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Author Topic: 1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament  (Read 9610 times)

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« on: June 16, 2004, 02:54:00 pm »
Found this one on Ebay recently, and it arrived today. I`ve never seen one quite like it....





It has a wonderfully abstract 3-dimensional shape that`s hard to describe. Kind of S-shaped when viewed from the top, but with extra loopy springy bits, or something like that.

I`m pretty sure it comes from the same era as the mushroom shaped Shelby "Useful" lamps with their squashed oval loops, perhaps competing with them as another solution to the problem of even light distribution. It`s definately designed to emit more light downwards, and more evenly all around than a standard carbon lamp.

No idea of its exact age or who made it though, its identifying labels have long since vanished and there isn`t anything on the stem patent label to help ID it either. Has anyone else come accross one of these?



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« Last Edit: November 14, 2004, 03:26:14 pm by tim »

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Offline Yoshi

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2004, 02:47:00 am »

Hi Chris, That's a great bulb you got there. I have seen 3 identical bulbs before. They were auctioned a few months ago, all came from the same collection and were auctioned by the same seller. Download the pics here:

http://bulbs.2yr.net/images/forum/weird-bulb.zip

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Offline Chris W. Millinship

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2004, 04:48:00 pm »
Thanks for the photos. Yep, that`s the same bulb alright. Was there any info alongside the pictures indicating who could have made these?

Another view of the filament:



Just love that shape, it`s almost art really.





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« Last Edit: November 14, 2004, 03:26:39 pm by tim »

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Offline Tim

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2004, 09:42:00 am »
Hi Chris,

Nice bulb and nice pictures!  Do you have a copy of Ed Covington's book?  I remember this bulb documented in Ed's book.  I don't have it nearby but I seem to remember a bulb by the name of "Sunshine" or "Downward" being similar to yours.  I believe the filament was designed as such to "focus" light downward, similar to the squashed shaped Shelby's.

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Offline Mónico González

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2004, 11:31:00 am »
Hi everybody!
Really a very nice bulb Chris!
It has a sort of "art deco" filament :-)))
All of you have said the same thing I was thinking: the purpose of a such shape was undoubtely to cast more light downward than around the lamp.
What voltage/wattage are this bulb rated at?
What origin country and base type?
I'm curious about it, but it seems to be US made.
Best regards,
M. Gonz?lez. http://mis-bombillas.webcindario.com

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2004, 03:01:00 pm »
Thanks for the info. I will admit I didn`t know Ed had written a book! It`s been a while since I wandered through his site too. I`ll have to see if I can track down a copy sometime.

-

It`s definately an American bulb, and probably rated at around 120 volts, judging by how it glows at 60v. I havn`t tried hitting it with the full power as it has a slight hotspot and I don`t want to burn it out. No other details are known, it does not have any other markings and the label is long gone. I`d guess 8-10cp, maybe 30 watts?





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Offline Ed Covington

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2004, 08:24:00 am »
Chris, I believe your lamp might have been made by the Gilmore Electric Co. of Boston, Massachusetts. The had several different labels:Gilmore Elec.Co., New Type Gilmore, Gilmore Reflector, Gilmore Street Series Lamp, Our Own, New Boston, Boylston, New Type Planet, Sunshine, Gilmore Special, Capitol, University, C.S. Knowles, Central Mfg. Co., Pioneer, Atlas, Hardy, Consolidated, J.W. Poole, and Gannett.

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2004, 03:23:00 pm »
Ed - thanks, that`s great   I did have a good look through your site the other evening and didn`t see this particular lamp, but did see the "Downward" and "Sunshine" ones Tim referenced. As well as a lot of other things I missed seeing in the past. Seems every time I visit I see something new! Please feel free to use one of my photos to illustrate this filament style in the future if you wish.

Interestingly, although not related, I had a frosted Gilmore Reflector lamp arrive today, complete with identifying label bearing two 1900 patent dates. Unfortunately its filament went open during shipping - I do wish people would listen to my packing instructions (paper, cotton wool, etc) and not use those infernal foam peanuts jammed tightly in to the package. Out of all the shipping-damaged bulbs I have recieved, they have all been packed in foam peanuts. Never mind, it`s still an interesting bulb. I`ll have to keep my eyes out for another one, preferably a clear one so I can see what it`s like inside.




