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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 Oct 2016, 11:42 pm   #1
IanNVJ35
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Default Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I have quite a collection of torches dating from about 1905 to the 1970's. I was wondering if anyone else here has such an interest. I am quite strict with what I collect - they must work and be in good condition. I need to fix them usually, but that is half the fun! Some are made from mahogany with joints, some are brass and with deep polished reflector and some are simple tinplate. I try to use the original bulbs that they would have come with - ones made before the 1930's have a single strand filament which gives a soft misty beam as it has no focus.

To be honest everything these days is too glaring and bright - I much prefer low light such as old torches or candles etc. Car headlights especially seem dazzling and cold - competing with each other and all the street lighting. Makes for a headache...

Now the darker days are here I walk out with them through the woods and along the lanes - gives a real connection with the past I think. I used 'The Orilux' today - the same model that saved Winston Churchill from shrapnel in the trenches in WW1 and the old fashioned beam was quite addictive - much nicer than cold blue LED...

So do you have any old lights too?
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 12:29 am   #2
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I don't collect old torches but I can see why you do. They're gorgeous!

Regards,
Paul
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 3:19 am   #3
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

What a great thing to collect, like a lot of things once you start getting into it you realise how much scope there is.
I have a number of rather modest but attractive Bakelite torches, nice things to have.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 6:25 am   #4
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Years ago I searched for old wireless in the early hours in London street markets.
I used a chrome torch with a swivelling head to find them in the totters vans.

If you had done that you would have used a torch to find a torch.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 7:32 am   #5
IanNVJ35
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Thanks for the input. Sometimes making a really old one work is quite a challenge as everything that can be high resistance usually is. After getting everything sorted its quite a thrill to see it giving light after many decades of darkness.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 9:37 am   #6
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I had a brief obsession with the under-pillow flashlights taking the ubiquitous No.8 battery.
Not exactly rarities, but some were decent quality. My favourite has a ribbed plastic grip, a bulls-eye lens, and two rings of tiny holes, showing red and green.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 10:21 am   #7
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I have a very small collection of torches, I have 2 Ever ready ones with the big bubble lens on the end, and a Rayovac Hunter. They are all in pretty lousy condition, but they work!

I also make my own torches out of old baked bean cans and parts of certain deodorant cans, fit them with a 12v SLA and an MR16 type LED bulb.

I'll try and get some pictures of them uploaded!

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Old 27th Oct 2016, 10:47 am   #8
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I have one of the (probably just post war) ever ready front cycle lamps with the robust vibration proof screw down switch. When 3V dumbell batteries disappeared it became less appealing.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 10:48 am   #9
IanNVJ35
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigham View Post
I had a brief obsession with the under-pillow flashlights taking the ubiquitous No.8 battery.
Not exactly rarities, but some were decent quality. My favourite has a ribbed plastic grip, a bulls-eye lens, and two rings of tiny holes, showing red and green.
I have quite a few of the No.8 torches. To me they are a victim of battery shortcomings as the beam is often so weak that it is crying out for a boost. I have one No.8 with the most beautiful silvered reflector which also gives an adjustable beam. Fitting this with an 18650 battery and LED from reflectalite gives a wonderful beam with about 120 lumens out the front. Another, with a lensed glass end i fitted up with a home potted 5D Xenon Maglite bulb driven by two 18350 batteries. Due to the gold hue reflector and glass lens it gives the most wonderful sivery gold beam. Love these old lights!
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 10:52 am   #10
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

In a box of components I have one of those 1960s torches that has a socket in the middle of the lens where you fit a screwdriver shaft.
I had a quick look for it but with no luck.
It is supposed be for tightening screws that are situated in dark places.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:51 am   #11
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

A couple from my collection.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:59 am   #12
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Just been and taken some photo's of my little collection! Also remembered I have some old metal cased cycle lamps too, don't know where they are currently though (I hope they didn't get left behind at the old house...).

The Rayovac torch uses one of the 6V springy terminal batteries, while the Ever ready (shown working) uses one of the 4.5V batteries with the 2 flat springy terminals on top. I've no idea what the little ever ready one uses, it was also missing it's bulb when I got it, but I recently bought a job lot of old 3.5V and 1.5V bulbs so could use either.

If anyone is interested in the 'home made' torches I could start a new thread on how I made them, so long as it's OK with the mods?

Regards,
Lloyd.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 12:41 pm   #13
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

The home made torches look awesome!

Regards,
Paul
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 12:45 pm   #14
Brigham
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

The little Ever-Ready almost certainly takes No8 battery. Not readily available here, but still popular in Germany, so a little searching on an international retail site needed.
You need to re-label them, of course.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 1:19 pm   #15
Lloyd 1985
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Great! Now I know what battery to look for I'll see if I can get one.

Paul, cheers for the comments on the home made jobbies!

Regards,
Lloyd.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 2:05 pm   #16
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

BIKECO/Reflectalite now make some LED upgrades in both push-in and screw in; the colour temperature is always going to be a potential compromise but they certainly make certain older lanterns more viable in the gloom
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 2:20 pm   #17
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Very nice examples

Many didn't survive the 'rotting battery' syndrome.

Here's another one that did:-
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 2:39 pm   #18
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refugee View Post
In a box of components I have one of those 1960s torches that has a socket in the middle of the lens where you fit a screwdriver shaft.
Here's mine that I seem to remember was bought for me when I was a kid. Somewhere I've got the other three screwdriver bits for it - now to go and find some batteries (cells) to fit it
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 6:30 pm   #19
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Military torches/lamps.

I used to have a few of these, but most became the victim of battery rot or other childhood destruction. These are the last two survivors that are still in original packing as I would have bought them 'back in the day'. I think they may have cost a shilling or two or perhaps even as much as half a crown! They came sealed in a pitch covered canvas wrapping as shown in the first picture below. They were made by various manufacturers to the same basic design, but the silver 'tint' of the reflectors was quite variable and some even had just white painted reflectors. In use, the coloured 'turn round' filter lens soon broke away from its centre knob and the whole lot was best removed to give a full light output. However, the two examples shown have survived my early modifications and are perfect, untouched and original.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 6:41 pm   #20
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Minefield lamp.

A rare survivor. Note the internal wax sealant that was originally over nearly all of the inside of the lens, just leaving a small area for light to show through. Note that the bulb in the clip on the left is a special very low wattage type with a single strand high resistance filament.

Shame I didn't like the original colour and painted it bright green - well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!
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