Historical information

This lantern or lamp was used for lighting an automobile or motor cycle in the 1920s or 1930s. It could also have been used in a household or carried by a person. It was made by the English firm of Joseph Lucas Ltd., a business founded in 1860 which originally made scoops, buckets and plant holders. In 1875 it began the production of lamps and in the early 20th century made automotive components. Today after having merged with a North American company it makes components for the automotive and aerospace industries. The term 'King of the Road' was reserved for products that were regarded as the most prestigious and the ones commanding the highest price. This lamp was advertised as one that 'will not blow out in the toughest gale'.


This item is retained as an interesting example of the lighting used for cars and bicycles early in the 20th century.

Physical description

This is a metal lantern which is much rusted but which may have been chrome or nickel plated. It has a lighting mechanism enclosed in glass, a handle on the top, a winding screw on the side, an oil container and a metal plaque on the base.

Inscriptions & markings

LUCAS No. 636
KING of the ROAD