Historians: period correct bulbs?

TurkishCoffee

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I have a light from the 1920s and I'm looking for period-correct bulbs for it, does anyone know what time period these are from? I can't find any ads showing no. 13 bulbs shaped like that. They are definitely old, there are some markings on the bases but not discernible. Maybe "S6.0"?



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bykfixer

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The bulbs from the 20's were often globe shaped. Yet for 3 cell lights the bulbs often looked just like the bulb(s) you show.

Either is correct though. It was more about which bulb the maker chose to include with the light.

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1920's Rayovac 3D


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1920's Burgess 3D

If it means anything to you, those long globe bulbs like your Westinghouse Mazda's are not easy to find and put out a slightly brighter beam.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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The bulbs from the 20's were often globe shaped. Yet for 3 cell lights the bulbs often looked just like the bulb(s) you show.

Either is correct though. It was more about which bulb the maker chose to include with the light.

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1920's Rayovac 3D


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1920's Burgess 3D

If it means anything to you, those long globe bulbs like your Westinghouse Mazda's are not easy to find and put out a slightly brighter beam.
@bykfixer I have an old Burgess similar to the one you posted. Is there some way for me to ID the light and its age?
 

bykfixer

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PM me a photo and I'll see if I can tell.
Burgess made some of the best flashlights up to the 1980's.

Keep in mind the screw in bulb was used in flashlights until the 1940's so you can start there.
 

TurkishCoffee

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If it means anything to you, those long globe bulbs like your Westinghouse Mazda's are not easy to find and put out a slightly brighter beam.

Thanks! That was helpful. I sure wouldn't call these bright though, more of a candlelight glow. I plan to do a video. I have 3 of the elongated ones in working condition and 1 globe.
 

bykfixer

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If the nickel plated reflector is still shiney you might get 10 lumens out the front from a 3 cell flashlight. But the shallow dish caused the light to be mostly spread out.

If you clean all contact points it makes quite a difference. I use an ohm meter to see where reistance stands. Often the light would read 17+ ohms and after a good cleaning as low as 5 ohms. The beam goes from a golden glow to a much whiter beam.
 

ampdude

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Nice! I love how those old globe bulbs were considered high technology back then, since they were much better than anything that had come before and batteries were starting to get better, you didn't just have to "flash" the light to get some output out of it, it would run continuously.
 

Lowglow

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Nice thoughts. It's something I find interesting. I'm not sure about in the US, but in the UK all lights before around the 1920's used bulbs with long filaments. The reflectors were designed around them - also some used a half milk-glass envelope to further boost output. Also some lights had flat envelope bulbs which sat the filament further down in the reflector.

Using post 1920 bulbs in such lights will work fine, but the beam may be odd - often with a tiny hotspot and rings in the beam. Original bulbs give a broad and smooth hotspot. The trouble is most originally fitted bulbs have been long swapped out but occasionally you can strike lucky.

Those Westinghouse bulbs - what is the filament? Curly or a straight wire? They look like what would be fitted to a larger work light or lamp. One with a bigger reflector.

This picture is of some of the 1910-1925 original bulbs fitted to battery torches.

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Lowglow

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This is what they look like lit up.
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A little tip. If you can find a more modern 'pointer' bulb used in the old slide show presentations, they use a very similar filament style and work well if you find modern bulbs give a poor beam. They are still for sale in older photography shops.
 

TurkishCoffee

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Ooh that's a good tip about the pointer bulbs. The elongated bulbs I have are clearly not what was originally paired with this light because they are touching the bottom of the lens. They do fit the hole in the reflector perfectly though and give a pretty good beam with a small hotspot in the middle. It seems the Yale light I have was paired with a bulb called a "no 17" that I can't find any info on.

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Lowglow

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Ooh that's a good tip about the pointer bulbs. The elongated bulbs I have are clearly not what was originally paired with this light because they are touching the bottom of the lens. They do fit the hole in the reflector perfectly though and give a pretty good beam with a small hotspot in the middle. It seems the Yale light I have was paired with a bulb called a "no 17" that I can't find any info on.

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Each manufacturer used a different numbering system, but the main thing is Voltage and Amps (is that a 2 or 3 cell light?) and then bulb style. So low mount filament (squashed bulb) or normal height (round bulb). A thing you can try is to hold the reflector over a bulb and move it back and forth through the hole. You will see the beam change - your beam looks a bit 'off' to me, but nearly there, You can then see what the best focus looks like and find a bulb that gives you this, Another tip is you can (if the bulb is a little high or low) either build up or shave a little off the solder blob on the base. That is a simple reflector and they are very forgiving - when it gets difficult is when you have a reflector behind a deep convex lens. The bulbs should not touch the glass as you say - they don't like that pressure.
 
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