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Author Topic: ANTIQUE SIEMENS LIGHT BULB 40W on eBay  (Read 5106 times)

Offline dfenner2

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ANTIQUE SIEMENS LIGHT BULB 40W on eBay
« on: March 31, 2014, 06:00:43 pm »
Anyone know what this bulb would be for?  It is listed on eBay right now.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-SIEMENS-LIGHT-BULB-40W-/141242190852?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20e2b0cc04
Dan

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: ANTIQUE SIEMENS LIGHT BULB 40W on eBay
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2014, 01:46:12 pm »
That looks like a lamp for decorative imitation coal fires, the sort of thing where a separate electric heating element or fan blower does the hard work, and a couple of lamps below a fake grate illuminate the "coals" on top, often moulded fiberglass but I think I have seen ones made with coloured glass "coals" too. There are usually lightweight metal spinners located above the lamps which rotate from the heat generated by the filaments and cast moving shadows to give a flickering effect.

The bayonet base is standard for British lamps in general. I seem to recall there were lamps branded Magicoal with a slightly non standard base having one enlarged side pin. I think it was particular to that brand though, and would have ensured you always used the correct Magicoal-branded lamps in your Magicoal-branded fire. Safety feature or cynical marketing strategy.....? Lamps (and electric fires) similar to that are still available I believe, usually called Fireglow, 60 watts with normal bayonet bases.They are normally lacquered in a red/orange colour to enhance the hot glowing appearance. The Magicoal sort with the different sized pins hasn`t been made for a very long time.

That lamp is rather unusual though. I have never seen one with that elongated side prong that curves up and around. Wonder if it once extended further up and around the top, as the support for a metal top spinner, a sort of all-in-one design? Interesting.

Offline dfenner2

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Re: ANTIQUE SIEMENS LIGHT BULB 40W on eBay
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2014, 02:53:49 pm »
Chris,
Thanks for the information.  It does make sense that this was probably used for the purpose that you said.  I was wondering about the wire also.  I have seen one other with a edison base that had the wire all the way to the top.
Dan

Offline Howard

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Re: ANTIQUE SIEMENS LIGHT BULB 40W on eBay
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2014, 10:00:04 pm »
Further to Chris's comprehensive reply, "Berry 'Magicoal'" potted company history here: http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Berrys_Electric.

The lamp on eBay, being 110v and English, suggests a date prior to the standardisation of the mains voltage in Britain; or -  so how did it end up in the USA?  Could patent restrictions have meant that Berry were able to get a "foot in the door" do export their patented "Magicoal" fires to the USA?  Hence 110v.

As far as I know, the term "fireglow" refers only to the red/orange* lacquered lamps.  I don't recall it being used to describe electric fires themselves, or as a proprietary name or trademark for electric fires.  Berry used at least three different bases for their fireglow lamps: ordinary bayonet cap - B22d, 3-pin bayonet cap B22d-3, and "special 2-pin", which latter I have seen, but I have no specification for the base, which was similar to the ordinary B22d base, but with pins protruding from where the solder pads would have been.  As Chris said, marketing strategy; lamps with 2-pin bases were branded Berry "Magicoal".

I believe the "Magicoal" branding derived from the, presumably patented, rotating "spinner" fitted above the lamp to create the flicker effect.  This might fit in with Chris's idea that the remnant "prongs" extending from a collar round the lamp base might have originally completely encircled the lamp, and have had a pin fitted either at the top, or at one side for the "spinner" to rotate upon.

* I've been looking at some old catalogues on James Hooker's site http://www.lamptech.co.uk; some show "fireglow" lamps as being available in clear as well as lacquered finish.  All listed as 60w.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 10:11:30 pm by Howard »
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Regards, Howard.
"Is there any tea on this ship?" - Arthur Dent

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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Re: ANTIQUE SIEMENS LIGHT BULB 40W on eBay
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2014, 01:35:24 pm »
You`re right - Fireglow is a generic term referring to the lamps not the fires, my wording is not too clear up there. They always seem to have "rough service" type filaments, which makes me wonder if that style was chosen in order to make them more resistant to the vibration from fan heater motors in some designs, or more likely because they are less efficient than the regular coiled-coil lighting filaments and thus produce more heat, all the better for making those little fan spinners turn around.

Your mention of pins triggers memories. I think my recollection was wrong - Magicoal lamps with protruding pins from the bottom of the base sound familiar - I must be confusing the enlarged side pin design with that of a different lamp. One pin thicker than the other though, that image is still there in my mind. If the lamp cap / base had pins it would be very similar in style to the old 2 amp round pin plugs. Differing sized pins would probably have been to stop the bare lamps being pushed directly into a 2 amp socket outlet (wall outlet, not light socket / lampholder). Part safety feature, part marketing strategy then.

Do I even actually have one of those lamps in the collection? Distant memories are distant, but beginning to stir. I wish I knew where anything was in this house. I`ve probably got a half a dozen in here somewhere that I can`t remember about.

Pity there are no illustrations of the replacement lamps on that link. Berrys "Magicoal" fires were subject to patents though, so someone with more patience and knowledge than me could probably find the patent information, which may reference the lamps and even explain those elongated wire prongs too.