The Stonebridge Folding Lantern

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Unfolded, ready for use.

The Stonebridge Lantern; a classic, lightweight, packable candle lantern that was very popular once upon a time in the U.S.  The Stonebridge is an ingenious piece of design work as it folds almost perfectly flat for travel; like origami in tin.  Weighing in at only 11 ounces (.31 kilos) without a candle it’s a camp luxury without much sacrifice to weight.  The downside, it only delivers one candle-power of light, assuming a very clean and clear window.  I’ll be honest, we like this stuff just because it’s clever sometimes; and who doesn’t need a bit light on a dark night?

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Rear view, showing hole for wall mounting.

The body is held together by rivets and hinge pins and the windows are comprised of clear mica.  There is a handy hole punched in the back, reinforced with a grommet, so that the lantern can be hung on a nail against a wall.

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Folded for travel or storage.

What kept this little piece of genius from vanishing into the obscurity of time was the continued enthusiasm around classic wilderness gear expounded on by Horace Kephart and other classic campers throughout the century.  Before I owned this one, it obviously saw years of hard service either in the wilds or, as often happens, as a kid’s toy.  A couple reset rivets and a little cleaning went a long way to make this lantern great again.

I have to admit, I don’t really need this gizmo in the wilderness, but I like it enough to pack it along when I can.  If nothing else, it keeps a candle lit in nearly all weather and provides a little warm, cheery light on a dismal night.

Click for full sized image. Maybe a tinsmith out there can make use of this.

Click for full-sized image. Maybe an ambitious tinsmith out there can make use of these plans.

I am considering replacing the mica windows on my lantern as they have been a bit abused over the years.  From scanning around the web it seems that mica is fairly cheap and easy to find for crafters.  If it seems feasible, I’ll try to document the process to help others who may need to undertake this.

Garret Wade Tool Company sells a copy of the lantern.  Click the image below for the link.


Replica sold at Garrett Wade. Click image for lnk.

Happy trails…









5 thoughts on “The Stonebridge Folding Lantern

  1. i love this Lamp, i wish i could own one right now. anywhere i can find such a piece? by the way the rucksack with portmanteau is under construction my friend. i will email you the photos after it gets finished. but i cant find anywhere to buy neatsfoot oil and mink oil for preserving the leather. those are the oils you recommended i guess.

  2. Great little lantern. I checked out the link to the Garrettwade site but couldn’t figure out what the difference between the two lanterns they sell was. There’s a price difference but no explanation or description of their differences. You said you didn’t really need this gizmo in the wilderness but I’ll tell you, even though I like my well lit, very bright battery lanterns for off generator/ off grid it’s the large size tea light I set in my solid fuel stove at night in my vardo that not only keeps it warm at night but takes out all the flying insects that find their way in at dusk. They are drawn to the light through the vents and it sizzles their little blood thirsty wings. It’s also the perfect amount of light for that late night bathroom trip. Thank you for posting such a great blog.

    • Thanks Amber. When I say “need” I really mean it. Thousands of nights out on the ground with few amenities makes me appreciate these little luxuries indeed. To let you know how much I love the candle lanterns, I often used to carry an 18th century style punched tin lamp tied to the outside of my pack. I filled it with tinder, candles, etc. so as to not waste the space. The Stonebridge generally lives in my vardo now that I mostly camp in luxury.

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