Friday, September 16, 2005

Emergency preparedness or...

just nostalgia. Some time ago, I found an old Coleman lantern at the Salvation Army store. It seemed to be in working condition from what I could tell, although I didn't really know what to look for. So I bought it because it reminded me of one camping trip in particular, next to the Kabampo River in Zambia. I have a memory of pressure lamps hanging on a tree hissing and providing light.

I stopped by Berg Hardware to buy replacement mantles and asked someone at my church if he would look at the lantern and see if it was usable. I showed it to him in the church kitchen, where someone else saw it and gave me an animated lecture about how and why the lantern works. After learning what kind of fuel to get and finding it at a sporting goods store (fishing and hunting gear), I brought the lantern to the church member's garage, where we (that would be mostly he) took it apart and cleaned it a bit. (I still need to clean it more, but I just wanted to see how it worked first.)

My gamble was right that it was in good working order. We fired it up, and, WOW, I had forgotten how brightly those lanterns burn! The cap was leaking a bit of air, so I stopped by the tackle store again and bought a new cap. The proprietor, who also repairs lanterns, was enthusiastic about the condition mine was in, even though, cosmetically, it's not in the best shape.

From what I can tell by looking online and the ballpark age the proprietor guessed it was, I think the model is a 228 from the early 1960s perhaps. I can't figure out what the letter of the model is, maybe C, E, or F.

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