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Author Topic: The Edison Anniversary lamps  (Read 18224 times)

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« on: April 30, 2004, 03:37:00 pm »
The attractive and nicely made Edison commemorative lamps have always been a favorite to me. I now have five different kinds in my collection, despite originally thinking there were only three - for the 50, 75 and 100 year anniversaries. This has caused me some confusion and I would be very keen to know more about these. Hence this topic.

Below is a photo of the five lamps I currently have:



From left to right...
1. I believe this to be the 1929 50th anniversary lamp, from the worn label around the neck of the base. With a long, rounded "nobble" shape tip and unsupported 3 loop filament. Other pictures I have seen of these show the wooden base to be much darker, so could this be a different year, or did they have just different shades to the varnish?
2. A genuinely top-sealed lamp, all the rest have moulded decorative tips with modern bottom stem seals. No label on the base and no sign of there ever being one. Could this be the 1954 75th anniversary lamp? It has the same type 3 loop filament as the first one.
3. Belongs with the box you see to the left in the background, and another 3 loop filament. This box illustrates some General Electric lamps through the years along with the year of introduction, the latest being the Power Groove with a year of 1956. So this one can`t be a 75th anniversary lamp. 1959 (80 years) perhaps? Or could it simply be a general reproduction display piece and not an anniversary edition?
4. The bulb of this one is removable unlike the previous three, and has an intermediate base with narrow oval supported double-loop filament. The brass pegs on the wooden base are not connected, this lamp has a brown cord with an inline switch and modern 2 prong plug. The plate on the base does nto indicate the year but I`m pretty sure this is the 1979 lamp. Electrical safety standards were higher in the late 70s than earlier years hence the modern electrical cord and socket.
5. The base is plastic and is purely decorative, moulded in one piece. The bulb does work but is just pushed in to the base so is purely for display, it looks almost exactly like the common 1900s Edison supported 2-loop carbons that turn up on Ebay, except it has a modern bottom seal. It came in a box bearing old GE "His Only Rival" artwork and the label on the base (as well as in the brief history printed on one side of the box) says "commemorating a century of lighting progress" indicating this is a 1979 lamp. There is no date on it though.

Anyone who has any information about these, I would love to hear from you. Were they all made by General Electric or did other organisations manufacture them too? And are there any more I should keep my eye out for? I already know of a sixth, apparently with a slightly smaller bulb having wider loops, but I have yet to see its picture.

Although they have been made only for display purposes, I still like these a lot. And let`s face it, the anniversary of Tom`s first commercially successful bulb is definately an event to celebrate!




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« Last Edit: November 13, 2004, 08:13:01 pm by tim »

Offline Tim

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2004, 04:24:00 pm »
Hi Chris!  Good to see that you are still around and collecting.  We haven't seen you on the forums in a while.

There have been a lot of Edison commemorative lamps made throughout the years.  I'm no expert when in comes to these and I'm really hoping someone can shed some more light on them too.  Another one that comes to mind that you should add to your want list is the 1914 version that marked the 35th anniversary.  It was made by GE and has a true exhaust tip and has a much more primitive feel compared to most of the other ones.  I?ve included some pictures here of two that I have, one dud and one with a good filament.  Apparently they didn?t make as many of these since I haven?t come across too many but they turn up on eBay every so often.

         

         

         

Another interesting one is documented on Ed?s site.  Check out the replica made by Francis Jehl:
  http://home.frognet.net/~ejcov/replicas.html

I have seen a Jehl replica before in another collection and I have to believe they are quite rare.

Don?t forget the Westinghouse Stopper replica, another tough one to find.  This picture is from an old eBay auction:

         

We are probably only scratching the surface. This would be a good place for others to post pictures of their replica lamps.


------------------
Tim
Kilokat's Antique Light Bulb Site
Mountain Dew Collectibles, Volume I

[This message has been edited by tim (edited April 30, 2004).]

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2004, 07:19:00 am »
Yep, I`m still here, still check in every day too. Just extremely busy at work, and also spend a fair amount of time on my flashlight collecting and reviewing ( http://torchreviews.net  ) so the bulb collection unfortunately often takes a back seat.

