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Author Topic: Shooting star bubble lites  (Read 16408 times)

Offline jonathan cassiday

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Shooting star bubble lites
« on: September 26, 2005, 05:35:17 pm »
Just found four shooting star bubble lites at an antique store, box was in poor condition but still a neat find. it reallyis cool to see them bubble, i read the descriptions from others but it is someting to see it up close.
yes this is Jonathan Cassiday how may i help you

Offline Tim

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Re: Shooting star bubble lites
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 12:36:26 pm »
Hi Jonathan,

Are these the same as the "oil filled" types that I hear are very desirable?  I haven't seen any in action but they sound neat.

Offline Christmas Lamp

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Re: Shooting star bubble lites
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005, 12:47:16 pm »
Jonathan, do you have any pix to share...
I only ever get to see Bubble Lights on the web as there're NO longer made in the UK  :cry:, the last ones made here According to NOMA was abot 30 years ago...
Thanks
I love Any Bulbs be They the Light up kind or the kind that Grows!!!

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: Shooting star bubble lites
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 02:53:50 pm »
Shooting Star bubble lights were made for only a very short time by the Peerless company in the US. They comprise a small amount of a heavy liquid that hides down in the bottom of the tube(oil?) usually clear, and the rest is filled with a lighter liquid (methyl chloride?) that was often coloured, and did not mix with the filling in the bottom. When warmed, the heavier liquid boils and sends individual bubbles flying up through the lighter liquid where they cool and fall back down, it has a similar appearence to Roman Candle fireworks, hence the name. The effect is rather subtle but quite mesmerising if you sit and watch them. Among other lights on a tree, the effect is subtle to the point of all but dissapearing and as such, they were not too popular. Following this less than enthusiastic reception by the public, Peerless switched to the more usual methyl chloride as used by Noma and the others. Shooting Star bubblers are worth rather a lot, certainly much more than standard Noma biscuits, because of their scarcity and that special if subtle effect.

Here in the UK, as far as I know, bubble lights were sold originally by the Telsen company who manufactured tubes using the same principle as the Peerless Shooting Stars, except for the fact that the heavy liquid was coloured and the rest of the tube was clear. It made them look all the more like fireworks as each bubble had a coloured trail where it took a small portion of the bottom liquid up with it. Noma branded bubble lights were sold here using the Telsen style tubes, as were several other styles. I would also be very surprised if the "normal" methyl chloride tubes were not sold here too. But, unlike America, bubblers did not catch on here and UK sets are hard to find today. Telsen bubble sets are worth a small fortune (the first one I saw that turned up on Ebay sold for over $600 but further sets have been more the $250/?150-ish mark).

More recently, the old Telsen style bubble tubes were resurrected under the name "Lava bubble Lights" and you may still find places selling the modern reproduction sets in this style. The effect is almost identical, except of course the modern tubes have that flame shaped neck portion at the tip, not the straight sides tapering to a point as classic tubes had.

To the best of my knowledge, no-one has produced oil filled bubble lights since Paramount in around 1948, there are no modern reproductions that I have seen either. Oil tubes were also not as popular as Noma`s methyl sort, due to the very fine, slow moving bubbles, but it is also a very attractive effect when viewed up close.

Following, are GIF animations trying to show the effect of bubble lights. They are pieced together from a sequence of eight photos taken one after the other and don`t really show the effects as true to life. They do, however, give an impression of the size and thickness of the bubbles. From left to right, Noma Biscuit (methyl), Paramount Saucer (oil), Peerless (Shooting Star)...


Offline Christmas Lamp

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Re: Shooting star bubble lites
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 06:08:58 pm »
WOW Chris Great animations!!!!
Thank You Very Much for posting  :-D
I love Any Bulbs be They the Light up kind or the kind that Grows!!!

Offline jonathan cassiday

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Re: Shooting star bubble lites
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 08:58:01 pm »
Much better than i could ever describe. i just saw that one shooting star bubbler sold on ebay for $66.00, and i bought my four at an antique store for $12.00. I am very pleased, even though the box is tattered, i think i got a great deal.
yes this is Jonathan Cassiday how may i help you