Author Topic: Strathearn / Angus Sillars Drop Lamp Base (ST001) questions.  (Read 1944 times)

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Offline Bernard C

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Strathearn / Angus Sillars Drop Lamp Base (ST001) questions.
« on: September 16, 2004, 11:21:03 PM »
Hi everyone.

As my PAT (portable appliance test) certificates have expired, I have been getting Alan, my friendly local electrician, to re-test and certify all my stand electrics.    An amazing 29 items plus two table lamps (Nazeing 16/1 and Bagley 742) from stock.    l thought I had completed this marathon, when I remembered two Angus Sillars lamp bases tucked away in a box under the stairs.

Also I noticed that Frank has an unresolved plea for better photographs.   So I thought I would kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

Descriptions (heights measured to the flat ground top of the glass):

#1: 16" (405mm), 5lb 5oz (2.4kg), deep ruby and opaque white streaks running three quarters of the way up the glass, smooth three-sided profile, Strathearn seal, threaded fitting only.

#2: 11.5" (295mm), 4lb 4oz (1.9kg), clear glass, very pronounced ribs on the three angles with a sharp angle between the ribs and the body, Strathearn seal, chrome and ceramic unswitched BC lampholder stamped "MADE IN / S.I.&S / ENGLAND" with 5mm circular flex inlet hole.

So, first I have to photograph them for http://www.ysartglass.com , and then get them sorted out properly and PAT certified to make them saleable.   I am not sure whether the original lampholder on #2 can be modified with the addition of an earth terminal (the preferred option) or if it will have to be replaced.

Which all brings me around to the point of this topic.   To enable me to get as close as possible to the original lamp as sold back in 1972 - 7? and comply with today's electrical standards, I need to know what type and colour of flex and in-line switch (if any) to use.   So, if you own or know of one or more of these lampbases with some or all original fittings, please would you post here or email me full details of the lampholder, flex, and any in-line switch.   Also I need some idea of what sort of lampshade was supplied with these lamps.

I would be grateful for any contribution.   Thanks, Bernard C.  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Frank

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Strathearn / Angus Sillars Drop Lamp Base (ST001) questions.
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2004, 10:52:07 AM »
Hi Bernard,

I do have a couple of pics in my backlog now. More are welcomed as at some point I would like to put up a page showing some of the variety of these produced.

By the 70's we were using plastic flex so modern flex is acceptable, probably white. Shades would probably be Habitat style so hunt out an old H catalogue. As I recall, most popular were paper shades. But stiffened fabric were also common, quality was awful although not quite as bad as the modern ones.

They were mostly fitted with plastic bulb-holders originally and as these tended to break easily after heating by the bulb during use, (Modern fittings tend to use better materials) metal/ceramic types were often used to replace them in use.

I have no idea if they were sold with or without shades. This may have been addressed by retailers.
Frank A.
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Offline Frank

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Strathearn / Angus Sillars Drop Lamp Base (ST001) questions.
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2004, 09:36:02 PM »
A case in point...
(http://www.ysartglass.com/Otherglass/Images/WalshPompeianlamp.jpg)
These are sold without shades, but with double electric fittings. I only ever saw a few Strathearn marketing pictures but all showed base without shade.

On the topic of electrical safety, in 1929 earth connections in lamps like this Pompeian one were uncommon. Walsh Walsh state in the catalogue:
Quote
"...Imagine then, a graceful lamp made of this glass and filled with water which reflects the light so artistically when the lap is lit."

They continue in the price list:
Quote
...but with double electric fittings, allowing an additional inverted bulb to light inside the glass "reservoir." This can be filled with perfumed water, which slowly evaporates with the heat of the lamp.


Note the fitting is open to allow the fumes to escape. They were made in 3 sizes and I wonder for how long they were promoted like this and what the death toll was!

And how many collectors have puzzled over limescale in their lampbase since :?
Frank A.
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Offline Bernard C

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Lethal lamps
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2004, 05:35:48 AM »
Frank:

You don't have to go that far back (1929) to find examples of interesting lamps that today's electrician would find something of a challenge.

My own favourite is the Andromeda or Rocket lamp.   This was a 1950s or '60s novelty, made by (if I remember correctly) C J Leek (C & J Leek?), Alma Works, Alma Street, Aston, Birmingham, possibly in their "Celtic" range (it may have been sold as the Celtic lamp).   It was a chrome ball containing the bulb, on a chrome base with a little white plastic push on/off switch.   Into the top of the lamp fitted either the bayonet fitting version of the Bagley Andromeda figurine, or a stylised space rocket (glassworks not known) with a similar fitting.   Not an earth wire in sight!

There would have been little point in supplying lamps with an earth connection in pre-seventies Britain, as most homes were fitted with a 15 amp earthed socket for an electric fire on the skirting somewhere near the fireplace, and sometimes, but not always, one or two 5 amp two-pin sockets for lamps or radios elsewhere in the room.   In 1969 I recall a very cheap bedsit in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire where I powered a radio, record player and desk lamp from adaptors plugged in between the central ceiling light socket and the bulb, with the cables hanging down like festoons.   Also the 15 amp socket was on a coin-in-the-slot meter, whereas the lighting circuit was free - a not unimportant consideration for a penniless ex-student starting his first proper job.   I have happy memories of most of my past, but that short time in Mansfield was dreadful.   I was perpetually cold, damp, hungry and lonely.   I've never been back - I expect it is quite a pleasant place today.

Any further information on the Birmingham metalbashers would be welcomed.   I know I have the address right - it is unforgettable, but I am rather hazy about the rest.

Bernard C  8)
Text and Images Copyright 200414 Bernard Cavalot


Offline Frank

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Re: Strathearn / Angus Sillars Drop Lamp Base (ST001) questions.
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008, 11:08:38 PM »
Bernard,

Did you ever take pictures of the Strathearn bases?

There is an image showing a shade style used here although the drawing is very stylised.
Frank A.
Please help preserve glass web-sites for posterity by donating to The Glass Study Association a non-profit organisation.
Scotland's Glass - Ysart Glass
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