Thanks for the info and photos. I *think* I remember seeing one of the 1914 lamps somewhere, it looks familiar. Definately have to keep my eyes peeled for one of those, though I expect they are worth a fair bit. So far I`ve been lucky and havn`t had to pay large sums for any of mine.

I will admit I havn`t seen that page of Ed`s site before, thanks for the link. The Jehl replicas are wonderful looking lamps, no wonder they could get confused with genuine originals.

And I hadn`t seen the Westinghouse lamp before either, that`s an interesting one indeed. I can see I`ve probably got a lifetime of collecting to find all of the variations made over the years. No bad thing!




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Offline James

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2004, 03:12:00 pm »
Hi Chris, good to see you on here again!

The lamp second from left was made by Westinghouse, for the 75th anniversary in 1954.  It is characterised by the hand-drawn neck of the bulb with slimmer proportions than the others, and a genuine exhaust tip-off with no exhaust tube in the base.  Of all the post-1929 replica's this is the one I like best.  Does yours work also?  The filament is bust in mine.

Your lamp second from right is a 1979 replica made by Duro-Test, I commisioned by the Edison Foundation Trust or some similarly-named operation.  I live in Belgium now and don't have the lamp infront of me to check the name.  The lamp is removable and has an E17s intermediate screw base, so that a standard Duro-Test carbon lamp could be used for replacements.

The lamp on the far right was made at GE's NELA Piloting plant I believe in the 1970s and I don't think it is tied to any particular commemoration date.  It appears in several old GE catalogues I have here, for sale along with all the other light source products.  The lamp is nicely made but the base is all plastic and not so nicely assembled.

A better one was made by GE for the '79 anniversary, and I think that is what your centre lamp is.  I have one the same but with a plastic wood-imitation base.

Best regards,

James.

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2004, 07:48:00 am »
Good to hear from you also. I had to remove MSN, sorry I havn`t kept in touch. Wow, I never knew you were living in Belgium at the moment!

Thanks for the information, that`s a great help. I`ll have to save that away for the time when the new Bulb Museum site nears completion and I build the pages for those bulbs. BTW there is a label on the bottom of the Duro-Test lamp giving the name "Thomas Alva Edison Foundation" and their address.
Unfortunately my Westinghouse 1954 lamp also has an open filament although it normally looks intact. Took me a while to figure out why it wouldn`t light or show any continuity until I had a real close look and spotted the miniscule break about a third of the way along. Shame ? but it`s still a great bulb to look at. I do like that curvy shape.

I have another photo of another replica from fellow collector Fin Stewart in Australia, who currently has no information about it. It has a slightly smaller bulb than "normal", and a wide looped filament. I`m not sure when it was made or by who, it`s hard to tell.


Shown here next to another replica, the same as the one in the middle of my photo.



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« Last Edit: November 13, 2004, 08:16:02 pm by tim »

Offline Carl Wright

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2004, 01:45:00 am »
Originally posted by Chris Millinship:

Quote
4. The bulb of this one is removable unlike the previous three, and has an intermediate base with narrow oval supported double-loop filament. The brass pegs on the wooden base are not connected, this lamp has a brown cord with an inline switch and modern 2 prong plug. The plate on the base does nto indicate the year but I`m pretty sure this is the 1979 lamp. Electrical safety standards were higher in the late 70s than earlier years hence the modern electrical cord and socket.
Hi Chris! I bought this lamp at Greenfield Village in 1979. It came in a box like the pictures I have included. ?Does your lamp have the same plate on the base? ?I have also included a picture of a replica lamp that does not work but it comes in a nice box. The lamp is only 3 1/2" tall and I think it is still sold at the Village.





Carl
« Last Edit: December 16, 2004, 02:34:35 am by Carl Wright »

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2004, 08:08:00 am »
Yep, that`s my 1979 lamp. Unfortunately mine didn`t come with a box, it was an Ebay find sometime last year. Thanks for the photo!

Never seen the little one before either. I take it that one is for display only and isn`t a functioning replica?




