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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 31st Oct 2016, 10:23 am   #61
russell_w_b
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colourstar View Post
One word: PIFCO!
PIFCO seemed to offer brighter, more vulgar ('blingy', if you like) torches which, although popular amongst home-users, never quite had the cachet of 'Ever Ready' when it came to professional use. I refer to those nationalised industries like British Steel and the BBC, who had 'buy British' policies, and PIFCO products were invariably 'Empire Made' (Hong-Kong). That said, British Steel issued Ray-O-Vac torches to their staff at one point, and I'm not sure whether these were made in the UK or the USA.

I note that one or two PIFCO patterns seemed to be imitations of Ever Ready products (front bicycle lamp, 800 3V battery). To be fair, there'd only be so much design latitude.

I had a lovely PIFCO headtorch, years and years before headtorches became 'mainstream'. It consisted of a grey rectangular steel stove-enamelled case that took 4 'D'-Cells (U2 or SP2 back then) and a thin figure-of-eight cable to a large chrome and glass headpiece secured by a wide piece of woven elastic. Like on the 4th Picture in Post #61 (just saw that...)
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 10:59 am   #62
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I raised eyebrows when buying Rayovac Vidor Roughnecks (Two D cells) about 25 years ago, as the packaging boasted a lifetime guarantee! The quality control wasn't infallible, but if you got a good one they outlasted others by miles.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 11:51 am   #63
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Originally Posted by Techman View Post

1.5 volt is about right if it's just a single cell.

2.5 volt if it's two cells at 3 volts....
Cheers for that info, I'll need to go bulb shopping for the little Ever ready if I'm going to use the correct 3V battery.

You mentioned a grey rubber torch, I saw one on eBay earlier, labelled Ever ready.

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Lloyd.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 11:55 am   #64
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I picked up and old Carbide mining lamp torch a while ago from a charity shop of all places .
A real work of art
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 1:53 pm   #65
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Hi Phil I was replying to post 48 regarding the Grosvenor.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 2:57 pm   #66
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Thanks for all the interesting info, photos and scans - really good stuff and I wish that I could go back and pick up some more items from that era. I have spent the weekend french polishing a really tatty old Ever Ready that looked so sad that it was almost 'parts only' but with care I am getting there in making it work again. I plan to modify it to a 'Winter morning light' for those pitch black days when putting the bedroom light on is too much. I will use a single D battery which will run a 1.5 Volt 'Gibraltar' lamp - from the 1940's. I have done a test and the 0.3 Watts of light is just perfect for night time and the run time will be at least 30 hours on one cell. It has a hammered reflector which gives a beam that looks like gently swirling water in a rock pool - most relaxing. I'll photograph it when I have finished.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 5:27 pm   #67
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

I've ever collected torches, I found battery's to be the main problem with most of the old stuff, from old valve hands free phone kit to the metal detector I have,
If I want to use them, I would have to be convert them, not that easy with multi output battery's.
I do have a MELAS dynamo torch, I have posted up before, but know one knows anything about it.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 6:17 pm   #68
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Quote:
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Hi Phil I was replying to post 48 regarding the Grosvenor.
Ah, I see, sorry Kevin, that wasn't clear.

Since my previous posting, I have got my old torch working again!
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 8:17 pm   #69
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

The man around the back of Gripton's TV shop is good with torches....
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 9:25 pm   #70
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Chuckle! Kevin, you have a PM.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 10:31 pm   #71
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I remember that in the late 1950's/early 1960's, the large 3V Ray-O-Vac cycle lamp batteries used to carry a notice saying that any cycle lamp damaged by a leaking battery would be replaced free of charge. These were the metal-clad cells - "Cased in steel" - that I only ever saw sold in cycle shops. My uncle used to use them on his bike, and never had to claim. (My dad's bike had a dynamo, so never used them.)

I must have got through dozens of sets of 6 blue U2 batteries throughout the 1960's to power my EL3585 tape recorder, and never had a single one leak, despite regularly subjecting them to "recharging" by being connected in parallel with a very basic 9V DC mains unit that dad built from a PW article (bell transformer, one silicon diode, one zener, and one electrolytic capacitor). The mains unit's smoothing wasn't up top much, so I tried connecting it in parallel with the batteries and found that, not only was the hum much reduced, but the batteries gave out more voltage after the mains unit was disconnected. Conversely, the early Ever-Ready (white ) "Sealed" U2s did leak, and the early (orange) alkaline HP2 batteries produced too high a voltage for the tape recorder's simple regulator to cope with, so I never used them.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 11:45 pm   #72
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The modern mag-lites said a similar thing, free repair if you'd used certain brands of battery and they'd leaked. (possibly Duracell and Energiser, I forget). Trouble was, mine had leaked and I couldnt remember what was in there because they'd jammed solid! In the end my brother drilled it all out for me.
We had one of those 60's ever ready all-rubber torches (rubber clad) with seperate push on and off buttons. That rotted so badly that only the rubber was left and it all just fell apart in a powdery mess.

