In the 1800's bicycles became very popular and affordable for many people. This necessitated some type of illumination. Thus the bicycle lamp was introduced. Mostly fueled by kerosene, these lamps were manufactured by several popular companies, including, Bristol Brass and Clock, The Hitchcock Lamp Company, Edward Miller & Company, The Plume and Atwood Manufacturing Company, and The Bridgeport Brass Company. There were several other companies that also made bicycle lamps.
The antique bicycle lamp had a basic design and were relatively standardized. They had a housing component that was usually made of brass, a removable fount and burner, a front lens piece and a bracket that would attach the lamp to the bicycle. The brackets were often very basic, however, some are very elaborate with several springs designed to absorb shock. Some bicycle lamps also had a reflector made of polished metal that would increase the light output. Most of these lamps have a convex lens that focused the light. The basic antique bicycle lamp was also equipped with a red and green jewel on either side which functioned as markers.