hiya freinds lets talk light history!?

Wurkkos

raggie33

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i was wondering how many lumens the gas laterns they used in around 1890s. also how far can you see with candle light? i dont mean how far you can see candle light i want to know how far you could see with a candle
 

thermal guy

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I have many old candle holders that I break out in winter. With dark adapted eyes I can easily walk around the house without bumping into stuff. I have a lantern with 4 emergency candles in it and when there all lit it totally lights up a 10X10 room
 

uk_caver

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The 1890s were when gas mantle based lights started being used.
I'm not sure what output a typical 1890s gas mantle had, but a modern gasoline-powered Coleman lantern produces something like 400 lumens per mantle, so even if older gas mantles were a little smaller or weren't driven as hard, they'd presumably still have been much brighter at maximum output than a candle (~12 lumens).
 

bykfixer

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I grew up in a house where if the power went out in thunderstorms it was not unexpected. My parents had stick candles with a glass lens as it were called hurricane globe. One candle could light up a room. Not brightly but you could read by the light if it were sitting on the table and you were near the table. Brighter than my flashlights from the 1910's and 20's.

We had oil lamps called hurricane lamps. Trouble with those was the soot from the oil burning darkened the globe after a while.
 

Hamilton Felix

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my child hood is made up of watcjing old ttimie tv shows where the lamps get knocked over
My folks didn’t get electricity until the mid-1970’s. We had two propane wall lamps on the living room and one in the kitchen. We used flat wick and Aladdin lamps. (I was driving fuel truck in 1973-4, moved some Jet-A for helicopter loggers, took the truck home one night and squeezed a couple gallons out of my hose. We ran our lamps on that Jet-A for some time.)

Aladdin liked to compare their lamp to a 60 watt bulb, and I’d say the propane mantle wall lamps were that good. A flat wick lamp or lantern is much less, just a few candlepower, but enough to milk the cow or light a bathroom or bedroom enough to get around. What was lacking was anything with throw. If you wanted to see across the yard, you had to get out the bulky 6 volt sealed beam Rayovac Sportsman or Eveready Captain’s lantern. A fairly common 1960’s trick was mounting a used 7” headlight (one filament still good) into the top half of a Clorox jug, with some zipcord running to battery clips.
 

dvd8n

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About 20 years ago I went on a tour of Carlsbad Caverns.

At one point the guides took us into an isolated side cavern about the size of a football stadium, sat us down and put all the lights off. It was really weird; absolute total darkness just isn't something that you experience very often these days.

Anyway, the guides let us experience the darkness for about 5 minutes then lit a candle. The one tiny little candle lit up the whole cavern. It wasn't bright or anything, but we had no trouble seeing the whole cavern. Your eyes are amazing when properly dark-adapted.
 

bykfixer

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In the 1890's this one character had invented an electric tie. As in it had little flashing lights. Trouble was it had a cord that went to a wet cell battery in his trouser pocket. By then the battery was a thing and so was the light bulb but both were pretty primitive compared to today.

A fellow used those technologies to make a light for a bicycle in the real early 1900's. Back then the horse and buggy was still the norm but a bicycle was gaining in popularity, especially in the city. Another fellow bought the idea and soon a hand held version was developed.

Between the sucky batteries and the carbon filament in the light bulb they did not stay lit very long. Folks would turn it on for a burst of light then turn it back off before the bulb blew. The round tube that produced a flash of light soon became called a flashlight.

A better filament was adapted and better batteries and by the 1920's the flashlight became known as the torch. In New York the term flashlight stuck. In London the term torch stuck.

The first "bright" lights were 3D numbers with a bifocal type glass lens that threw light sideways like a typical flashlight but also focused some light forward. The reflectors were nickel plated so they were not very shiney and the bulb itself was not very bright.

By the 1920's flashlights were big business. Eveready and Rayovac were the Coke and Pepsi of the era. Flashlights (or torches) were mainly produced by battery makers of the day.

To add:
Back then Eveready was spelled Ever Ready and Rayovac lights started out as Ray-o-lite brand. They even had a maskot. Batteries were largely no more than a double a sized cell wrapped in cardboard with the name of the maker on it. The double a was handy for what was called vest pocket lights. They were about the size of a flask and were carried by wealthy folks. Example of a 3D light of today was 3 double a batteries stacked and wrapped in a cardboard casing.

In about 1917 a fellow developed the zinc casing using shovel handles to size what we now call C and D sized batteries. Some lights were used in WW1, but they were mainly lantern type.

Eveready tried to rename the flashlight by holding a big naming contest. They spent millions of dollars too. The owner wanted to patent the term and sell it to the competition. The winning term was strangely enough the one the owner had come up with……Daylo. It never caught on. But there were an entire lineup of Daylo brand flashlights including 2C sized numbers for the military. The military lights had white reflectors.

By the mid 1930's a world wide economic depression was cause for a great number of flashlight makers to go bankrupt. Some gave away flashlights in hopes of selling batteries for them. Some sold their ideas to the big companies.

Back then there were copy cats, but when sued by the patent owner, often the loser was made to produce flashlights for the winner for no money until the amount of money's worth of product agreed to was completed.

Probably the biggest advancements at that time were vulcanized rubber bodies and dependable switches. But some also devised ways to twist the head or slide the bulb for a psuedo spot/spill effect. Many used brass for the body and copper parts. The light bulbs were twist in type called E 10. E for Edison and 10 for 10mm. In the 1940's the PR base was devised for radio and automotive use. Soon after they were used in flashlights. After that flashlight technology remained largely unchanged until the 1960's when alluminum sprinkler pipe bodies were developed. In the 1970's the clicky switch was perfected.

Then came the LED……
 
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