Monday, December 9, 2013

Electric lanterns & portable lamps

Back in the 1950's and for a while afterwards, flashlights using big dry cell batteries were the tool to have:

Mr. Fix-It's Complete Book on How to Make Your Own Electrical Repairs.  
By Six Leading Authorities.  NY:  Greystone Press, 1953.
Delta Electric Co., Marion, Ind.
Popular Mechanics, February 1951
I've collected a few over the years.  Below, a very useful lamp made by the Star Headlight & Lantern Company of Honeoye Falls, New York.  Founded in 1899, it's still a going concern under family ownership!

A few others:

On the right, an Everready No. 101 "Big Jim."  Back in the day, something to show your girlfriend after dark.

In the middle, a "Commando" with a long fabric strap that is pleated to fold under the leather cover.  A fun lamp to show off at Norton rallies!

On the left, a "famous" Burgess "Radar Lite" made in Freeport, Illinois.  

Continue-Flo Products.  Burlington, Ontario.  1961 Catalogue.

The Burgess Battery Company was founded in Madison, Wisconsin in 1917 by Dr. Charles Burgess, a professor at the University of Wisconsin.  
Burgess was a prolific inventory who, among many other accomplishments, developed what were to become the A, B, C and D-cell batteries.  He moved battery production to Freeport, Illinois in 1925, after purchasing a large plant from the recently defunct Moline Plow Company.  At one time, the company was among the largest producers of dry-cell batteries in the world. 

They hit financial difficulties beginning in the 1970's with a large anti-monopoly law suit, and went under in 1989 after being bought out by an out-of-state holding company that eventually succumbed to its high debt load.

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