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Posted By: Walt Mathers on: 12/25/2002 12:59:27 CST
Subject: RE: Um...is this...?

Message Detail:


Gents,

This is a very interesting piece. Frankly I've never seen one like it before.

It appears to be some sort of copper cylinder torch with two tapered attachments in order to place the open flame well above the main container. The detachable tapers may be brass or blackened by heat and soot.

The brass looking ring at the bottom of the contain seems to indicate that it was held in a slightly larger ring bracket. A brass ring would also offer some additional weight for stability. You will notice that the three visible protruding tabs on the bottom ring are set at slightly different heights indicating that the torch was placed into the lower ring bracket and truned slightly to engage the locking tabs.

I've seen open flame torches with a wider base and tapered on the whole with a side handle attached. These lamps were used extensively by American railroad shop workers well into the twentieth century. I think that Water Load mis-labled such conical torches and and photographic darkroom lanterns as being signal apparatus.

My best gusetimate is that this lamp was used for interior lighting in the transporation industry, either railroads or sea-going services where it could have been locked into a base. But I'm only guessing ;) Anyone interested in further study should wish to consult the lamp society at our SCA/SCARD links page.

Should you wish to bid on the lamp above please make a timely trip to:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=750136216

Good Cyber Scouting Eric.

Best Regards and Merry Christmas!
Walt

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Signal Corps Association (1860-1865)
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