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Author Topic: 1950s-1960s Tar Heel memorabilia?  (Read 5623 times)

Offline eganb

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1950s-1960s Tar Heel memorabilia?
« on: July 27, 2009, 02:43:08 pm »

I'm looking for clues about the Luxor bulb in the attached photo.  Proabably late 1950s/1960s since football helmet has a face guard and the "N" is laid on top of the "C".  Top of bulb narrows and extends about another 2 inches above what you can see in the photo.  Packaging is a white/pink Luxor "cardboard" sleeve with a "Responsibility of the Lamp Manufacturer" blurb. 

I've checked with the Carolina history folks, and the alumni folks who had never seen this before -- will be talking to the football folks this week. 

Of course I'm fascinated with what this bulb would look like if illuminated.  It looks like the lettering and helmet would all light up.  What's the danger of rigging a rehostat and applying voltage slowly?

Thanks for your help!


Offline Chris Kocsis

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Re: 1950s-1960s Tar Heel memorabilia?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 03:23:09 pm »
Hi, this is a design I had not seen before. Many were made for school sports teams.  The shape of the glass envelope is called H for hurricane (like an old "hurricane" oil lantern shade).  It's most likely got a neon fill and, if it works, will glow orange.  It might have argon and glow violet, but this is unlikely.

There is no need to bring it up slowly on a rheostat or Variac.  It will either light or it won't (no inbetween) and it needs about 60 to 80 volts to "fire."

You can see some similar bulbs in the galleries, under Discharge and Neon. 

Collectors (of which I am one) will pay well for a scarce one.  Recently there was one for the University of Texas Longhorns (Hook 'em Horns) on eBay with a buy-it-now price of $99 (it might still be there).  This is after a couple of us found some of that design for $15.  But if you listed yours it might go for considerably more, into the low three figures.  Nice find!   

Offline Tim

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Re: 1950s-1960s Tar Heel memorabilia?
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 10:40:52 pm »
This would be a very nice find for anyone that collects vintage figural glow lights (and I suppose NC Tar Heel memorabilia).  Can you post a picture of the Luxor packaging?  I'm curious to see what it looks like.

The bulb was actually made by Aerolux under the ownership of Duro-Test which is evident from the use of the hurricane shaped envelope.  Prior to Duro-Test acquiring Aerolux, I'm not aware of any hurricane shaped bulbs being produced by Aerolux.  One source on hand mentions this acquisition took place in 1962.  Based on the Aerolux literature that I have, hurricane shaped bulbs weren't advertised until the early 1970s.  I would really be curious to know if the logo depicted in your bulb matches that used during the early 1970s on other Tar Heel memorabilia.

As for the "Luxor" name, it wasn't uncommon for Aerolux to re-brand their lamps under different names (Luxor and IMS immediately come to mind).  Again, I associate Luxor with the 1970s as opposed to the 1950s or 1960s.

Offline eganb

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Re: 1950s-1960s Tar Heel memorabilia?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 04:22:09 pm »
Thanks for all the info!  Here's a picture of the packaging.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 06:26:33 pm by eganb »

Offline eganb

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Re: 1950s-1960s Tar Heel memorabilia?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 04:31:15 pm »
Interesting discovery when the campus photographer tried to take a picture of the bulb illuminated with the two separate filaments.  In one series of pictures the filament for the "Go Tar Heels Go" would be dark and the helmet would be orange.  In the next photo it would be reversed, helmet filament would be orange and the "Go Tar Heels Go" would be dark.  We couldn't figure out what was going on.  Then we realized that he was shooting at 1/60 f-stop for that particular series of photos.  We posited that this was synching up with the 60 cycles of the AC current, alternating between the two filaments.  How does that sound?   Bruce