Random Friday memory 5 – Aladdin Lamps

In the late 1940s electricity outages – blackouts – were so frequent that in 1948 this was news:


I was living in Auburn Street Sutherland at the time: see this archival post

I can tell only fragments; I was too young when I left that place. My brother could tell more.

There was a time when the lights went out almost every night. The adults talked a lot of Mr Chifley.


Mr Chifley

Candlelight, hurricane lamps, one bright Aladdin incandescent lamp, and the fuel stove in the kitchen where apple pies and roast dinners filled the air with wonderful smells. At bath time I as the youngest usually scored the bathwater after my brother and sister had finished. The bath was never filled too much, for two reasons: my parents (and especially my grandfather who lived there too until 1948 or 1949) were country people and frugal with water; the other was we had no hot water system, but a chip heater–a woodburning bath heater that had to be fuelled and lit every time someone wanted to have a bath, scattering burning sparks from its narrow chimney that occasionally alarmed the people (Doyles) in the wooden house next door.


Victor S. Johnson, Jr., June 12, 1916 — January 19, 2008, son of the founder of the Aladdin Lamp company.

Victor Johnson founded the Mantle Lamp Company of America in Chicago in 1908 and imported the Practicus incandescent burner from Germany. He obtained the Aladdin trademark in 1908 and sold the first model of the American-made Aladdin lamp in 1909. In 1926 Johnson bought the Lippincott Glass factory in Alexandria, Indiana to make glass lamps, chimneys and shades, changing the name to Aladdin Industries…

Aladdin lamps were manufactured in England, Australia and Brazil: England Sales were established in England in 1919, importing directly from the USA….

Australia: Sales were established in 1923 with burners and lamps imported from the USA and later UK. Unique Bakelite lamp bodies were made in Australia during the 1940s and 1950s.…


Auburn Street Sutherland 1949

Yes, I am that brat! My sister is second from the left.