Rushlight Club Purpose

“To shed light on the lights of the past”

The Rushlight Club, founded in 1932 for the study and preservation of LIGHTING, is one of the oldest organizations dedicated to a single aspect of material culture.  The collecting and researching interests of members range from the earliest primitive lighting devices through lighting by gas and electricity.

The purpose of the Club as set forth by its founders, and which remains unchanged today, is to stimulate an interest in the study of early lighting including the use of early lighting devices and lighting fuels, and the origins and development of each, by means of written articles, lectures, exhibitions from private collections and if desired, through the medium of exchange, and its object shall be to collect, preserve and disseminate information and data obtained through these studies.

The Rushlight Club, Inc. was incorporated in 1989 as an international, educational, non-profit, tax-exempt organization.

Written articles on research of the history, development and application of lighting, lighting fuels and accessories are published in the Club's quarterly historical journal, The Rushlight.

Information on lighting lectures, conferences, exhibitions from private collections and regular meetings is published in the Club's quarterly newsletter, Flickerings

The Rushlight and Flickerings are available by membership in the Rushlight Club.


Annual Club dues are $35 US for U.S. addresses, $40 for Canadian addresses, and $45 for overseas addresses.  Rushlight Club membership is on a calendar year basis. The membership year is January 1st to December 31st. There is a one-time new member fee of $5 US.

Members receive The Rushlight and Flickerings four times a year, along with a Membership Directory and selected reprints of lighting ephemera. Members' addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses are included in the Membership Directory.

New Members

To obtain a printable copy of the membership application form, click the link below:

Rushlight Club New Membership Application (pdf)

Application for membership in the Rushlight Club may also be requested from:

 Mr. Dale Wiltsee, Corresponding Secretary
 The Rushlight Club, Inc.
 58 Meetinghouse Ct
 Shamong, NJ 08088-9421  USA
 Phone: 609-268-7748

Renewing Members

Renewal notices for the following year are sent to all Club members at the end of October and renewals are due by December 31st. Prompt submission of dues before the start of the new year ensures uninterrupted delivery of The Rushlight and Flickerings. There is a reinstatement fee of $5 for all renewals that are received after January 31st.  Make checks payable to "The Rushlight Club" and mail to:

Rushlight Club, c/o Ms. Pat Howell, 415 Walnut St., Elmhurst, IL 60126-2258

Club Officers

President: Ms. Donna Schoenly
Vice President: Mr. Dick O'Connell
Treasurer: Ms. Pat Howell
Corresponding Secretary: Mr. Dale Wiltsee
Recording Secretary: Ms. Martha DeBlieu

Editors and Chairpersons

Editor of The Rushlight: Mr. Keith Letsche
Editor of Flickerings: Ms. Ann Shallcross
Bylaws Chair: Mr. Keith Letsche  
Finance Chair: Ms. Donna Schoenly  
Identification Chair: Mr. Peter Gregory
Nominations Chair: Mr. Gerald Mercer  
Past President: Mr. Gerald Mercer  
Presidents Advisory Committee Chair: Mr. Peter Gregory  
Program Chair: Mr. Don Schoenly
Website Manager: Mr. M.J. Howell

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Rushlight Club Publications

The following Rushlight Club Publications may be purchased directly from the Club:

The following Rushlight publications are available on this website:

The following publications may be purchased from the Rushlight Club:

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Events and News:

Rushlight Club Spring Meeting, April 7th - 9th, 2017
Report of the Rushlight Club Fall 2016 Meeting, Deerfield, MA
Rushlight Club Offers Public Q&A Forum to Assist Lighting Research
Book Review: The Evolution of the Kerosene Mantle Burner
Book Review: The Dietz & Company Illustrated Catalogue of 1860 [sic]
Book Review: Center-Draft Kerosene Lamps, 1884-1940: Identification...

Reports of Past Meetings and Events:


Report of the Rushlight Club Fall 2016 Meeting, Deerfield, MA
Report on the Rushlight Club 2016 Summer Meeting & NAALC Gathering, Louisville, KY (.pdf)



Report on the Rushlight Club 2014 Summer Meeting & NAALC Gathering, Indianapolis, IN
Report on the Rushlight 2014 Midwest Regional Meet, Glen Ellyn, IL


Report on the 2013 Mideast Lighting Collector's Meet & Lamp Show, Richmond, IN
Report on the Rushlight Club 2013 Fall Meeting, Doylestown, PA
Report of the Spring 2013 Eastern Lighting Meet in Somerset, PA



Report of the Summer 2011 Meeting & NAALC Gathering, Indianapolis, IN
Report on the Rushlight Club 2011 Spring Meeting,  Corning, NY
Report of the Spring 2011 Eastern Lighting Meet in Somerset PA
Report on the Rushlight Regional Get-Together, Glen Ellyn, IL, Jan. 29th, 2011


Report on the Rushlight Club Summer 2010 Meeting in Columbia MO (.pdf)
Report on the Rushlight Club Spring 2010 Spring Meeting in West Suburban Chicago and Rockford IL (.pdf)


Report of the Spring 2009 Eastern Lighting Meet in Somerset PA


Report on the Rushlight Club Fall 2008 Meeting in Nashville TN
Report on the Rushlight Club Spring 2008 Meeting in Philadelphia


Highlights of the October 2007 Rushlight Club 75th Anniversary Meeting

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Upcoming Rushlight Club Meetings

Additional details and meeting registration forms for the following meetings will be on this website and in upcoming issues of The Flickerings as available.

