Certainly one of the most recognized
|Bradley & Hubbard Student Lamp
names in lamps is Bradley and Hubbard. The company loosely began in 1852 in Meriden, Connecticut when Nathaniel and William Bradley, Orson and Chitten Hatch, and Walter Hubbard, formed Bradley, Hatch & Company. This incarnation of the company only manufactured clocks. The Hatch brothers sold their interest in the company in 1854 and it was renamed Bradley & Hubbard. Clocks remained the firm's primary product into the 1860's. In addition to their successful line of clocks, Bradley & Hubbard also produced a wide range of household items including match safes, call bells, andirons, urns, bookends, frames, desk accessories and vases.
Technological advances in drilling and refining crude oil in the late 1850's and early 1860's paved the way for the demise of whale oil as a lamp fuel. Soon after Colonel Edwin Drake struck oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania on August 27, 1859, Nathaniel Bradley saw an opportunity to capitalize on the future of this new fuel. Nathaniel's decision to produce an extensive line of kerosene burning lamps proved to be a wise business decision. Kerosene was soon to become a widely used, safe and relatively inexpensive lamp fuel.
|The B&H Lamp - Advertising Postal Cover
Stamp Cancelled in November, 1894
Between April 7, 1868 and December 23, 1913, the company was listed as the assignee for at least 89 lighting patents - see the patent list
below. Many of these patents were for lamp and chandelier designs and various improvements in lamp burners. Four inventors contributed sixty-three percent of the listed lighting patents. They are: Joseph Jauch
with nineteen; John A. Evarts
with fifteen; William A. Penfield
with thirteen; and Charles A. Evarts
|The B&H REGULATOR Burner
the company reorganized to form the Bradley and Hubbard Manufacturing Company. Walter Hubbard served as President and Nathaniel Bradley as Treasurer. The firm enjoyed rapid growth throughout the 1880's. By 1888, the company employed over one thousand workers and had showrooms in major cities including New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago. One of the most prolific of the B&H products was the Rayo lamp it produced under contract for Standard Oil. In keeping with the changing times, Bradley & Hubbard produced a variety of electric lamps as well.
Walter Hubbard passed
away in 1911 and Nathaniel Bradley in 1915. The company continued on through the 1930's and was purchased by the Charles Parker Company
, also of Meriden, Connecticut, in 1940. The Parker Company was quite diversified in it's product line, also producing an extensive line of lamps and high-end chandeliers. Parker operated its acquisition as the "Bradley & Hubbard Division." Parker ceased production of the Rayo lamp in the early 1950's. In 1973, the Bradley and Hubbard buildings were demolished, effectively ending that chapter in American lighting manufacture.
There are two excellent Bradley & Hubbard catalogs that have been reproduced. The first is catalog No. 46, June, 1888 of Decorated and Bronzed Metal Table Lamps (© 1995 David Broughton by The Historical Lighting Society of Canada) and the second the 1883-84 Illustrated Catalog of Kerosene Fixtures (© 2001 David Broughton).
|Patents assigned to B&H between April 7, 1868 - December 23, 1913|
||[ additional patents will be added as they are discovered ]
|D = Design Patent, RE = Reissue of an earlier Patent|
To view any of the above patents, enter the number in the box below and select Query USPTO Database. This will take you to the specific patent images on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Database. Learn more about the USPTO here.
stamped and applied tri-corner oval
cast relief, five-sided "crown" shape
cast relief, tri-cornered oval
stamped directly into the item
stamped and applied rectangle
embossed B&H on lamp fount
- Graff, Fil, The Rayo Kerosene Lamp, 1998, The International Guild of Lamp Researchers
- Stamm, Richard, The Bradley and Hubbard Manufacturing Company, Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly, Spring 1993 edition.
- Wenrich, Jeanne, Bradley and Hubbard Manufacturing Company, June, 1989, The Rushlight Club.