The Rayo Lamp was manufactured by the Bradley & Hubbard Mfg. Co., in Meriden, CT. The flame spreader’s first patent is Nov. 30, 1894, then called “Perfection” which were initially made under contract with the Standard Oil Co. One story is you got a free Rayo if you bought 15 gallons of Standard Oil kerosene. The Trademark for the name RAYO remained active under Eastern Standard, Esso, Humble Oil and lastly Exxon Corp. until 1988! B&H began to advertise and sell it to retailers like Montgomery Ward, (they must have paid royalties to Standard Oil for the use of the name). Its sole purpose was to help Standard Oil sell kerosene. Solid brass throughout and nickel plated. In 1911 they were $48.00 dozen with tripod. The Rayo was a round wick central draft lamp as were all the lamp makers, such as Pittsburgh Lamp, Plume & Atwood, Rochester, Edw. Miller, etc. – they were greatly out-performed by the new mantle Aladdins around 1907. These gave 60 watt from a much smaller wick and used half the fuel. The Rayo needs 30 minutes to an hour to REALLY warm up & produce good light, after that the flame can be turned up as high as 2 to 3” – (if you aren’t concerned about breaking the chimney)! The Rayo is considered a fuel hog by today’s collectors, which likely served the purposes of Standard Oil, its sponsor, quite well!
We carry a good selection of 10" white milk glass shades for Rayo and other similar lamps, also the tripod and rim shade holders, chimneys, wicks, and oil filler caps. We also restore, strip off the nickel that is left to get down to the solid brass and wire these old lamps for the public when desired. When the book on the Rayo lamp came out in 2001 it showed the Rayo with the cut off shade, rim and the tall chimney shown here.