Rushlight Club Spring Meeting, April 7th - 9th, 2017

The 2017 Rushlight Club Spring meeting plans are now in place. The meeting dates are April 7, 8 and 9 th . We will be going to Canton, Ohio primarily to see long time member Jamie Jones’s fabulous collection. Check out his website just to get an idea of the quality and range of Jamie’s collection. His website is

We will be staying at the McKinley Grand Hotel in downtown Canton. The address is 320 Market Street, Canton Ohio. Phone number is 330-454-5000. Our room rate is $89.00 per night. This rate will be held until March 17 th.

Saturday morning April 8 th we will drive to Zoar Historic village about ½ hour south of Canton. Zoar Historic village was founded in 1819 by a German religious sect. There we will have a tour from 9 to 11 AM of the key sights in the village. We will meet in front of the General Store at 198 Main St, Zoar OH 44697.

We will be staying in the Zoar area for lunch at the beautiful Canal Tavern of Zoar at 11:30 am. The address is 8806 Towpath Road NE Bolivar OH, just a short distance from Zoar Village. We will be ordering off the menu.

After lunch we will divide into two groups. One group will drive to North Canton to see Rushlight Club members Janet and James Fuller’s wonderful lighting collection. The other half will drive to downtown Canton to visit the Saxton McKinley house for a 1:30 tour. This house was the family home of McKinley’s wife, Ida, and he and his wife lived in the house between 1878-1891 during the period he served in the U.S. House of Representatives. The address is 331 Market Avenue South, Canton OH. It is an 1880 period house directly across the street from our hotel. Mid-afternoon the two groups will just switch places to visit. The Saxton McKinley tour will begin at 3:00 pm.

Saturday evening we will have a reception and banquet at the McKinley Grand hotel in the Presidents Hall. We will have the usual Silent Auction and Show and tell. Our speaker will be David Broughton, a long time Rushlight Club member. The title of his talk is "Highlights of 35 Years Searching for Lighting Ephemera".

Sunday morning we all will drive to Jamie Jones home in Alliance Ohio about ½ hour east of Canton to see his fabulous collection. Jamie said he will be bringing some of his collection to sell at the silent auction. He also indicated that he will be collecting on a smaller scale, so if you see a lamp at his home you would like to buy, please discuss it with Jamie in private as many items will become available.

Spring Meeting Registration Form & Agenda (PDF)



Rushlight Club Summer Meeting, August 6th - 13th, 2017

The Rushlight Club Summer meeting will be held in conjunction with the Aladdin Gathering in Columbia Missouri on August 6th - 13th, 2017. The hotel will be the Holiday Inn Executive Center, room rates is $94.95 per night. For reservations call 573-445-8531, Monday - Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Ask for group block ‘AL7’ when making reservations.

Rushlight Club Fall Meeting, October 26th - 28th, 2017

The Fall Meeting in 2017 will be our 85th Anniversary and plans are underway. We will be holding our meeting on October 26, 27 and 28th, a little later than usual. This meeting will be very different than our usual meetings. It will be more educational with many talks given by very qualified speakers. Several speakers are already lined up. They are Jeffrey Evans, Roger Moss, Jane Brox, Kelly Conway, Chuck Leib and hopefully Dan Mattausch. Our club is well represented. Be sure to put these date on your 2017 calendar.

We will be meeting at the Winterthur Museum in Delaware where the museum will be offering a 2 day Symposium on Lighting. They have asked The Rushlight Club to help in the planning and execution of this symposium. Ann Wagner, the curator, is planning some special things just for our members and we will also be having many of the usual things we do such as the Silent Auction, Show and Tell and a business meeting with the Banquet.

We will be staying at the Best Western Concordville Hotel, in Concordville Pa. This is the same hotel we stayed at the last time we visited Winterthur. We will be holding our banquet at this hotel. Our group rate is $144 per night. They are not requiring us to guarantee a number of rooms so it is not so important that you stay at this hotel. They are only holding 7 rooms for us at a time and when they are reserved they will hold another 7 rooms if some are still available. So make your own decisions. If you want to stay at this hotel make your reservations early. They told me that you possibly could get better rates on Travelocity or one of the other hotel reservation sites but you would need to pay when you make the reservation.

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Other Upcoming Shows and Club Meetings

Additional details of these events will be in upcoming issues of The Flickerings.

Eastern Lighting Collectors Meeting

April 5 th - 8 th 2017, Somerset, PA


Historic Lighting Society of Canada Spring 2017 Meeting

April 28 th - 29 th 2017, Peterborough, Ontario
HLSC website:

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The Rushlight Club Inc. ©2017