Last year I realized that for probably the first time in my life, I didn't own a Coleman Lantern. Several weeks later I was at an auction and one came on the block, with a hard case. A Coleman Perfect-Flow two-mantle lantern. I snagged the lantern for about $20.00 and considered it a steal. The piezo lighter works great, and I put the lantern on a shelf and forgot about it.
A couple of weeks ago one of the kids asked me about mantels for a Coleman lantern and I realized that I didn't have any. So, today when I was at Academy, I wandered down the camping aisle to get some mantels for that lantern. Coleman lanterns are a buck apiece now. $3.99 for a four-pack. Can you believe that? Highway robbery. Even on Amazon.com, they're going for exorbitant prices.
I hope I don't need a Coleman lantern any time soon, but if I need one, it's good to have on the shelf. Of course, back in the day, we'd have to lug around white gas and the current propane models are so much more convenient. I could tell you a story about a fisherman who used Coleman lanterns to fish at night. One night he hit a snag and dropped his lantern overboard. He knew about where he was when he lost the lantern, and every time he'd pass that spot he'd stop for a minute and drag for that lantern, hoping to snag it on a treble hook. It took about a year, but one day when he pulled the hook up, his Coleman lantern was on the end of the string.
He told me it was still lit, but I think he's lying to me. Not even an old gasoline lantern will stay lit for a full year.