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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:40 pm 
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Some interest has been brewing up between myself and at least one other person from Glasgow over on another forum, regarding an old lantern that looks to have once been common in the Glasgow area.

The lantern is as follows on the black and white side of the picture here:

http://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery ... os=-106492

They appear to be long gone now, a relic from the past, except for one or two abandoned examples still visible if you know where to look. Here is what looks like an old service road or path (perhaps to a defunct railway platform) and the bracket in the distance still has its "dust bin lid" lantern attached.

GSV link: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@55.84318 ... 312!8i6656


I am absolutely intrigued as to what these are. As I've said on sabre, I suspect these are from the 30s or 40s and were probably used in the mass electrification of Glasgow's street lighting. I don't know whether they'd be GEC fixtures, Mazda/Thorn but they're probably too old for that.

So for 10 points, who's going to be the first to have a crack at guessing?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:48 am 
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For ten points, I'll have a crack at this.

If you look at many of the other images of postwar Glasgow, especially those with trams still running, it becomes apparent that whilst much of the streetlighting is of either linear fluorescent or sodium, a similar amount shows the typical pendant fittings for GLS lamps. The majority look to be from the 20s with the large copper canopy rim and glass bowl (such as the GEC "City"). Many of these have lost their bowls by the 1960s although it would appear that some of these were still in use into the early 1970s, albeit very run down. I would recommend an excellent website for those interested in this area - "urbanglasgow.co.uk".

There are also a couple of images on the above which show what looks to be the "mystery" lantern in the background. It looks to be a simple enamel reflector, of a type much in use by British railways. The lantern may be original to the column or more likely a replacement for the type described above. Your guess at circa 1930s is believable although enamel reflectors of the more useful designs were still being offered for sale in the 1960s. Typical manufacturers as well as the GEC would include REVO, Maxlume and of course RLM / Benjamin.

This image might provide more indication, but I'll have a look through some of my old catalogues of the period and see what surfaces.


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glasgow1.jpg
glasgow1.jpg [ 51.96 KiB | Viewed 7520 times ]

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"As we moved along in a little procession, I was delighted with the illumination of the streets. So many lamps and they burned until morning, my father said, and so people did not need to carry lanterns."
Mary Antin - US author & activist. 1881-1949.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:44 pm 
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Informative history lesson; thank you. I think putting a name to these won't be easy. I tried googling "GEC City lantern" and got  results for just about every street light going except one that looks like a dustbin lid.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:59 am 
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Right. Prepare for an essay!!

I went to Glasgow today and felt it'd be rude not to take an opportunity to try and get up close to these mysterious "dust bin lid" lanterns.

Looking at the GSV links provided, at least one of the lanterns nearest the road has disappeared between 2014 and now. Vandals possibly, or just the elements taking toll. I had expected to rock up to where the gate was, poke my camera over the wall with my longest lens on, and give it all it's got.

I was pleasantly surprised when I turned up to find the gate was open. I could see one or two people well beyond it so, as my old mate would say, I "brass necked it" and walked on in. The path is cobbled and overgrown from decades of abandonment. Towards the end of the pathway two of the old lanterns remain. Although several of the columns remain wired to each other, the supply from further on up has been cut.

Here is a link to a pic:

http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac70 ... b84fyx.jpg

And to the lantern itself up close:

http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac70 ... mgtbkp.jpg

As a reminder, this is the family photo from 1966 showing the same lantern that originally piqued my interest into how far back they go into Glasgow's lighting history: http://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery ... os=-106492

Now, revisiting the history of Glasgow's lighting as a whole this may help putting together the puzzle.

I did some googling and happened upon a scanned copy of the Glasgow Herald with an article about Glasgow's street lighting - this one about the replacement of the last gas lamp. What I didn't realise until later on is the article was from September 1971! So until ~50 years ago, Glasgow was at least in small part lit by gas lighting. Although gas street lighting had disappeared at time of writing, lighting in stairways and tenement closes was stated as still partly gas, and this is corroborated by stories I've been told by my grandmother who left Glasgow not long before this.

The article goes on to give some key points of history of Glasgow's lighting. Lighting may have begun in Glasgow as far back as 1780, with 9 oil lamps between Tron Steeple and Stockwell Street. By 1815 there were over a thousand lamps, although it states that in those days general practice was for a servant to carry a lamp for you and light the way! By 1818 the first gas street lamp had been installed and the article suggests more followed soon after. I don't know whether this would be mains gas or whether the column bases contained individual tanks. The article states that in 1893 the first electric light was installed, with the labour force of the lighting department rising to 1500 (at the time of writing the article, it had dropped to 1100). At the time of writing the article states that 52,879 electric lights were in place.

A link to the scan is here: http://i886.photobucket.com/albums/ac70 ... cs5its.jpg

Up until recently I had been going on the assumption that Glasgow largely skipped mercury lighting, perhaps going from incandescent (or gas!) straight to SOX. The abundance of early SOX lanterns and very old concrete columns, along with sighting no old mercury stock at all appeared to support this.It was perhaps too big of an assumption though, as not all of Glasgow's SOX is old old, some of it being of 80s, 90s and early 00s vintage. Another little bit of googling brought me to this photo album taken in 1980: https://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3 ... 225&RH=647

A little bit down there is a photo of a street nearly full of Alpha Threes. It's 1980 so it could be either SON or HPL realistically. There are almost no installations like this left in Glasgow, so they were either replaced with more modern HPS stock or they were merc that was replaced with SOX. Of course they could have been SON and replaced by SOX, as bizarre as that would be.

