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Aladdin Mantle Lamps to Light up the Customs House Museum in November


The Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterCLARKSVILLE, TN – Beginning November third, The Customs House Museum will be showcasing the history of the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company with the exhibit Beyond Light: The Aladdin Mantle Lamp Story in the museum’s historic 1898 building.

The exhibit, displayed through January 23rd, will include a sampling of products created by the company since its founding in 1908 to their new line of commercial and industrial LED lighting products (including fluorescent tube replacements), as well as photos, advertisements, and film footage. Along with the kerosene and electric lamps, guests will be able to revisit the 1970s high fashion brunch bags, decorative vacuum bottles, and the all time favorite character lunchbox.

Electric lamps manufactured by the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company

Electric lamps manufactured by the Aladdin Mantle 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. In 1949 the company moved their central office from Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee. In 1999 Aladdin Industries sold the lamp division to collector/investors who named their company Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company, located in Clarksville, Tennessee.

A green glass lamp manufactured by the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company

A green glass lamp manufactured by the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company

The lights in the front foyer of the 1898 building were the first florescent lights installed in Clarksville. The building was designed as a Federal Post office (the first official post office building in Clarksville), the building carried the eclectic style popular in Victorian America. When the plans were first made public in 1897, there was a general outcry in Clarksville. The people believed it would be an “architectural absurdity and a public laughing stock”. Today, the building is one of the most photographed buildings in Tennessee.

About the Customs House Museum

The Customs House Museum is the second largest general museum in Tennessee. It is located at the corner of Second and Commerce Streets in historic downtown Clarksville. Regular museum hours are 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 pm on Sundays. Adult admission is $7, Sr. Citizens and College ID is $5, Ages 6 to 18 is $3, and under six is free. For more information on above events contact Terri Jordan, Exhibits Curator, at 931-648-5780 or


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