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Product Spotlight | Outdoors

Coleman - 100 Years of Innovation

June 23, 2016

Coleman History Lesson

Known for patriotism, innovation and exploration, Coleman has been an American household name since the early 1900s. It was on one fateful night that W.C. Coleman walked past a drugstore on his way home from work as a typewriter salesman in Brockton, Alabama. What he saw in the window of that store was a new type of lamp that used gasoline to create a brilliant, white flame.

Over the next few years, Coleman embarked on a journey to contain that flame for portability and power – a passion that would forever shape the American way of working and playing. Coleman’s new lamps enabled rural farmers who didn’t have electricity in their homes to work later in the evening and earlier in the morning. Coleman’s invention offered upwards of 300 candlepower that would light up 100 yards in every direction.

Wartime Innovation

When World War I enveloped the globe, the Coleman Company stepped up, delivering 70,000 lanterns to American forces fighting in Europe. The lanterns were deemed an essential item for troops, and Coleman didn’t want American men left in the dark while fighting for freedom.

World War II quickly followed. Coleman joined the war effort, building parts at its Kansas factory. When the U.S. Army came to Coleman requesting a compact stove, the company jumped at the chance. In just 60 days, 5,000 portable stoves that could be used in any conditions (from 60-degrees below to 150-degrees above Fahrenheit), and with almost any fuel source, were designed, manufactured, and delivered to U.S. forces.

The Coleman portable camp stove, along with the Jeep, was deemed by some as the most important pieces of noncombat war equipment.

Camping with Coleman

The end of the war brought new prosperity and freedom to American families. Because men returning from war were fond of the Coleman name, and because of the new highway system making more of the U.S. accessible, families began exploring the country. They brought Coleman products with them, including the camp stoves designed for the American military.

By the 1950s, Coleman brought more innovation to the camping world by inventing the plastic molded cooler. The new coolers quickly replaced the traditional metal models available at the time. As the industry innovator, Coleman is still considered the standard by which all other coolers are measured.

You’ll Find Coleman at Coastal

When you bring the Coleman name with you on your camping adventures, you’re taking more than 100 years of innovation with you. The Coleman name can be found around the world, from American back yards to the top of Mt. Everest. You’ll find a full line of Coleman products at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal.