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Author Topic: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?  (Read 3992 times)

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Offline Frank

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2008, 11:51:50 AM »
Alastair have you read my incomplete history of electric lighting?
http://www.debook.com/Bulbs/lightbulbs.htm

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Offline a40ty

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2008, 12:01:56 PM »
Triple check as most of my 'Tantalum' filaments turned out not to be when checked by more experienced researchers  :P post pics on their forum with the best close up of parts of the filaments possible to verify.

Tantalum are very rare.
OK, will do.  I was too quick off the mark.Chances of us having anything rare are well, rare! ;)

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Offline Alastair

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2008, 03:23:29 PM »
Alastair have you read my incomplete history of electric lighting?
http://www.debook.com/Bulbs/lightbulbs.htm

No I haven't and I don't even want to go there. God knows where it would end if I got interested in lightbulbs!  ;D

Just kidding, I bookmarked the site for a read later.

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Offline Frank

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2008, 03:53:29 PM »
I know where it leads  ;) but you will find more in your interest area on Kilokat's site.

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Offline Alastair

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2008, 03:58:18 PM »
Yes, I already know Kilokats site. There's some good glow photos of Crookes and Geissler tubes there.

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Offline a40ty

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2008, 07:11:56 AM »
Triple check as most of my 'Tantalum' filaments turned out not to be when checked by more experienced researchers  :P post pics on their forum with the best close up of parts of the filaments possible to verify.

Tantalum are very rare.
OK, will do.  I was too quick off the mark.Chances of us having anything rare are well, rare! ;)
Thanks for the advice, Frank. I can't seem to register for the forums so I've sent him an email with a some photos. Fingers crossed  ;)
I just had a trundle around in your lighting book..oh dear, I feel a new interest coming on!

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Offline Frank

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2008, 08:55:13 AM »
It can be a cheap collection if you avoid the very earliest bulbs. For decorative there were a lot of almost sculptural and figural designs made during the 1900-1915 period that are hard to find but always worth buying if you spot them.

From the glass perspective, earlier bulb envelopes tend to be lead glass but by the 20s as the technology developed it was realised that soda did just as well and was cheaper. Then just about every glass formulation and decorative technique you can imagine has been used - it would be possible to compile a history of glass techniques from bulbs alone. Virtually every glassworks in the world were blowing envelopes from 1900-c1920 when automation began - during that period it was the main products of the Schneider Brothers and Salvador Ysart left them to join Edinburgh Crystal where he taught light bulb blowing. A lot of glass companies probably failed because of the sudden loss of business when automation came in. Even today specialist bulbs are still free blown in many glass works and such items as Crookes Tubes do not lend themselves to automation. LED bulbs will signal the end of the use of glass as heat and vacuum are no longer involved. In social terms it was probably the most important technological development of the time. The industries history is often used as a one of the best documented example of modern global business practice. So it can be a fascinating field of discovery that due to its utilitarian nature has had a relatively small following.

You can even use the old bulbs, on a lower voltage to keep them lasting and it would be a good way of adding highlights to a decorative collection. Various people supply the raw materials for making lamps in the old way and some artists have created them as part of art-works.

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Offline krsilber

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2008, 09:11:21 PM »
Frank, I didn't read your whole light bulb history, but at least scanned the first few sections.  There's some fascinating stuff there!  Like the lighthouse that worked by separating oxygen and hydrogen and using that to heat a block of limestone to make it glow...that's just bizarre!  Wish I understood it.  And using a strand of bamboo as a lightbulb filament!  How would anyone even have thought to try it?  I suppose there must have been some precedent.

Edison had 25,000 patents!!!  What a mind, what an imagination.

Great work, Frank!
Kristi


"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science."

- Albert Einstein

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Offline Frank

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2008, 10:36:10 PM »
That is the root of the expression "In the limelight" as Limelights were used in theatres etc. too.

Edison got lucky with his first invention and then just kept hiring lab workers, every day they tested thousand of different materials. His real genius was spotting good ideas of others and being the first mass production laboratory - nearly all of his inventions were achieved by trial and error on an immense scale. Which is not to belittle what he achieved. Swan actually beat him to it working on his own.

The precedent was Davy in 1805 and then Swan using carbonised paper in 1860 but he used metals and the technology was just not good enough until a tungsten filament was developed by A Just & F Hanaman (Austria) in 1903. What Edison, who only started his search in 1876, and Swan achieved was to find a practical material for large scale production. It was only by combining their patents that the light bulb industry could start.

The developments of the light bulb resulted in synthetic fibres too. It was my research that showed this was by Italian Cruto in 1880, previously credited to Swan 1881. My one real contribution to the history.

My own emphasis was more on the social history. I hope to be able to continue by researching the almost unknown but massive impact it had on the glass industry. Both in building it in the early 20th century and the damage caused by automation in the 1920s - an untold story. But first I have a few sites to build  :sleep:

But the lightbulb was not really an invention after Faraday and Davy's work, everything was a step by step improvement on their invention that took about 80 years to come to fruition. Materials - Vacuum pump - Synthetic fibres - the dynamo - power distribution - bonding metal and glass and many more small improvements. All a result of that single purpose development process.

The best run-down of the development stages is in my calendar:
http://www.debook.com/Bulbs/LB22calendar.htm

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Offline Alastair

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Re: The word "Foreign" on antique UK glass, can it be dated?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2008, 10:56:16 PM »
The names you mention are interesting - Davy, Faraday, Swan and Edison. I recognise them as four of the five names inscribed over the grandiose Victorian doorway to Sheffield Town hall (my home city). The sculpture is called Steam and Electricity and the names are inscribed on the electricity side. I suppose electic lighting was brand new when the town hall was built and I know there's a very early electrical chandelier in the main stairwell.

http://public-art.shu.ac.uk/sheffield/pom130im.html

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ed/Sheffield_Town_Hall_grand_staircase.jpg


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