| Originally made for
the U.S. Navy during World War I, Deck and Dark lanterns were produced from around 1917 to roughly 1925.
They were sold after the war by numerous companies which included
Dietz & Co., Perkins Marine Lamp Corporation, Universal Metal Spinning
& Stamping Company and William Stegmueller & Company. Made
in brass and tin versions, the lanterns were very sturdy and well made. Although most lanterns during this period used a standard 5 3/8" pear shaped
globe, Deck and Dark lanterns
used a unique straight cylindrical globe that had four
ribs running vertical on
its sides. This straight globe was necessary so the dark
lanterns shield could be
raised and lowered. The lanterns burned kerosene
which is housed in a sangster
"pinch type" fount. The fount clips into
the bottom of the lantern. The burner
which is mounted on top of the fount is sometimes stamped
with a name such
as Dietz Convex, Simplex (E. Miller Co.), Wedge, or
Vortex. Although most of
these lanterns came with tie-down rings on the bellbottom
base, I have yet to
see a Universal Metal Spinning and Stamping Company
lantern with tie-down
rings. Some of these lanterns, particularly the tin ones, may have
been used on merchant ships. The tin lanterns were less expensive
and could provide protection as well.
It is possible that these lanterns were used for interior lighting as well as exterior lighting. The availability of different color globes (colors which were normally used as navigational lights) and the shield on the Dark lanterns are a strong case for outdoor use. The Deck lantern with no shield would have had to be in an indoor location or easily extinguished in the event of enemy confrontation.
Any additional information regarding these lanterns would be greatly appreciated.
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