

    I don't know the outcome of the inquiry (yet).

    So at that stage, no Coleman lamps or stoves were manufactured in Australia - they were imported from Coleman Canada.

    Fast forward to 1950, noting the intervention of the Great Depression and World War II.

    In early 1950 the Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. of Canada announced that it was not going to build a factory in Adelaide (South Australia) because the skilled labour and materials required were in short supply, and the market was too small.

    In late 1950 the following was reported in the Melbourne Age:

    "Colton, Palmer and Preston Ltd. of Adelaide, has obtained a
    tie up with the Coleman Lamp and Stove Co, Ltd., Toronto, Canada, for manufacture of a range of kerosene and petrol-
    burning appliances for domestic lighting and heating".

    There the trail ends for me (so far), but Coleman products like the Australian made Coleman No. 249 Scout and various stoves were manufactured under licence from Coleman Canada:

    http://www.classicpressurelamps.com/forum/showtopic.php?tid/...

    https://classiccampstoves.com/threads/coleman-twin-burner-kerosene-made-in-australia.30854/

    What I don't know is when and for how long, and whether Adelaide was the sole place of manufacture.

    Any enlightenment would be appreciated.

    Best regards

    Tony
     
  2. HercL4D2

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    Adelaide may have been the only place for manufacture in the AU. Coleman was bought and sold twice years ago. Sunbeam controls the company now. You might be able to e mail or call them for a bit more info.

    For general enquiries or assistance with Coleman Website purchases please email customerservice@colemanaust.com.au or call 1800 224 350 FREE.
     
  3. z1ulike

    z1ulike United States Subscriber SotM Winner

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    Tony,

    There are several Australian Coleman's in the reference Gallery. Reading through the posts there it seems these stoves were made at the Austramax factory in Melbourne, Victoria during the 1950's. I've got two of them a Pioneer 445 and a Bushman 404 and would be interested in hearing anything else you might find out about their history.

    Ben
     
  4. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator, R.I.P. Subscriber

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    I have been following this thread and the twin thread by Tony on CPL.
    At the moment there seems to be more documentation in the hands of the lampies.
    Piece by piece the information is growing.
    Tony, I hope that you eventually get enough information to produce an article on the history of producing Coleman items in Australia.
    Although the items may turn up in many places of the world, I presume that most of the historical documentation will be in Australia.
     
  5. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    Have you asked anyone on the Coleman Collectors Forum?
     
  6. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone. Keep the info rolling in.

    1. On the Austramax in Melbourne connection, I haven't found any documentation other than the comments here at CCS which point to Handi Albert as the source - I will be in touch with him.

    The problem with Austramax is all the early documentation has disappeared - I'm in touch with them, though.

    2. I am going over to the Coleman Collectors Forum as well.

    3. All Australian Coleman stoves had that yellow sticker as far as I can tell.

    I'll compile all of this and what I get from CPL when it begins to tell a story.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  7. shagratork

    shagratork United Kingdom Moderator, R.I.P. Subscriber

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    My first though was for you to contact Handi Albert (Albert White) who is very knowledgeable about stoves and lanterns in Australia.
    But Albert has not been active on CPL/CCS for a long time. I hope he is well.
     
  8. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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  9. Matty

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    Handi Albert is not or wasn't until a few months ago on the internet. It would therefore seem a waste of time emailing him.

    I provided Nils Stephenson with Alberts phone number. When Nils back Australia on holidays a few months ago he rang Albert and they had a chat.

    I suggest you contact Nils and ask him to ring Albert to see if it's fine if he gives you his phone number.

    That's how I did it before providing Nils the number, I checked that Albert was ok with it first.
     
  10. Matty

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    You can get a copy of this book from a library.