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Offline Richard Board

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2004, 03:34:00 am »
I just sent an email To Tim asking about this very thing before I saw these posts.  Chris it is great to see all of the different versions together. I  have a replica that looks very much like the one you  show next to the lamp from your friend Fin.  Mine has no metal plate on the base and the number on the stem is 78 I think.  It is packed away right now but I will take a pic when I get it unpacked.
Richard Board
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Offline James

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2004, 05:38:00 pm »
H Chris,

Possibly Fin's lamp is one of the European ones made by Osram in Berlin about 50 years ago.  The filament is an uncommon shape, but a type which was made by Elizabeth Sames' carbon filament factory in Austria until about 10 years ago.  Her filaments were popular with the European lampmakers.  The base style looks quite unlike the GE and Westinghouse types so I don't think it is of American origin.

BTW I relocated to Belgium at the beginning of the year, and now look after the R&D for Ceramic HID lamps in a new laboratory at the Sylvania factory here.

Best regards,

James.

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2004, 08:53:00 am »
Just an update, I have now been able to add two more repros to my collection:



From left to right, let`s see if I have this correctly...

1. 1914, General Electric, 35th Anniversary (open filament).
2. 1929, General Electric, 50th Anniversary.
3. 1954, Westinghouse, 75th Anniversary (open filament).
4. 1979, Duro-Test, Thomas Alva Edison Foundation.
5. ~1956-1979, General Electric - still no definate date for this one.
6. 1979, General Electric, 100th Anniversary, plastic base.
7. 1970s, General Electric, "Comemmorating a Century of Lighting Progress", plastic base with no connections.

I did see a couple of other replicas in photos taken at Dr Hugh`s Mount Vernon Museum by our very own Tim. This picture shows General Electric`s 1954 replica on the right next to a possibly genuine 1879 Edison lamp - it can be seen by itsself in this photo too. This photo shows one of Francis Jehl`s spectacular lamps with the hand made horseshoe filament mounted to a wooden display base.

So the quest continues. If anyone sees any replicas for sale (on Ebay, etc) that I don`t yet have, especially the 1954 GE and the unusual smaller one in Fin`s photo, I would love to be informed!





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« Last Edit: November 13, 2004, 10:12:35 pm by tim »

Offline Chris W. Millinship

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2004, 01:14:00 pm »
Further to the last post, I took down the box for the unknown-age General Electric bulb, which can be seen behind the ones at the left. It is printed with three images of bulbs from the first filament lamp in 1879, through the brightest fluorescent tube in 1956, to the brightest incandescent lamp in 1959, which you can just make out in the photo below (the box has suffered some tape related damage in a former life). The last one I had forgotten about, since it was not visible with the box up on the shelf where it was. That date would lead me back to my original guess that it was made in 1959. However since it does not bear any commemorative dates asides 1897, it is unlikely it was specifically made to celebrate 80 years of filament lamps.



It does, however, come with an interesting booklet giving a potted history of incandescent lighting as well as current bulb related info at the time it was written. The repro lamp itsself was apparently meant as part of an educational demonstration showing the differences between the early carbon lamps and modern coiled tungsten. Hardly a fair comparison given the tiny sign-lamp sized carbon filament though!

I have spent this afternoon photographing, digitising and PDFing the booklet, and can now present it for all to download and read, here:

http://bulbmuseum.net/ge1959booklet.pdf

Beware, it is a large (4437KB) file so if you don`t have a fast net connection, please expect it to take ages to download.

« Last Edit: November 13, 2004, 10:16:13 pm by tim »

Offline Ron

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The Edison Anniversary lamps
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2004, 12:15:00 am »
Tim, I have a replica from the 1979 era like you show in your picture.  Do you have any idea where I can get a replacement bulb.  The ones I have located all have the std. base.  Mine has the smaller medium base.


   
quote:
Originally posted by tim:
Hi Chris!  Good to see that you are still around and collecting.  We haven't seen you on the forums in a while.

There have been a lot of Edison commemorative lamps made throughout the years.  I'm no expert when in comes to these and I'm really hoping someone can shed some more light on them too.  Another one that comes to mind that you should add to your want list is the 1914 version that marked the 35th anniversary.  It was made by GE and has a true exhaust tip and has a much more primitive feel compared to most of the other ones.  I?ve included some pictures here of two that I have, one dud and one with a good filament.  Apparently they didn?t make as many of these since I haven?t come across too many but they turn up on eBay every so often.

***Duplicate images removed by Tim to speed the loading this page***

We are probably only scratching the surface. This would be a good place for others to post pictures of their replica lamps.





[This message has been edited by tim (edited October 30, 2004).]