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: Mr. M.J. Howell
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, May 4th - 6th, 2018
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 on the Rushlight Club Summer 2017 Meeting & NAALC Gathering,
Columbia, Missouri


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

Rushlight Club Spring Meeting, May 4th - 6th, 2018, Madison, Indiana

The Club's Spring meeting will be in Madison Indiana which is located on the Ohio river in southern Indiana. Madison is a historic river town with many restored homes as well as many antique shops.

Hotel Location: The Clifty Inn, located on top of a hill in beautiful Clifty Falls State Park.
1650 Clifty Hollow Road, Madison, Indiana Phone: 877-563-4371
Our room rates range from $144.99 to $154.99 depending on the size of the room you select.
Make your reservation directly with the hotel and mention the Rushlight Club.

Hotel registration must be made by April 1st cut-off date.

On Friday evening there will be a reception at the recently restored Shewsbury-Windle house, 301 W. First St., (corner of First and Poplar streets). Keith Letsche will conduct a tour of the house where Rushlight member Craig Maue was involved in restoring the house lighting. Jerry Mercer will host wine and finger food at the house. Friday dinner will be on your own and restaurant suggestions are on the schedule.

On Saturday you will have a choice of 2 options.
1.     You can explore the town on your own. Madison has 8 museum/houses, 8 antique shops/malls and several wineries.
2.    You may take a tour of the town planned by the visitors bureau. The tour will include 4 of the houses/museums. Tour details are on the Meeting Schedule.

Saturday evening the Rushlight banquet is at the Clifty Inn. We will have a silent auction and show and tell. See the Registration Form for meal choices. The Saturday evening speaker to be announced.

Sunday Morning, Jerry Mercer has graciously offered to open his home for members to view his collection. Jerry lives in Moscow, Ohio, about 90 miles northeast of Madison. Directions will be provided.

Registration Deadline is April 18, 2018 -- Please no forms after this date

See Meeting Schedule and Rigistration Form for Additional Details

Spring Meeting Schedule & Registration Form (PDF)


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Other Upcoming Shows and Club Meetings

Eastern Lighting Collectors Meet & Lamp Show

April 4th - 7th 2018, Somerset, PA
For Information Contact:  Tom Small   814-634-5639


Historic Lighting Society of Canada, Spring 2018 Meeting

May 5th 2018, Brockville, Ontario, Canada
HLSC website:


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The Rushlight Club Inc. ©2018