1950's Tom Thumb lights

bykfixer

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Think the Mag Solitaire is dim?

Back in the 50's HIPCO and others did what flashlight museum calls Tom Thumb lights.
They were 1aa size lights that rivaled a birthday candle for brightness.

Today we'd call 'em jewel thief or perhaps firefly.

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The chrome one at the top.

They were cute little buggars compared to the typical D sized numbers of the time.

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SE10 base 222 sized bulb, plastic lens, a fairly dull chrome metal reflector, copper slider switch, and very much end user servicable.

This one had major tarnish on the copper parts, but 15 minutes of scouring and scrubbing inside the body and the switch parts got it working like new.

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I loved that accordian beam.
It's a true 2am nature call number that makes the incan solitaire appear a lot brighter in comparison.

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The bulb is this one puts out a spot that is off center of the bulb.

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Don't know if it is just this bulb. But it has a normal spill with a spot off center big time even the bulb is centered nicely. Hmmm.
Oh well it's still a pleasant beam.

It's lights out, you have the midnight munchies but don't want to wake your better half...
IMG_20160520_234758_zpsbkh1y81a.jpg

Ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!!
The Tom Thumb is the retro way to go.


It's a neat-o little spy light that makes a fine addition to a flashlight collection.
 
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bykfixer

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Re: HIPCO Tom Thumb light

A second one arrived.

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The art deco looks pretty good over the chrome.

The reflector is nice n shiney. Innereds are perfect and best of all a Holland made #112 puts out a spendid beam. No shadow at all.

The chrome one has a new #222 now. That really shows, but still is a nifty little dim light. The #112 is way brighter.

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The proper driven bulb is nice.


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Perfect circle from the Holland bulb. Football accordian shadow'd beam from the China bulb.
So I have a cache of 1960's #112's enroute. GE's and Chicago Minatures. 20 in all. lol.

So the chrome one remains a jewel thief light via a stockpile of Chinese 222's and the art deco will be the bright one using 112's.
 
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bykfixer

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

Eveready took a stab at it using their 'big Jim' monicker to name it 'little Jim' circa 1955.

It's a typical Eveready product of the time using time tested parts n pieces.


Mini boat switch gives it a little flare.


This version has what Eveready called 'lens guard' type bezel.
It came with a #112 bulb that casts a banana shaped beam. But for now it has a new one.


If I had any qualms with this one it's the bulb fastener. It's a twisted slot in the fastener that causes the bulb to achor crooked. With the banana beam it was extremely odd to aim the light at a wall from 2' away and have a Gibralter type S shaped beam a foot above the lights spill.
But I tweaked it and got it near perfect.


This was the beam of a new bulb pre-tweak


Anti-roll body


Easy to repair slider switch


Scored a whole box of these 112's.


Versus a HIPCO and a microstream.
HIPCO's and Fultons were much nicer made. But the Eveready little Jim is a nifty little dude showing modern processes of things to come.
 
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LeanBurn

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

I am glad you put something as a size reference in most of the pics, my mind wants to think of these as full D cell sized every single time...
 

bykfixer

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

I am glad you put something as a size reference in most of the pics, my mind wants to think of these as full D cell sized every single time...

Glad you like.

Yeah they look just like the D cell size of the day.
They're so dang cute though.

When the 'little Captain' arrives that one looks exactly like it's bigger siblings so I'll do some scale pix of that one.


Seller pic

I have some others on the way that never had larger counterparts so they look like 1/2 size pen lights.
So this thread that began to highlight a HIPCO will showcase several 1aa lights of days gone by.

Edit:
After dealing with the crooked 112 bulb I went back to the 1955 bulb and it's bannana beam for the 'little Jim' light.



I'll play with it some then install a 1960's GE and use it until..


This bulb has character.
 
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GarageBoy

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

Same idea - kinda
Ray o Vac
P1100734.jpg


If anyone wants it, I'll mail it to them for free - I forgot I had this - PM me!
EDIT : Now claimed
 
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bykfixer

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

A couple more rolled in unexpectedly.

A genuine silver plated Fulton Tom Thumb, a Rayovac Sportsman Jr and an unbranded lipstick light from the 1930's.


The Fulton.
This one arrived dirty on the inside, dingey on the outside. But soon that little GE #112 will shine like new.


No lens over the reflector of the Sportsman Jr. But GE bulb burned brightly with a wall of light. Certainly the floodiest so far with at least as much throw.


The lipstick light is a fun one.
Twist the push'd in tail cap either direction for on/ off and signal when in between.
It has a Holland made #112. Beautiful beam.


Simple bulb assembly here. No reflector, no lens. Plated brass body makes this one weighty compared to the others shown.


Here are the 1/2 to 3/4 lumen jewel thief lights next to PK's new 450 lumen one cell offering.
 
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bykfixer

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

Two more jewel thief lights arrived.

First is a switchless brass bodied lipstick sized number that at this point is missing the rear spring.
Next was the 1aa sized Eveready Comander.


A basic setup where a wire touches the body when tightened and creates flow to the #112.


Simple genious.


The Eveready.
The lens and reflector are meant to stay inside the head. They can be removed...if ya know how.
The #112 bulb shines like a much brighter light.
This one is the brightest of the bunch (so far)


New York logo.
 
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Burgess

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

Very interesting thread !

I remember these little guys quite well.

Their switch was always the " weak link ".
:sick:


BTW --
the Lens-End bulbs were not intended
to be Interchangeable.

# 112 was for 1-cell AA or AAA flashlights

# 222 was for 2-cell AA or AAA flashlights


The lens end would often allow you
to " Project " the bulb filament onto a
white surface.
 

bykfixer

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Re: Eveready Little Jim

I have a budding vintage penlight collection started. Hence all those 222's.

I messed around and clicked on the 'gotalight' web site during a recent buy it now binge.

Some of the older bulbs have a lot of character.
But I like the offerings from 'memotronics' as they have a consistency similar to Holland made bulbs I have from the 1970's.

I liked the low output of the 222 that was in the HIPCO so I stuck with one in that one. The rest have 112's.

And yeah that switch is certainly not robust. Seemed like a good idea at the time I suppose.
 
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bykfixer

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Well things are kind of at a standstill on these lately.
A couple of penlights and the brass 1 cell do not light (yet). I acquired a missing spring for the brass one but haven't gotten around to figuring out why it doesn't light.
Same goes for an Underwood penlight. The Burgess penlight is also missing the spring.


The current lineup.
Penlights top to bottom:
- Eveready of my youth -circa 1976
- Underwood - circa mid 1950's, silver plated
- Burgess - art deco circa 1940's
- Toggle switch Rayovac -circa 1950's to 60's
(Thanks Garageboy.)

TomThumbs L to R:
- Eveready Little Jim - circa 1950's
- Eveready little Commander - circa 1960's
- Fulton Tom Thumb - circa 1950's, silver plated.
- HIPCO Tom Thumb - circa 1950's, silver plated.
- unknown switchless brass lipstick light.
- Rayovac Sportsman Jr - circa 1950's
- unknown silver plated brass art deco lipstick light from unknown era. Art deco was big in the 30's.
- HIPCO Tom Thumb silver plated art Deco - circa 1950's. I have another of those but my wife snatched it for her purse.

I hope to obtain a 1aa Captain some day.
And perhaps a "bullet' light by Burgess, Bond, Franco or Winchester. But being they typically go for $100+ I'm in no hurry there.

The Commander Jr was a fluke. It was on my bucket list and a seller listed it as a Little Jim. Not knowing the dif I bought it thinking it was a re-styled Little Jim.
 
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