Historical information

Bradley and Hubbard established their company 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 1860s. In addition to their 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 1850s and early 1860s paved the way for the demise of whale oil as 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 decided to produce an extensive line of kerosene burning lamps this proved to be a wise business decision. Kerosene was soon to become a widely used, safe and relatively inexpensive lamp fuel.
Between April 7, 1868, and December 23, 1913, the company was listed as the assignee for at least 89 lighting patents. Many of these patents were for lamp and chandelier designs and various improvements in lamp burners.
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 1880s. 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 through the 1930s and was purchased by the Charles Parker Company, also of Meriden, Connecticut, in 1940. The Parker Company was quite diversified in its 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 1950s. In 1973, the Bradley and Hubbard buildings were demolished, effectively ending that chapter in American lighting manufacture.


Early innovation in kerosene lamp burner design by Bradley and Hubbard lamp manufacturers who at the turn of the 20th century were the biggest lamp producers in the world. The item is significant due to its historic connection with a major innovator of lamp design.

Physical description

Lamp Burner, metal container with turning screw for wick and mesh walls. Is made in 2 parts.

Inscriptions & markings

Raised embossing on wick adjustment screw " PAT APPLIED FOR" on top of burner "B & H Patented.July.1.90.Nov.20.94"