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Old 18th Apr 2021, 9:13 pm   #1
Tom williams
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Default Crompton 60W bulb

Hi all,

I own a Crompton 60W bulb as part of my vintage electrical fittings collection, and was wondering what it is used for, it is bright red, the only things I can think of it being used for are as follows:
The flashing red lights you see at level crossings.
As part of one of those strings you see hung up at events.

If there are any other purposes for this bulb, can you please let me know as it is quite an interesting subject for me.

Tom
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 9:20 pm   #2
mark_in_manc
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Maybe the glow in one of those 'magicoal' type electric or gas fires, with a fibreglass translucent pretend log / coal fire. The bulb would be lit under it; our (gas) one had shades with slits in which were meant to turn in the convected hot air from the hot bulb, and create flickering effects on the fibreglass. They usually siezed up, and generally the bulbs popped and were left un-fixed!
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 9:35 pm   #3
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

60w is too high for unprotected exterior use, i think that it's an indoor lamp 'just for fun' or for niche use... (vital Bordello equipment anyway!)
Fireglow lamps are typically clear not pearl finish, it makes the flicker effect more pronounced.
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 10:06 pm   #4
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Blackpool illuminations?

I've seen 15 Watt pygmy lamps the same colour as that for bedside lights: my auntie had one when I was a kid. 60 Watt is a bit bright for that, though.
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 10:18 pm   #5
Cobaltblue
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Dark room maybe for film development.

ISTR red lignts when we were developing B&W film when I was at coledge.

Cheers

Mike T
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 10:27 pm   #6
John_Dw
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Probably a 'vintage' heavy duty bulb designed for use in old fashioned decorative lights, think Christmas or Blackpool....If you hold it up to a strong light source can you see how many supports are on the filament? I would suspect at least six spread over 300 degrees or more....
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 10:49 pm   #7
winston_1
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Coloured light bulbs like that were fairly common back in the day. I remember red, orange, yellow, green, and blue ones. I have a red 30w strip light of the type used to illuminate pictures or sometimes found in wardrobes. Don't know what that was for.
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 11:07 pm   #8
bigfathairyvika
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Disco light boxes.
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Old 18th Apr 2021, 11:39 pm   #9
emeritus
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

I don't have any vacuum lamps to try myself, but an old school physics book describes an experiment with two bulbs of the same wattage, one vacuum and one gas-filled, where the glass of the vacuum lamp was said to remain cold to the touch in operation. It was said that, for the vacuum bulb, radiant heat would pass through glass without appreciable absorbtion, whereas the gas-filled bulb's glass would get heated by convection. I believe this was why bare vacuum bulbs could be used outdoors without their glass being damaged by falling rain.

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Old 19th Apr 2021, 6:00 am   #10
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

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Originally Posted by emeritus View Post
I don't have any vacuum lamps to try myself, but an old school physics book describes an experiment with two bulbs of the same wattage, one vacuum and one gas-filled, where the glass of the vacuum lamp was said to remain cold to the touch in operation. It was said that, for the vacuum bulb, radiant heat would pass through glass without appreciable absorbtion, whereas the gas-filled bulb's glass would get heated by convection. I believe this was why bare vacuum bulbs could be used outdoors without their glass being damaged by falling rain.
Only pertaily true IMHO.
A vaccuum bulb of 60 watts will produce about the same heat as a gasfilled bulb of 60 watts.
The gas filled lamp will get very hot in that part of the glass directly over the filament, due to convection, and if rain drops strike this part then the glass may shatter.

The vacuum bulb will heat the glass by radiation, the glass below the filament will be warmed to a similar degree as that above.
Therefore the whole bulb becomes moderatly warm and unless of unusually high wattage, should survive contact with rain.

Vacuum lamps tend to be of lower power, so not only is the heat better distributed, but there is less heat in total.

15 watt and 25 watt mains voltage lamps tend to be vacuum types, with 60 watt and up being gas filled. 40 watt may be either.
Vacuum is preffered for very low current lamps, it is the operating CURRENT not the wattage that is relevant. A 21 watt vehicle bulb will be gas filled, but as above a mains voltage 25 watt lamp be vacuum.


