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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 4th Jan 2019, 9:42 pm   #21
Paul_RK
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
The other was three smaller 1.5V cells side-by-side in a cardboard jacket with rounded sides, with a pair of springy brass contacts on one end. They were used in some sort of small flashlights. Was "1289" the number?
It was. Though they weren't much used here except in flat, hip flask like pocket torches, they were very popular usually in pairs for powering various radios from continental Europe; and I've a Russian multimeter which employs one. Still fairly readily available by post if not in shops.

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Old 4th Jan 2019, 9:47 pm   #22
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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I guess it must have been the No 8 battery I was thinking of.
Quite an old battery type, that one, and not as far as I know an Ever Ready speciality. Here's an aging Exide specimen I'm harbouring: they called the size the Bijou.

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...2&d=1177083830
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 10:31 pm   #23
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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Really? What's happened to them?
The font of all knowledge (well, all my knowledge - Wikipedia....) doesn't shed much light (sorry!) on the subject, can anyone expand?
I did read a an article posted online originally written in 1992 that explained that Ever Ready had made a lot of bad management decisions over the years, particularly turning down the chance to licence the alkaline battery technology from Duracell.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 10:56 pm   #24
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

I remember as a youngster going on cub camp and taking a torch. Flat beast with a single battery that was a 4.5v with two contacts on the top of different lengths. But interestingly we had a box of spare bulbs at home. This used a 'prefocus' type. So I went through the box selecting the one that gave the brightest light.

Of course you can all predict the outcome: it was great when switched on briefly, but failed fairly fast when used for more than a few seconds.

As well as after the event, learning about voltage, current and power, I also recall a very brief experiment regarding what happened if you crossed the light beams. Someone involved (not me) must have had some deep theory to even try that.

At the end of the day, it didn't matter about any electrical theory or whatever, Akela confiscated all of our torches even though I protested that mine was no longer working.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 11:36 pm   #25
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

The flat 4.5 volt battery is still readily available on line and in outdoor shops, usually alkaline these days.
Used in lights that attach to the head, or to a hat worn upon the head.

For some reason they are more popular in mainland Europe than in the UK.
In France, many types of torch and cycle lamp use these batteries.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 1:26 am   #26
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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I remember as a youngster going on cub camp and taking a torch. Flat beast with a single battery that was a 4.5v with two contacts on the top of different lengths. But interestingly we had a box of spare bulbs at home. This used a 'prefocus' type. So I went through the box selecting the one that gave the brightest light.

Of course you can all predict the outcome: it was great when switched on briefly, but failed fairly fast when used for more than a few seconds.
My father got through several of those Ever Ready 1289 torches as military issue for cockpit use, it was a sort of dark turquoise colour with a NATO stock number stamped into it. He described it as "The most infernally useless thing ever made by man". As a kid, I used one a few times and I had to agree- the switch had to be operated several times before a very variable and unreliable light was at last obtained that would randomly go out again, sometimes a sharp knock would get it going again, sometimes not. I'm sure that Ever Ready would have charged the MOD top whack for them, too.

I actually managed to buy a slab of 6x GP brand 1289 batteries for a quid from Anchor Surplus of Nottingham just shortly before their premises burned down. Though use-by dated 2014, they were still measured as pretty good.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 2:03 am   #27
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

Written a quarter of a century ago:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/b...d-1494225.html

"The Hanson managers found themselves facing the dilemma that Ever Ready had side-stepped a decade before: how to sell alkaline batteries without cannibalising the other products. In retrospect they made a mistake in choosing to sell Gold Seal as just one of three types of battery, rather than as a totally different product. The distinctions between alkaline, zinc-chloride and zinc-carbon were lost on most consumers, who preferred Duracell's simple long-life message. Gold Seal's share of the alkaline market never went much above 20 per cent."

That confusion still exists IMHO

Also note that there's not a single mention of rechargeable technologies in that article!
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 12:54 pm   #28
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

That was the article I mentioned before.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 7:05 pm   #29
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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I did read a an article posted online originally written in 1992 that explained that Ever Ready had made a lot of bad management decisions over the years, particularly turning down the chance to licence the alkaline battery technology from Duracell.
The version of the story I read was that Every Ready developed alkaline cells but couldn't see a market for them so sold the rights to Mallory who then renamed themselves Duracell.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 8:55 pm   #30
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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@kalee20. I guess it must have been the No 8 battery I was thinking of. Your suggestion helped me bring up this link with a photo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/via20t...ry/11345932746

@G6tanuki. Thanks for the additional info on batteries I didn't know about.
Still available! But internal construction is probably different - chemistry certainly is.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 10:11 pm   #31
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

Yes as I have an Ever Ready 2 valve biscuit tin set used, to quote the instructions, for cottages!

