This early example is of one of their first anchor lanterns produced when the company was created by F. Persky & Company, New York, lantern makers in the early 1900's. The company was in operation for about a dozen years until 1913 when Frederick became president of National Marine Lamp Company. This company name was established prior to Frederick Persky changing his last name to Perkins! (See history below).
This unique lantern was manufactured using galvanized metal with brass chimney cap and 'Christmas tree' vents and ring handle and two tie-down rings on each side and five vertical wire guards. Fixed 'hourglass' shaped molded colorless globe with embossed letters stating "PERSKY & CO. AJAX. NEW YORK, U.S.A.". According to a PERKO representative, they believe that the name 'AJAX' was the name of the company that produced the glass globe. Measures 10 3/4" tall, exclusive of the ring bail handle, 4 1/4 inches diameter of base. Slight scaling on exterior of the metal surface, but overall in good original condition. Missing burner.
History (The Perko Story)
The story starts with Frederick Persky, who later became known as Frederick Perkins. He was a Russian immigrant who was schooled in Germany as a machinist and tool-and-die maker. Frederick came to the United States in the early 1890's and soon became employed as a machinist for E.W. Bliss & Company in Brooklyn, New York. In the early 1900's, he and a partner began operating a business, F. Persky & Company, Lantern Manufacturer, out of the basement of his house.
In 1907, Frederick's son Louis joined him in the business, and together they enlarged both the product line and the manufacturing facilities. By 1912, they had seventeen employees and made a wide range of marine lanterns and products.
The business continued operating until 1913 when Frederick became president of National Marine Lamp Company, based out of Forestville, Connecticut. Frederick and Louis left that company in 1916 and moved back to Brooklyn, New York, where they started Perkins Marine Lamp Corporation.
Five generations later, PERKO is still a privately owned, family operated corporation, which is unusual in today's marketplace. Perkins Marine Corporation was initially known as Perkins Marine Lamp, Inc. The original focus was on the manufacture of hand formed sheet metal products for the marine market. The first catalog was published in 1916, with a product line as diverse for its time as PERKO's catalog is today.
It included a full range of kerosene and electric lanterns for small and large boats, ventilators, chart cases, signaling devices, mooring buoys, pumps and a variety of spare parts. These products, fabricated from brass, copper and galvanized sheet metal, began what was our ongoing reputation for producing high quality products. We still do some hand forming and soldering today, much as it was done in our early years.
In 1922, the "PERKO" trademark was instituted. Each new product (and there were many) utilized the latest, sophisticated metal manufacturing technology and customers came to expect the highest standard of excellence from PERKO products.