    Title
    • Historic lamp lights up 50 years of family enterprise.
    Appears In
    • Australasian Business Intelligence, 2002 May 17, p.1008132i2147 (ISSN: 1320-6680)
    Published
    • COMTEX News Network, Inc., 2002 May 17
    Physical Description
    • 176 words
    • Newswire article
    Subjects
    Target Audience
    • Trade
    Summary
    • May 12, 2002 (The Age ABIX via COMTEX) -- The Austramax kerosene lamp has been made at the same Melbourne factory for 60 years. Its heyday was the 1960s, when the factory produced thousands ...
    Notes
    • May 12, 2002 (The Age
    Terms of Use
    • COPYRIGHT 2002 News provided by Comtex.
    Language
    • English
    Database
    • Gale General OneFile
    Identifier
    • 85966809
     
  11. Matty

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    These are the keywords to look for in the above post.

    May 12, 2002 (The Age ABIX via COMTEX) -- The Austramax kerosene lamp has been made at the same Melbourne factory for 60 years. Its heyday was the 1960s, when the factory produced thousands ...
     
  12. Matty

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    What didn't show up in the library reference I posted above was this.

    Remember, this was written in 2002.


    . factory employed 30 staff in the 1960s, but now there are only eight workers. Austramax has made ...
     
  13. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Matty

    I've seen that article before and it's posted at CPL somewhere, buy I don't remember a reference to Austramax making Coleman, do you?

    Tony
     
  14. Matty

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    Tony,

    No, I have never seen an article in reference to Austramax making Coleman.

    Sorry, if I misunderstood what was being asked.

    I'll mind my own business from now on and let you get on with your work on the subject. :)
     
  15. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Matty

    No... that's a good response. Austramax has to come into the picture somewhere (even if to be eliminated), because the early Austramax lanterns look like they copied/used at lease some Coleman components:

    Check out the detachable nozzle (flame spreader) on the Austramax 2/300 here and the Coleman 249 Scout here.

    Keep commenting, Matty!

    Tony
     
  16. kerry460

    kerry460 Australia Subscriber

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    Tony . i brought this subject up some time ago .
    i do remember where .
    but my memory says there was an answer .

    kerry
     
  17. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Hey, Tony,

    Sorry I missed your original question to me regarding my contacting Albert. Back in January, 2011, I sent him an email, and he responded fairly soon. We had a nice "back and forth" chat, and he sent me some photos about some flooding at his place, which I sadly, forgot to post here!! Darn it!! I'll see if I can save them to my photo program, and if so, will post these soon. Right now, I'm dealing with my poor Mom, who has been hospitalized with what is possibly a cancerous tumor on his liver, and in her bones. It's taken the wind out of me, that's for sure, and I'm trying to help in any way I can. But, when things take their course, hopefully, for the better, I'll post Albert's photos, and a brief synopsis of what he wrote to me. Take care, and God
    Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  18. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @kerry460

    Get your brain working, Kerry... the answer is is there somewhere...

    Tony
     
  19. idahostoveguy

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    Another fellow named Dave Moody is also quite knowledgeable. I quoted him in my post on the 445 here:

    Coleman Pioneer 445

    Sam
     
  20. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Who Manufactured Coleman Lamps and Stoves in Australia?

    Draft 1.0

    Note1: This draft is produced to get feedback and additional information about where and by whom Coleman products were manufactured in Australia. It is produced to stimulate discussion, interest, and more digging.

    Comments are most welcome.

    Note2: I’m not claiming credit for this research: most has been discovered before in various places. And it’s a collective effort...

    Thanks to Handi Albert, HercL4D2, idahostoveguy, Mackburner, Matty, Colin Mills, David Moody, Murff, OMC, snwcmpr, Shagratork, Nils Stephenson, Vikingson1, Warren, z1ulike, and others. If I’ve missed you out, let me know.

    I will take responsibility for any mistakes or misrepresentation.

    Introduction

    The “Coleman Quick-lite Co. of Australia Pty. Ltd” was Australia’s principle distributor of Coleman products. It was the vehicle for an alliance between CJ Thomas and Sons Pty Ltd (owners of Coleman Quick-lite Australia) and “The Coleman Co. Inc. USA”.

    Coleman in the USA had established a factory in Toronto, Canada in 1921. It was through manufacture in this Canadian factory that Coleman were able to take advantage of the lower tariffs on imports available for trade among Commonwealth countries.

    A similar company, the “Coleman Quick-lite Co. of the UK” was established in 1921, the same year the Coleman Trade mark was registered in Australia.

