W.C. Coleman could see the light for the darkness. The young salesman was taking a stroll after a hard day’s work selling typewriters, and spotted a new type of lamplight in a drugstore window in Brockton, Alabama. This new light burned with a strong, steady white flame and was fueled by gasoline. The standard lamp of the era burned kerosene and produced a smoky, flickering, yellowish light. W.C. was stricken with very poor eyesight, and was very interested in this new, steady white light that enabled him to read even the smallest print in books and on medicine bottles. Coleman saw potential in the new light, and through his vision a new company was born that would put America’s farms and ranches in a new light, and would eventually make his name synonymous with outdoor fun.
When the war ended, Coleman’s business boomed. Since the company had been manufacturing products for the armed services during the war, the inventories of normal recreational products were depleted, and there was an enormous backlog of demand for its regular products. And returning GIs had a familiar attachment to the Coleman name, given the tremendous success of the field stove. In peace time, American families had money, a new interstate highway system, and fancy new cars! Lower prices made cars affordable for many families, and with this newfound mobility came the urge to travel and explore. Car camping was all the rage. Travelers loaded up the station wagons and took off. Roadways were improving, but hotels in those days weren’t on every corner. Instead of check-in times, Vacationers simply pulled off the road and made camp on the roadside.
A fold-up camp stove that W.C. Coleman had first developed two decades earlier quickly found favor with the auto camping crowd. To retailers, the two-burner stove was billed as a “keen cooker and a quick seller”. It found its way onto front porches and into hunting lodges, vacation cabins and camping trailers. Along with the lantern, the camp stove made an ideal traveling companion and was a must have for the family getaways.
The Coleman Company, Inc. added many recognizable brands to our family of goods after the dawn of the new century. Under the Coleman tent, you’ll now find Sevylor® floats and towables, Stearns® life vests, Mad Dog Gear® ATV accessories, Helium® sports vests and AeroBed® airbeds. It’s a challenge to outfit yourself for outdoor fun and not have something from the Coleman® family of products with you.
What started out as a lamp that could light up four corners of a barn has become a company that has helped light all four corners of the globe. Coleman products have journeyed deep in the Sahara desert, and been along on treks all the way to the South Pole. Coleman lanterns guided aircraft to safe landings in the Andes Mountains in South America in the 1920s, and helped climbers reach the top of Mt. Everest in the next century. Hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, four-wheeling, relaxing, tailgating…Being in the outdoors has so much to offer, and Coleman has everything to help you get out there.