Returning to the red 60 watt lamp in the O/P, this was probably for decorative use, indoor festive lighting, or possibly industrial warning lamps that need to be seen from a distance.

Probably not for fuel effect electric heater, as has been said these tended to be clear, and also amber not deep red.

Not suitable for photographic dark room use as the red does not extend over the entire bulb, observe a little white light escaping near the cap.

Also unlikely to be for red warning lights atop tall structures, these tended to use clear lamps in a red enclosure.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 7:44 am   #11
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Your example is probably a different voltage and wattage rating but red bulbs are used in submarines for when they switch to "Red light/Red lighting" operational mode.

David
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 7:46 am   #12
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

I think it may be the type of bulb used in the Glow Baby, a large plastic coated wire frame sold chiefly as a bed warmer but also for general airing and clothes drying. We had one from the early '60s when I was a small child, and a few years ago the capricious urge Nostalgia prompted me to acquire an example. Just now I referred to its instruction leaflet, which doesn't directly specify the bulb type fitted, but does recommend that if the unit is to be left in a bed for more than three hours the heat lamp should be exchanged for an ordinary 25W. or 40W. lamp, "thus spreading the heat value over a longer period with perfect safety".

Hmm, so much for that idea: I went to the attic to find the Glow Baby itself, and its likely original bulb is still fitted, a 100W one, very red, with "Glow Heat" as its brand. Still, there were probably similar contraptions back in the day, when few bedrooms were heated, so it's at least a class of device which may have given employment to such a lamp.

Paul
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 8:00 am   #13
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobaltblue View Post
Dark room maybe for film development.

ISTR red lignts when we were developing B&W film when I was at coledge.
It's the wrong colour for a printing safe-light and there's white light emanating from the end! A bit bright too.

Unless it was mounted behind a deep-red well-glass, of course. I have several coloured lamps (greens, yellows, blues, reds... similar vintage) and they were last used in anger on a sort of poor-man's 'disco-ceiling' at our works social club.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 8:04 am   #14
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcMahon View Post
' but red bulbs are used in submarines for when they switch to "Red light/Red lighting" operational mode.'
They do that in the 'gloom-room' radar ops at RAF Spadeadam too.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 9:19 am   #15
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobaltblue View Post
Dark room maybe for film development.

ISTR red lignts when we were developing B&W film when I was at coledge.

Cheers

Mike T
Darkroom bulbs are usually 15 or 25W, I know that from having a darkroom in the past.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 11:20 am   #16
broadgage
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Submarines and indeed surface ships do use red lighting at night, in order to preserve night vision.
I suspect that RN vessels use some special and expensive lamps, not something that can be purchased for less than £1 in the local hardware store.
Or standard clear lamps in a red cover.

Modern ships tend to use red fluorescent tubes, or LEDs.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 2:35 pm   #17
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Butchers used to have a few red lamps in their displays before special phosphors were done for them in fluorescents.

David
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 5:52 pm   #18
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Isn’t this the sort of bulb used on hanging fairground lights? The bulb holder is placed on the wire and makes contact via sharp points that pierce the cable. Provides a quick and easy way to add lights to a cable without having to make any joints.
I use similar bulbs of different colours on battern holders for garden illumination.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 6:33 pm   #19
broadgage
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reelman View Post
Isnít this the sort of bulb used on hanging fairground lights? The bulb holder is placed on the wire and makes contact via sharp points that pierce the cable. Provides a quick and easy way to add lights to a cable without having to make any joints.
I use similar bulbs of different colours on battern holders for garden illumination.
Peter
Yes but 60 watts is a bit high for such purposes and would be liable to shatter if it got wet.
Fairground lights are often 25 watts, or 15 watts for the brighter colours such as pink, yellow and white.
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Old 19th Apr 2021, 6:49 pm   #20
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Default Re: Crompton 60W bulb

“ 60 watts is a bit high for such purposes ”

I take your point but mine have survived several years of being permanently outside, there must have been times when rain fell on them whilst hot. However they are not used too much consuming, as they do, 300 watts!

Peter
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