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Offline Ed Covington

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2004, 07:52:00 pm »
Chris, when you have an outside frosted bulb and you want to see inside, try a trick Reynolds Brown told me about many years ago.Take a piece of clear transparent tape and put it on the outside of the bulb. If luck is with you (frosting is not too deep) the tape will tend to fill in the missing glass and some visibility results.

Offline Yoshi

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2004, 08:32:00 pm »

When I want to see the inside of frosted bulbs, I do either one of these:

1.- half-dip the bulb in water
2.- use a laser

Dipping the bulb in water doesn't always show the inside clearly. The laser is the best choice. You can use one of those super-cheap $5 lasers, like this one:


 


Here are a few shots of what you can do with the laser:


 


 


btw, it was very difficult to take these pictures; The detail shown is much less than what can really be seen. But I was able to see the cage filament of the round frosted bulb, although very faintly.


-Yoshi

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Offline Chris W. Millinship

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2004, 12:08:00 pm »
Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately I have not had much luck yet with the clear tape method, perhaps I`m using the wrong tape, or the bulbs I tried it with are too heavilly frosted. One method I have had reasonable luck with is a variation of Yoshi`s method - just spraying them lightly with window cleaner, something I often do to newcomers anyway if they need a good clean. The frosting becomes much more translucent, usually allowing the innards to be viewed with the assistance of a good flashlight. If I`m careful I can usually apply power too and get a shot of the filament shape. Like these unusual little globe shaped Philips chandelier lamps:





But to bring this back on topic, Ed, you`re right about my carbon lamp in the original post being a Gilmore product. I had a closer look at the patent label in the stem. Although darkened/faded through age and from the heat, there is an orange "G" printed on one side that is visible, which I didn`t notice originally. G for Gilmore I presume, since there is an identical orange "G" on the patent label just visible in the bottom of the Gilmore Reflector lamp, seen through the non-frosted section of the glass behind the internal reflector.




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« Last Edit: November 14, 2004, 03:27:26 pm by tim »

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Offline Chris W. Millinship

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2004, 12:47:00 pm »
A couple of photos of the patent labels just for proof. The "abstract" bulb was fairly easy to do despite some really bad 100 year old fingerprints all over the stem inside. The reflector bulb on the other hand was next to impossible because the only bit of patent label visible is through the narrow, clear portion behind the reflector, and my digicam has such a big lens that I couldn`t get in close enough for a clear shot. As it is, I had to fiddle with it and add an approximation showing the position of the "G" printed on the creased label.









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« Last Edit: November 14, 2004, 03:28:15 pm by tim »

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Offline Mónico González

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2004, 09:55:00 am »
Hi!
The "laser watching way" was an idea I had some months ago, mainly for opal finished bulbs.
These ones, no matter if such lamps are made from true opal glass or oppositely inside dust coated, can be viewed by means of a cheap laser emitter (3 to 5 mW).
The spot created by the laser impact over the glass wall, due to its intrinsical small size allows the whole filament structure can be projected over the opposite wall side, (very magnified) thus these can be directly viewed or photographed.
By variying the angle and site in which the laser "touch" the bulb surface, also are modified the projection and how the internal bulb's structure can be watched.
WARNING: Be carefull when use any laser spot, do not permit the beam could be directly pointed to the naked eyes!
Best regards,
M. Gonz?lez.
 http://mis-bombillas.webcindario.com

Offline Bill

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1900s carbon lamp with *very* unique filament
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2004, 12:32:00 pm »
Hello All!
I am relatively new to bulb collecting and I have been following this site.
I am writing because I have a lamp like the one being discussed here. Mine has the remnants of a paper label on the outside. It is round, approx 1/2 inch in diameter. It has a large dark colored "S" on the light background. On the "S", there appears to be writing in light colored letters. Unfortunately, this text is unreadable.
My lamp also has the orange "G" on the patent label inside (thanks Chris for pointing this out- I didn't realize this before). I do have a Gilmore reflector lamp that I tried comparing this lamp to- I cannot find any similarities in the 2 lamps. My Gilmore is quite a bit older than this lamp so perhaps this accounts for it.
I originally thought the "S" was for Shelby, but I haven't been able to find any Shelby markings that are similar to this.
Does anyone have any idea what the "S" could stand for?
Regards, Bill.
P.S. Sorry, I'm not able to provide any pictures at this time.