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Author Topic: Little string of plastic roses with sub-miniature (midget?) screw-base bulbs?  (Read 7697 times)

Offline Jonas Clark

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Was allowed to take a few items from the piles of knick-knacks being taken to thrift stores from an elderly neighbor/longtime friend's house, by her relatives (after they'd boxed up and taken all the truly sentimental/important items to them). I chose a few items to keep, spruce up and display, things to remember her by.

One item I found is a string of 1960s or 70s (?) plastic yellow roses/green leaves. Insideeach rose is a socket for one of those sub-miniature screw-base bulbs, the cylindrical point-tip type that predated the modern "plastic wedge base" variety - perhaps they're called "midget" base bulbs? The same sort used in some dollhouse lighting fixtures. I used to have some of the colored bulbs many years ago, but gave them away as I had no fixture for them.

I thought this thing was complete but, no, one of the flowers has one wire disconnected. Another, I have only the rose and the bare wires, the socket is gone. It'd be hard to fix this up, as the sockets don't come out of the yellow plastic husks. I've heard the term "husk lamps", but I'm not sure if that applies. I'd like to find a complete one of these.

If no one here has one, does anyone know what search terms to try, or where to look? This one was also missing the bulbs themselves. I'm sure there are many other strings that use them, but I'm looking for one (or more) of these short little strings made up as plastic flowers/leaves. I have a specific use in mind for them.

Incidentally, for some reason, every group of them I've ever seen - the bulbs, that is - have been in a Gerber jar with a blue lid. Multiple people I've seen selling Christmas items years ago stored the sub-miniature screw-base bulbs in a Gerber jar, and always the one with a blue lid.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 03:44:20 am by Jonas Clark »

Offline jonathan cassiday

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you might look on-line for some modern equivelents if you plan on using them, I have seen them time to time online. If you are in the states you might find them in the lawn and garden section at stores like Target or K-mart from early spring to late summer. Usually they are in strings of about ten. The added benifit is that there are still parts redily avaliable to replace bulbs if they shoudl happen to go out while it is more difficult to get the miniture screw base bulbs today. If you really want to go vintage I would look on E-bay althought I have seen them pop up in second hand shops from time to time
yes this is Jonathan Cassiday how may i help you

Offline Alec H

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Sounds like the lamps you need are either E12, E10 or E5 based. You can easily check by simply measuring the diameter of the base, 12mm, 10mm or 5mm respectively.

These lamps are often called panel lamps in the UK and are widely available in a variety of voltages/wattages and shapes.

Following is a link to a UK site (prices are extremely high but the images are quite clear) which should give you an idea of the types of lamp available.

Hope this helps.

Offline Nick D.

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  • 60 watt carbon lamp, cobalt glass
Try a hobby shop or specifically a place that deals in miniature railway stuff (like HO scale or similar). From experience, they will have what you are looking for, in way of sockets and bulbs. For more original bulbs, I would check around the Christmas sections/booths at antique malls. I've sometimes seen a pack of the tiny threaded bulbs but I've never bought any...