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    a brief historical profile of     
The Bradley & Hubbard Manufacturing Co.
   

BH Student Lamp
Bradley & Hubbard Student Lamp
Certainly one of the most recognized 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.

B&H Advertising Envelope
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 with nine.

Regulator Burner
The B&H REGULATOR Burner

In 1875 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.



Regulator Burner
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.

1888 B&H Catalog1883 B&H Catalog
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
76317 111430 145637 158531 167345 171111 183913 206550
213457 230258 231353 233879 235329 241917 246316 249946
254022 257055 258038 263155 264677 267141 284955 312194
324760 325203 331521 336035 385569 387156 389371 389375
392547 404186 409466 412958 420211 421171 425800 427870
430380 431359 432264 473667 473681 474171 479598 481741
492585 502926 508572 512967 529496 537849 540511 522327
554491 651321 563551 577813 590415 603105 605186 652780
672178 678126 691710 692701 783799 1082284 D5475 D5476
D6899 D7049 D7158 D7161 RE7628 D8328 D8481 149734
169457 224411 228594 232058 373280 373376 452573 577286
837716
[ 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.

Enter Patent Number  

  



    
Some B&H Logos
   
B and H Logo
stamped and applied tri-corner oval
B and H Logo
cast relief, five-sided "crown" shape
B and H Logo
cast relief, tri-cornered oval
B and H Logo
stamped directly into the item
B and H Logo
stamped and applied rectangle
B and H Logo
embossed B&H on lamp fount
    
References
   
  • 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.



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