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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 26th Nov 2019, 11:32 am   #241
broadgage
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I have a lantern just like the one in post #239.
Two versions were produced, one had a red coloured dome and a flashing bulb under the dome. Intended primarily to keep in the car for breakdowns.

The other version with a clear dome and a non flashing bulb was intended more for power cuts in the home or for camping and outdoor activities.

The red dome version seems more common on ebay and in second hand shops.

At least one supplier offered a dual purpose lantern that was supplied with both red and clear domes, and two different bulbs.

For any long term emergency that required battery lighting for days, continually, the clear dome could be fitted with a 5 volt 0.09 amp bulb.
That gave a run time of several days from one battery.
The limited light was ample for safe movement in familiar surroundings.
Alternatively, a red dome lantern with the same 5v 0.09a bulb would preserve night vision.
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 10:47 am   #242
Artistico
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanNVJ35 View Post
Just finished my Ever Ready restoration - and had my first ever go at French polishing. This was in very poor condition - it had some sort of lacquer splattered all over it and hard old putty too - probably used in the shed at some point. I nearly never bothered but it was very nice under the mess - and I have it running now. It has a punched reflector which spreads the beam very nicely and with a Gibraltar lamp, casts a soft glow. The switch was completely messed up but I got that fixed ok too. Probably about 1920. to say that it is completely different from modern LED lights is an understatement - yet both have their place.
That is a nice restoration. I just bought a similar bullseye glass torch from eBay. I am not a torch collector, but it was sold by a seller I bought a reel-to-reel player from and I just fell in love with the look of it.

While I've not received it yet, I have started thinking about batteries. I see that you have modified yours to take a single D-cell. If it has an original-style bulb, however, do you know what the original battery's voltage would have been? I've tried googling for old batteries, but I've still not positively spotted the style that would have fitted in one of these originally.

Are replacement LED bulbs available that run best on 1.5V?

I'll look into more of this after receiving it, of course, but I just thought I'd get prepared.
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Old 4th Feb 2020, 5:35 am   #243
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Billy T/ Utley is a major collector and wrote a fine book, copyright 2001: Flashlights With Rarity & Value Guide, Early Flashlight Makers & the 1st 100 Years of Eveready. here is a forum entry on it:
https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...ights-at-Last-!!
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Old 4th Feb 2020, 9:12 am   #244
broadgage
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Old batteries were almost certainly a nominal 1.5 volts per cell, and were of the dry Leclanche type as still used today.
The voltage would drop on load, but due to the relatively primitive design of the cell, this drop in voltage was greater than that occurring with a modern dry cell.
As a CRUDE guide, modern dry Leclanche cells average about 1.4 volts per cell on slow discharge (note 1.4 volt heaters for battery valves) and about 1.2 or 1.25 volts per cell on faster discharge (note 3.6 or 3.8 volt torch bulbs for 3 cells, or 4.75 volt or 5 volt for four cells)

Older types averaged about 1.1 volts per cell, though no accuracy may be claimed.

A very few older torches used a "semi sealed" lead acid cell. This was sealed in use by a screw in plug, which had to be removed for charging.

LED torch bulbs that give a good light from a single cell are readily available, my favourite supplier is "the torch site" but many others exist.
The bulbs contain a boost converter.
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Old 9th Apr 2020, 6:12 pm   #245
IanNVJ35
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artistico View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanNVJ35 View Post
Just finished my Ever Ready restoration - and had my first ever go at French polishing. This was in very poor condition - it had some sort of lacquer splattered all over it and hard old putty too - probably used in the shed at some point. I nearly never bothered but it was very nice under the mess - and I have it running now. It has a punched reflector which spreads the beam very nicely and with a Gibraltar lamp, casts a soft glow. The switch was completely messed up but I got that fixed ok too. Probably about 1920. to say that it is completely different from modern LED lights is an understatement - yet both have their place.
That is a nice restoration. I just bought a similar bullseye glass torch from eBay. I am not a torch collector, but it was sold by a seller I bought a reel-to-reel player from and I just fell in love with the look of it.

While I've not received it yet, I have started thinking about batteries. I see that you have modified yours to take a single D-cell. If it has an original-style bulb, however, do you know what the original battery's voltage would have been? I've tried googling for old batteries, but I've still not positively spotted the style that would have fitted in one of these originally.

Are replacement LED bulbs available that run best on 1.5V?

I'll look into more of this after receiving it, of course, but I just thought I'd get prepared.
Hi,

Sorry - missed your question.

Original battery would have been a 4.5 Volt box battery with external terminals - driving a 3.5 Volt bulb. However if your lamp still has the original antique bulb it should not be driven at more than 3.2 Volts - they will burn out on any more. The original battery would have sagged to a lower Voltage very quickly.