    In 1949 “Coleman Quick-lite Co. Ltd and CJ Thomas and Sons were [?re-]registered in Australia.

    It is unclear to me how long the Coleman-CJ Thomas alliance lasted (up to the 1980s?), before Coleman Australia became the supplier of Coleman products.

    In the early 1950s the Coleman Quick-lite Co of Australia had major distribution centres in Sydney Melbourne and Wagga Wagga, and agents in all states of Australia.

    Manufacturing of Coleman products in Australia

    It is unclear whether Coleman Quick-lite Co of Australia actually manufactured (rather than assembled) Coleman products in Australia, but Coleman stoves and lamps were made in Australia, at least from 1950/1 to ?1959. The evidence for this is, especially, in the Reference Gallery of CPL and at the Coleman Collectors Forum where dated Coleman lamps are seen with the inscription:

    “Made in Australia by arrangement with Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd of Canada, Proprietor of Registered Trade Mark N0.67296-Jan-14-1936”

    This inscription is the same wording as found on transfers on (undated) Australian-made Coleman stoves.

    The Melbourne newspaper, The Age, reported in early 1950 the Coleman Lamp and Stove Co. Ltd. of Canada announced that it was not going to build a factory in Adelaide (South Australia) because the skilled labour and materials required were in short supply, and the market was too small.

    Later that year The Age reported that "Colton, Palmer and Preston Ltd. of Adelaide, has obtained a tie up with the Coleman Lamp and Stove Co, Ltd., Toronto, Canada, for manufacture of a range of kerosene and petrol-burning appliances for domestic lighting and heating". The key word in this report is “manufacture”, rather than assemble or even “made”.

    It appears that the Colton, Palmer and Preston Ltd arrangement was not profitable and the Adelaide factory was sold in 1954 to Fauldings (chemist manufacturers) who took possession of the site in late 1954.

    The Coleman arrangement with Colton, Palmer and Preston is, on the face of it, unusual as there was an existing arrangement between Coleman and CJ Thomas and Sons. The only thing that makes much sense is that CPP were manufacturing to supply to the Coleman-Thomas alliance.
    This makes sense of the November 1954 newspaper report that said:

    “C. J. Thomas & Son Pty., Ltd., Australian representatives of the Coleman Co. Incorporated of U.S.A. has moved to new premises at Cato Street, Auburn. Over the last five years C. J Thomas & Son has been maintaining for the Coleman company production facilities in Adelaide. These, are to be co-ordinated in Melbourne. As well as this small appliance field, which includes lighting, cooking, heating, ironing and hot water facilities, C. J. Thomas & Son has been requested to co-ordinate manufacturing in Australia of the larger, heating appliances. With the new expansion plan in mind the new premises have been obtained.”

    From this last article we could assume that the Colton, Palmer and Preston arrangement was overseen by CJ Thomas and Sons; that when the Adelaide factory shut down facilities were transferred to Melbourne; and that at least some manufacture was to take place in Melbourne in the Auburn (now Hawthorn) premises of CJ Thomas.

    What we don’t know, is what products were made in Adelaide from 1950 to 1954; and what products were made in Melbourne from 1954 onwards and for how long. We also don’t know whether there were any Coleman products being manufactured in Melbourne before 1954 while the Adelaide factory was in operation.

    A 1950s Australian Coleman-Thomas catalogue has the words: “Products are manufactured in 5 large factories” (in Canada and USA) and that Coleman products were “ ‘marketed’ in Australia solely by CJ Thomas and Sons”.

    One word of caution, at least in my mind. The term “Made in Australia” could be ambiguous – used loosely, it could mean assembled in Australia, whereas “manufacture” has a more precise meaning.

    What is needed now
    1. Evidence of what Coleman products were manufactured in Adelaide from 1950 to 1954.
    2. Evidence of manufacture in Melbourne, where and when (Cato St?).
    3. Evidence of manufacture after 1959 and before 1950.
    4. Anything else.

    Keep digging.

    PS. The more I look into this the more I become convinced that Austramax did not manufacture Coleman products - but I may be wrong.

    Cheers

    Tony