Owning a decent torch seems to be a new 'thing' with this advent of ultra bright LEDs. I remember making trips to the camping shops as a child and buying a 2-cell ever-ready, vidor or pifco torch was quite an event for a child and very exciting.
One day when I was a kid I found a corroded Pifco with one of those red flashing lights on top. I cleaned it all up and got it working with a new flasher bulb from the petrol station and spend hours just letting it flash while I stared at it in wonder. How we were easily entertained!
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 11:55 pm   #73
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
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'...I must have got through dozens of sets of 6 blue U2 batteries throughout the 1960's to power my EL3585 tape recorder, and never had a single one leak, despite regularly subjecting them to "recharging" by being connected in parallel with a very basic 9V DC mains unit that dad built from a PW article (bell transformer, one silicon diode, one zener, and one electrolytic capacitor).'
I seem to remember that it was possible to recharge zinc-carbon batteries partially with 'dirty d.c.' although I can't remember any of the parameters for doing so. I remember trying it with U2 torch cells and it sort of worked - sometimes - and sometimes not...
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 12:26 am   #74
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

This must be vintage by now.

Ex. British Railways Bardic, red & green aspects.
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 2:13 am   #75
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Techman View Post
The next torch is a type that I don't think has been mentioned so far and perhaps could be called another 'under pillow' type. It's made by Ever Ready and my parents had it for many years. They may well have bought it new, or it could have been one that latterly belonged to my grandmother - it seems to have been around forever. I have never used this torch myself and it would no doubt work if I took the time to re-stuff that battery with AA cells.
The "under pillow" Ever Ready torch was introduced in 1965 and was available until at least the mid-80s. It was quite a modern design for the time, with an ABS case and the reflector plated directly on to the plastic of the lamp housing. They were usually red or blue (possibly there was also an olive green version) and were also branded as Berec. I still use one because it's exactly the right shape for a coat pocket.
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 11:41 am   #76
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This is a 3 D cell all plastic torch that is supposed to be safe to use in explosive atmospheres. It certainly screws together tightly.

Jim
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 12:04 pm   #77
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I have a 40's era (vehicle mounted?) inspection lamp that has a long rubber extension lead stored inside- it unrolls as a tape measure would and the whole lantern assembly inside rotates at the same time. It has two threaded bosses at either side suggesting an up and down swivel mount with facility to detach and wander. I am thinking it may be off a Ferret or something similar, when i can find it i will do a pic. It is certainly not a signalling lamp, more of a spot lamp- the switch is very well made- a 90 degree 'clunk' job
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 1:17 pm   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunel View Post
This must be vintage by now.

Ex. British Railways Bardic, red & green aspects.
These are no longer made, but were made until recently, and huge numbers remain in use.
Good used examples are often listed on ebay, and NOS examples turn up from time to time.

They were manufactured in several case colours including.
"silver" British rail and successor companies.
Olive green, military
Blue, flameproof version to be used by train drivers visiting oil terminals, explosives factories and the like.
Yellow, other uses including private railways and industrial use.

The standard colour change mechanism was for 4 colours, red, green, white, and yellow. The lamps issued to railway guards had a segmented washer that prevented the yellow being selected, the yellow filter is still fitted but can't be selected unless the segmented washer is removed.
Back in the day, railway staff often used these Bardic lamps as bicycle lamps,
They are still used as headlights and tail lights on horse drawn vehicles and steam road vehicles not equipped with other lights.

A far less common version of these lamps can show a red, green, BLUE or white light, intended for police use but never caught on.

The correct battery is an AD28, still available but only made by Eveready AFAIK. It is simple to fit a holder for 3 D cells if required instead of the AD28.

The original bulb was a standard prefocus type 3.8 volt, 0.3amp.
A modern LED bulb is a good retrofit.
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 2:09 pm   #79
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Default Re: Old torches - anyone here collect them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Philpott View Post
I have a 40's era (vehicle mounted?) inspection lamp that has a long rubber extension lead stored inside- it unrolls as a tape measure would and the whole lantern assembly inside rotates at the same time.
Reminded me of those ubiquitous Hong-Kong made, orange plastic, magnetic car inspection lights that ran off the cigarette lighter which were available at every street market for a few years in the early 1980s, a bit like this: http://www.2040-parts.com/_content/i...595714/001.jpg or http://thumbs.ebaystatic.com/images/...14~/s-l225.jpg

Not very durable, and I haven't seen one for years.
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 2:48 pm   #80
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I actually dug one out of my rummel box last week. Just as I remember, thin tangly flex, fragile plug and overdriven bulb - they ran hot and hard and blew quickly. Replacement 12V bulbs were very yellow as they were meant for car use and hundreds of hours of run time. The original bulbs have no ratings - they are probably 6 Volts.
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