At this point its probably not unreasonable to assume that from around 1900 to 1960, Glasgow's lighting would be a mix of gas and electric lighting, with the former dwindling in numbers over time. First incandescent lighting, then perhaps some mercury, then what would appear to be a large scale SOX changeover between the 60s and 70s. Much of the SOX stock in Glasgow is very old, and between it being put in and present day there appears to have been a pause - at least in some areas. Modern SON/MH is present in some areas, mostly city centre or major roads, and LED is starting to come in but many places look to have remained untouched for up to and beyond 30 years.

Coming back to the mystery "dust bin lid" lanterns that I saw up close today, I can confirm they were incandescent by the remains of the fitted lamp and were in service until at least the mid 60s going by street furniture in the background of a family photo. That is, the lantern type as a general - this specific installation may only have died 20-30 years ago. The style of them suggests 1930s-1950s to me - not much later because of the design cues. They have a utilitarian, almost austere feel - and not a more glamorous design that I would expect from something newer. So my guess is going to be roughly post [2nd world] war which may be when Glasgow did a mass adoption of Electric. The fact that many of the same columns and brackets (and overhead wires!) still remain in Glasgow today means they are really overdue a lighting stock upgrade.

This is a combination of the two above pictures with the details inset to the wider picture. You can clearly see the remains of what was probably a 3 or 500 Watt clear incandescent lamp which, from the remains, bears distinctions to GEC branded lamps of the time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:11 pm 
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Re: Glasgow "dustbin" lights.

These newly added photos have (thankfully) provided some valuable clues to the possible identification of these unusual lanterns.

The initial snaps indicated the typical "RLM" type enamel reflector of the 1930s and found in the majority of lighting installations of the time. Manufactured by REVO, the GEC, Thorlux, Mazdalux and Benjamin, all shared the same basic design according to the distribution required. They were however all slightly different in style and this is where the difficulty in identifying the Glasgow examples was encountered.

One of the common features of all the RLM shades is the relatively long neck, due to the size of the high wattage GLS lamp usually employed. The Glasgow fittings looked like they might have used a smaller lamp, as the neck was less noticeable, but even then I struggled to find anything that looked similar, apart from some examples more commonly found in the US.

These recent pictures, however give a vital clue. The close up shot seems to show the reflector is actually made in two parts - the main conical shade with the lampholder plus a separate enamel convex reflector, albeit badly pitted due to corrosion.

Whilst not in itself giving any clue to a maker, I revisited Mr Cornwell's excellent repository on the various manufacturers. One of them looked promising - "Credenda Conduits Co. Ltd" of Oldbury, Birmingham. Simon's introduction of this company is reproduced below.

"Appears to have produced lanterns under contract: the Glasgow, Huddersfield and Johannesburg lanterns being examples.
The Glasgow pattern lantern was to original designs by the Glasgow Corporation.

Were also making asymmetrical lanterns (either with dome refractors and / or reflectors) and developed an interesting asymmetrical two-way reflector for attaching to conical open type reflector fittings (which are described as "still being in use in very large numbers.")


This two-way reflector is described in the subsequent portion of Mr Cornwell's hard work, which I reproduce below.

"This was an elliptical reflector which could be clipped onto a conical open type reflector fitting. it was sold as both an adapter and complete unit."

In the absence of any other possible designs (for the time being), I would suggest that having already supplied over a thousand of the Glasgow pattern lanterns to the city in 1932, it might therefore be reasonable to assume that the mystery lanterns were also the products of "Credenda Conduits Co. Ltd".


Attachments:
cred1 (2).jpg
cred1 (2).jpg [ 82.83 KiB | Viewed 7383 times ]

_________________
"As we moved along in a little procession, I was delighted with the illumination of the streets. So many lamps and they burned until morning, my father said, and so people did not need to carry lanterns."
Mary Antin - US author & activist. 1881-1949.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:21 pm 
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Thoroughly impressed with that wealth of information, thanks!

There is a really interesting PDF on Simon's website, of which here is a snippet that give some insight into why Glasgow has so many overhead wires:

Our experience of underground cabling has not been a very favourable one, and practically all thf' cable now crect':'d for street lighting is overhead. as it has the followmg advantages: -
(1) The system is at. any lime easily accessible.
(2) Ten_Jporary repmrs can be quickly effected,
durtng the mghi tf necessary
(3}             is much simpler, faults being
less !!able to occur, and very much simpler to detect.


So it would appear not a kick in the arse off 100 years later that legacy still lives on because of the, at the time, negative take on putting all the wires underground. It's probably not unreasonable to assume then, that the ease of spot repairs facilitated by the overhead wiring, is perhaps why it still remains in this state today because it can just be fixed easily.

"Credenda" is a company I'd never even heard of, but was interested to read they'd merged with Simplex Conduits in 1932 to form Simplex Electric Company, a name most of us will know. The Credenda name continued on in "Creda" domestic cookers, which does actually ring a bell.

Interestingly then, if these were produced for Glasgow before the merger with Simplex, that places them from a time right around where I initially anticipated (mainly due to the design cues) - the 1930s.


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