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Author Topic: Identification of Maxim lamp  (Read 15801 times)

Offline James

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Identification of Maxim lamp
« on: August 24, 2012, 03:41:40 pm »
Of the few Maxim lamps that I've seen before in museums or other collections, most have been identified as early prototypes either made by Maxim himself, or production lamps of his first employer, the United States Electric Lighting Company.  They are therefore of American origin having been made at one of the factories of Maxim in New York, or later in Bridgeport CT, probably during the period 1879 to about 1885.

In 1881 Maxim emigrated to England mainly to pursue other interests, but he also established a lamp factory of his own in London.  By 1910 he had lost interest completely in lighting and sold his share to the factory manager, who continued to run the production until the 1970s (today the British Maxim company still exists but it is now a trading company, re-branding imported lamps).  

What I would like to try and establish is when this factory started making lamps, and if it ever produced the original style of Maxim lamps with M-shaped carbonised paper filament.  I suspect that it probably did, because Maxim continued filing patents on improvements to his lamp up to 1899, and some of the later applications indicate that he was then residing in London.  The reason I ask is because I would like to try and identify if the Maxim lamp in my own collection is one of the American originals, or a later British product.  It's appearance is substantially identical to one of Tim's on this website, but quite different than most other Maxim lamps in that it has the bottom loop style of platinum terminals - which by 1882 had become the standard "base" of the Swan and other British-made lamps.  As far as I know this bottom loop style was not popular in USA, hence I wonder if this lamp is perhaps of British origin.

You can see some further photos at http://www.lamptech.co.uk/Spec%20Sheets/IN%20C%20Maxim.htm

I would be very grateful if the expertise of some of the experienced collectors on this forum might be able to assist in properly identifying it, as well as the likely age.



Additionally I am intrigued to see to see how late Maxim's patents continue to show the M-shaped filament, and wonder until when this style of lamp was made.  Could it really have existed as late as 1900?


« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 04:04:54 pm by James »

Offline debook

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Re: Identification of Maxim lamp
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 03:52:53 pm »
Nice to have that James! No idea on production date but he could of been making lamps with minimal equipment which would make it a tough call without documents which may exist in Science Museum library or archives.
Frank Andrews