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Author Topic: Amglo lamp ?  (Read 9938 times)

Offline Suba Neon

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Amglo lamp ?
« on: December 24, 2013, 09:35:54 pm »
I have 2 lamps that I am rebuilding. Was looking for any pics or info about them. One is a women with 2 metal pieces that flashed from small to big. Was a diet ad.
The other has Hamilton in wire . My guess both were filled with neon .

Any help would be great !!!!!!!

Thank you , Bruce Suba

Offline Tim

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Re: Amglo lamp ?
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 04:11:03 pm »

I was contacted by someone a year or so ago that had an identical bulb (the first photo above).  The bulb no longer worked and the collector was going to work with a glass artist in Florida to see about getting the lamp repaired.  Are you this person, or is this an entirely different bulb and circumstance?  Just curious since these bulbs are so scarce.  Here's a photo of the working bulb with better detail in case others are interested in seeing it (or you yourself if we're talking about two different bulbs).

The lamp was almost certainly made by Amglo.  More info here:

The double ended Hamilton sign lamp doesn't look "Amglo" to me.  I've seen these types before but I don't know who manufactured them.  They are equally scarce.

Offline Suba Neon

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Re: Amglo lamp ?
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 07:27:56 pm »
Tim ,It is the same lamp. Who ever he took it to blew it up . Didn't know how light bulbs are made & not annealed . So it is my task to rebuild it.

Thanks , Bruce

Offline Tim

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Re: Amglo lamp ?
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2014, 01:49:40 pm »

Sad to hear such a rare lamp was destroyed.  I hope that you are able to restore it so it can be preserved.  Please keep us updated on the progress as I know others would be interested in your work.

Here's some technical details that may be beneficial for you during this process.  This comes from collector Chris Kocsis during an exchange with the owner of this bulb last year.  If this hasn't been passed on to you yet then you should find this helpful:

>> Perhaps your glass-blowing friend can help bring it back to life, but
>> that will have to be a two-step approach: the glass blower to
>> successfully extend the fill tube and then a neon sign worker to draw
>> the vacuum and let some gas in slowly (varying the pressure) while
>> applying the right kind of electricity to just two of the wires (NOT
>> bombarding as with a neon sign, but rather DC or AC ranging from about
>> 60 to 100 volts with a limited current until the electrodes glow); at
>> which point the bulb can be sealed off.  The current needs to be applied
>> to adjacent electrodes -- ones that are almost physically touching.  The
>> electrodes must not actually touch; if they do they should be bent apart
>> a tiny bit by judicious whacking of the bulb into the palm.
>> This lamp could be one of a kind (if so, more likely a prototype than
>> one intended as a one-off), but it's most likely that just not many were
>> made.  Even ones we have seen a couple of -- Hoover, Sheaffer, Gabel --
>> are very scarce and hard to find.  To that extent you might even call
>> every variety of these Amglo bulbs a "custom" job.
>> Tim and I will both agree that this is a neon lamp, not any kind of
>> ordinary light bulb.  It is a glow lamp and will have had a neon fill
>> (perhaps with a little argon but not necessarily).  If you look at the
>> many neon lamps at, you will see some that are very
>> orange.  That's pure neon.  Ones with a lighter orange, perhaps with a
>> little pinkish or violet tinge, including all the ones with green leaves
>> or other green bits inside, contain neon and argon (or just argon if the
>> colors are purple and green with no orange).
>> The only way to make such a bulb flash (blink is a better term) is to
>> break and make the current to an electrode.  Whatever kind of flasher
>> you have gotten, that's not the ticket and might do harm. There are
>> three wires because there are three elements inside, one of which is
>> probably close to both the other ones.  (The four-pin base is a
>> conventional radio tube base of the period; not all pins need to be
>> used.)  Applying AC to an adjacent pair will cause those two to light.
>> The original blinker was probably a bimetallic strip that heated and
>> broke the AC connection (AC was obviously used because there is a
>> transformer, but see discussion below).
>> Your pictures don't fully show all the wires attached to the transformer
>> and the line cord.  Can you send one that shows all the wires and what
>> they are connected to?
>> Are there only three connections on the transformer?  The presence of a
>> transformer and a resistor implies a couple of things to me. Tim, help
>> me out here.  It looks like the AC goes to an outer and a middle
>> connection on the transformer (one side to one end of the primary coil
>> and the other to a tap possibly on the same coil).  If there are only
>> these three connections (and no wires coming out the other side of the
>> transformer), does that make this a choke instead?  A choke is for
>> limiting AC while letting DC through -- I don't think this could
>> function as a primitive rectifier without altering the voltage that
>> reaches the lamp, could it?  Wouldn't the purpose of a choke be more to
>> reduce the voltage without losing power?
>> I would like to know the value of the power resistor.  That might help
>> with the power calculation and help determine if full line voltage
>> reaches the lamp.  For instance, calculating for 3 versus 4 versus 5
>> watts of power (guessing at these values based on the Aerolux etc. bulbs
>> Tim and I are familiar with), assuming a line voltage of 110 (more
>> common than 120 when this lamp was made), gives the following values:
>> 3 watts / 4033 ohms / 27 milliamp current limit
>> 4 watts / 3025 ohms / 36 mA  "
>> 5 watts / 2420 ohms / 45 mA  "
>> So I'm curious whether the resistor is anywhere near those values, which
>> would mean that it is functioning as the current-limiting ballast and
>> the transformer or choke has no role in that.  Can you measure it?
>> Chris