Yes I have lived in 2 cottages.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 10:59 pm   #32
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

Slightly different but this Eveready item is a part of everyday life . Well not used much but itís on display in my home having been given to by my fathers boss when I was about 6 years old.
The torch moves and the girl dances on it.i have owned it over 50 years. Andy
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 3:06 pm   #33
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

I've got several Ever Ready torches but these are the only two currently in commission.
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 6:21 pm   #34
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

There was another Ever Ready battery I recall from the 150s/1960s.

A fat, metal-cased one about 2 inches diameter and 4 inches long. 1.5V - the top of it had a coarse thread on the outside and a central contact.

On to the coarse thread screwed a chromed housing with a push-to-make switch, and a protruding metal tube about six inches long. On the end of the tube was a fitment that contained a small, exposed coil of wire.

Press the button and after a second or so the wire glowed red - you then used it to light your gas-cooker.

While this worked just fine with old-fashioned town-gas, it seemed that natural gas was rather more reluctant to be ignited this way because these lighters faded from significance rapidly after we were all Natural-Gas-ized, to be replaced by much more-compact 'sparker' devices powered by a couple of "C" batteries.

These in turn became obsolete with the introduction of cookers with auto-ignition.
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 6:29 pm   #35
TonyDuell
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

I think that gas lighter cell with the screw thread round the top was called a 'U14'
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 12:56 am   #36
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After we were converted to natural gas, I fitted a 1.2v bulb (from an old Ever Ready rear cycle light that took a single U2 battery) to ours and used it to throw light on inaccessible places.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 10:19 pm   #37
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

I recall these gas lighters being offered for sale with a free 1.5 volt torch bulb so as to enable use as a torch as well as a gas lighter.
The momentary action switch was inconvenient but had the merit of preventing battery waste from forgetting to turn it off.

In the 1970s power cuts I suggested that friends and families should purchase one of these lighters and use it as a torch if lacking other light.
Torches and torch batteries were in very short supply.

Batteries that did NOT fit torches were much more readily available, and this led to other improvisations.
A screw terminal 4.5 volt "door bell battery" with an MES batten holder affixed between the terminals made a basic table lamp.

ISTR a trip to Woolworths during the power cuts when the ONLY batteries on sale were door bell batteries.
I bought a dozen, not for my own use but for grandparents and friends.

I also remember a type of Ever Ready battery not seen before or since. A very large pressed steel case with two screw terminals on top.
It contained 4 very large cells, probably the same as "FLAG" cells.
Hugely expensive, and I never saw the point of these rather than simply connecting 4 flag cells in series.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 10:28 pm   #38
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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I also remember a type of Ever Ready battery not seen before or since. A very large pressed steel case with two screw terminals on top.
It contained 4 very large cells, probably the same as "FLAG" cells.
Hugely expensive, and I never saw the point of these rather than simply connecting 4 flag cells in series.
They were "Lantern batteries" designed to power the sorts of powerful outdoor flashlights used by farmers, gamekeepers etc.

991 being the model-number. See https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/ever_l...ttery_991.html

I had several of these flashlights over the years.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 10:29 pm   #39
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ISTR this large and expensive battery screwed to the underside of a hand-lamp frame, similar in style and size to the type that contained 2x 996 batteries, but with the battery itself being the torch body. That would explain the strong steel frame, I can only assume that they were for some professional purpose like a watchman or inspection. I certainly recall seeing them in the shops as a kid and thinking, "How much?!".

Crossed with Tanuki!
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 11:00 pm   #40
kalee20
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Default Re: Is Ever Ready still a part of your life?

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Batteries that did NOT fit torches were much more readily available, and this led to other improvisations.
A screw terminal 4.5 volt "door bell battery" with an MES batten holder affixed between the terminals made a basic table lamp.
That'd be the 126 battery. Definitely available in the 1970's.
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