USA Screw Caps
Lamps with screw on caps were manufactured with a sticker inside the cap that had the date printed on them. You may also find the date of the lamp printed on the bottom of the base. Screw top caps were used from 1965 until 1995 on 52 oz. models and until 1993 on 32 oz. models, after that they switched to bottlecap-type tops. Not every lamp will have the tag as they tend to fall out if the cap has been unscrewed.
52 oz. model... Nov.1974
32 oz. model... Sept. 1980, Model 205
Rare base sticker with date... Sept. 1973
Rare stamped bottom of base... Nov. 1971
USA Bottle Cap
USA lamps with bottle caps have the date they were manufactured printed on the cap.
This is a bottle cap from a 32 oz. 2002 model; the big 29 is the globe wax and liquid combo (see color chart below). The first line of small numbers is the two digit year followed by the 24 hour time code; 02 is 2002 and the lamp was made at 08:06. The second line of small numbers is the full date of manufacture 08-13-02. Sometimes these numbers will be swapped slightly.
This cap from a 32 oz. 1994 model shows a slightly different stamping just for an example of what you might run across. This lamp was made on 05-16-94 at 05:01.
52 oz. caps usually had a different way the caps were coded - they added extra digits or letters to the codes due to different production lines and product codes.
The cap below shows the big letters 121D where the 1 stands for a 52 oz. globe, the 21 is the globe color code and the D is the production line letter. The lamp was made 04-29-02 at 04:22.
Some US-made globes from time to time will be seen with a gold colored cap. The common misconception is they are China-made but the truth is they simply ran out of caps with the Lava Lite logo occasionally. They were also used for the final runs of US made globes the last few weeks.
This cap shows a 52 oz. model with black wax clear water globe made 10-05-01 at 10:04.
China-made Lava Lite caps
The new China-made lamps use bottle caps with a sticker on top that has the date they were manufactured. The format used for the China lamps changes from time to time. If you have a variation, please post it.