I have a few suggestions, but the main thing with these old lights is that the bulb you use works well with the reflector and lens. Some bulbs give a nice beam and some give an absolutely horrible light - a big black hole in the beam for one. If there is no bulb fitted, look for 'pointer' bulbs used in 1960's and 1970's slide shows - makes an arrow. These, with their long filament work well in these lights and don't show up as an arrow in the beam. Modern bulbs with short coiled filaments don't really work - well they do, but its not pretty!

Keep us posted
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Old 9th Apr 2020, 11:11 pm   #246
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I remember my school physics master telling us that torch bulbs for consumer use were somewhat over-run to give a bright light at the expense of life. In the US, GE-manufactured flashlight bulbs were originally designed to only last as long as three sets of batteries. To increase sales, they were redesigned in the 1930's to only last for two sets. There was a bit of a stink when the press found out, and the scandal forced them to revert to the original design.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 5:11 pm   #247
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Default A new torch/lamp see the light

I wanted to make one of these as I found an original, which is wonderful in all respects. The old torches thread seems to have been closed, so here is my take on my attempt to make something similar. I wanted to use for it a 6v lead acid sealed cell, and was not worried about weight much as it will be used at home. But I did want something what would produce light for ages and not break in six months, as most new torches seem to do. I have found the original very useful, but as an antique I didn't want to risk bashing or dropping or otherwise wrecking it.
I also had found a bulls eye torch lens I incorporated. I find these give a lovely even circle of light. I don't know why they are not more widely used.
Mine is nothing like as elegant as the original, but works well. It has also been a learning experience to trial my woodworking and other skills, which could do with some polishing.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 8:22 pm   #248
SeanMcGee
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Default Re: A new torch/lamp see the light

It looks good.

I collect WW2 pocket lights as well as old lanterns. Something about vintage lighting
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 9:11 am   #249
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Default Re: A new torch/lamp see the light

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenstar View Post
I wanted to make one of these as I found an original, which is wonderful in all respects. The old torches thread seems to have been closed, so here is my take on my attempt to make something similar. I wanted to use for it a 6v lead acid sealed cell, and was not worried about weight much as it will be used at home. But I did want something what would produce light for ages and not break in six months, as most new torches seem to do. I have found the original very useful, but as an antique I didn't want to risk bashing or dropping or otherwise wrecking it.
I also had found a bulls eye torch lens I incorporated. I find these give a lovely even circle of light. I don't know why they are not more widely used.
Mine is nothing like as elegant as the original, but works well. It has also been a learning experience to trial my woodworking and other skills, which could do with some polishing.
I have got the parts and intend to build a new lantern style torch all be it a little more modern looking. The good bit I have got is a pair of bulls eye lenses fitted with twin LEDs giving two beam patterns.
They came off a bit that was left behind after something very off topic got broken.
They are enough to make two lanterns and the batteries I intend to use are a little bit heavy. This will allow me to add a power socket to run other off grid items.
They will be 12 volt and not 6 volt as yours is.
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 9:38 am   #250
Restoration73
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

i remember getting a Pifco motorist's lantern with Green Shield stamps. It had an
adjustable reflector at front with an upper red lens housing a flashing bulb (bi-metal
strip) , all highly chromed ISTR.
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 2:08 pm   #251
greenstar
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Refugee, that sounds good, not sure how the two bullseyes work. I wondered about a connection for a 6v supply, but I have 12v on tap from my single solar panel.
Resto3, here is my Pifco! These can be cheap at car boots. I don't use a lot of my torches, as the old ones don't break, and keep on working, so I use a couple and keep the others in case.
Thanks, CobaltBlue mod, for merging these threads.
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 2:55 pm   #252
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

The bulls eye lenses look like your original from the outside but on the inside they are half hollow and half solid optical grade plastic.
One LED is direct view and the other has a little mirror.
The bulls eye forms part of a water proof housing. There is heat sinking on the outside of the housing.
The two 12V LED circuits are in series with a single pole switch that shorts out the one that is not in use. 24V lights both of them at once.
All I have is the lamp heads with 4 wires wired into a three terminal connectors.
The work needed is to mount the lamp and a switch onto the battery top lugs with a carry handle and blade fuse.
The SLA battery will form the body of the lamp.
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 4:12 pm   #253
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I find it quite amazing that a new torch will put out considerably more than a vintage one and use much less current. The term flash light came from only being to afford to light it occasionally, the really old ones have a button as well as a switch.

I can see where both torch and flashlight came from but why flashlight for America and torch for the UK?
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Old 20th Apr 2021, 5:20 pm   #254
greenstar
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I think some torches were used to flash messages, maybe from the military. So scouts etc were keen to have ones with a button. But it may be handy sometimes to 'flash', as you may not want it to be lit very long and avoid making yourself a target. Also to conserve your nignt vision. Sure conserving battery would be a thing too. I must admit to using LED's in my old torches, makes batteries last so much longer.
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