It's been kept in really
nice condition because the owner followed the instructions on
Compared with a modern equivalent
this lamp is a beautifully engineered thing. Every little detail
has been thought out most carefully and this has resulted in
the lamp lasting 80 years. There are no signs of battery leakage
and the electrical contacts are in the same condition as the
day they were assembled. Even the spare bulb is present in its
special compartment which is opened by a spring loaded catch
flush with the side of the case. Another catch frees the glass
and reflector and two more release the top so that the battery
can be changed.
On the lid is a push button
which can be locked down by a rotary switch.
The really clever bit is the
knurled ring which, when rotated, moved the reflector and will
focus the bulb for extra range.This is what the patent is for.
The label informs the user that
the interior of the lamp must be kept clean by periodical washing
out with water and regreasing. A copious amount of grease has
been applied ensuring that the inside is still in new condition.
The lamp takes a battery about
double the size of the 3-volt cycle lamp battery common 40 years
ago and about the volume of six D-size cells. This probably reflects
the relative inefficiency of early batteries, which had to be
large to supply a useful amount of power. The bulb has an early
style of bayonet fitting and looks original, being made by Ediswan
and marked 2 V .75A. It has a simple coil, not a coiled coil
of course, but does look like tungsten... Does the low voltage
indicate that the battery wasn't the usual leclanche type, or
did it indicate they wanted lots of illumination at the expense
of shortened bulb life?