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Vintage Lighting Dear everybody: What are these things?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by blahoobadyhoo, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. blahoobadyhoo

    blahoobadyhoo New Member

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    Hello everybody.

    I have walked past these things so many times and each time think "what the heck could they be?"
    I go to Siena Heights University in Adrian, MI, and our theatre is at least 30 years old which explains why we have so many HUB ellipsoidals and fresnels. But these wall boxes are made by HUB too! These are found in our catwalks, but on only the 3rd out of 4 cats. I wondered if they were some ancient cat lights which would explain why there is a place for a fresnel bulb, but then why only on this cat. We have three of these equally spaced on a 40 or 50 ft catwalk. They are definitely meant to be plugged in...

    1st and 2nd picture are of one box, and 3rd and 4th picture are of another, in various states of disrepair. 5th picture is of the stickers you see in 1st and 3rd pics.

    'Tis a mystery!
    DSC00921.jpg DSC00923.JPG DSC00925.jpg DSC00926.jpg DSC00928.JPG
  2. xander

    xander Active Member

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    I'm not old enough to have used them so I don't know, but my guess would be a ghost load.

    -Tim
  3. chausman

    chausman Chase Premium Member

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    I'm guessing ghost load as well. Designed to stay cool, but not allow too much light in, based on the fan inside. If we're right, the wiki entry for ghost load for more information. Kinda cool. It's even UL listed!
  4. BGW

    BGW Member

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    blahoobadyhoo and (deleted user) like this.
  5. blahoobadyhoo

    blahoobadyhoo New Member

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    Oh wow, so it's almost like the predecessor to gobos. Holy crap wait until I tell everybody this.

    Thanks so much for your help guys, that was fast!
  6. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Note: beam projectION, not beam projector. Essentially, a variation on the Linnebach projector. In the 1960s/'70s, Hub Electric Company, with the help of consultant/designer James Hull Miller, became prominent in the use of projected scenery on open stages of high school auditoria.

    From In Memoriam :
    Although the fad was short-lived, it left behind many who continue to suffer upon these stages.
  7. MPowers

    MPowers Well-Known Member

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    Although it is listed in the catalog as a "Beam Projection Unit" it is a form of a Linnenbach (pardon the spelling) projector. Discussed in the thread silhouette dancers .

    It is an open face projector that has a single lamp with a concentrated filament, no reflector, no lens. Used for short throw wide angle projection. If the slide is parallel to the projection surface, there is no paralax or distortion. Basically a box with a lamp in it. Often shop built or created by removing the lens and reflector from a large Fresnel.
  8. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    The giveaway is the lamp socket. For a ghost load, you would use as cheap a bulb as you could. (like an old PS52 with a mogul base. Prefocus socket = expensive bulb.

    I remember back in high school (late 60's) I ran into the least UL approved (or Not Approved!) device I had ever seen! Someone had mounted a 2x4 up on the catwalk with a number of lamp sockets, all open wire, asbestos none the less, along with a wall switch nailed to aforementioned 2x4. I asked "What is it?" and was told it was a lamp tester!

    Never know what you will run into on old catwalks!
  9. nimblebrain

    nimblebrain New Member

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    dont plug them in ! yep very old box light fixtures from Hub. :lol::lol:
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Not to be pedantic, but there is no such thing as a "fresnel" bulb. Fresnel refers to a fixture or a lens. The lamp socket pictured appears to be for a Medium, or Mogul pre-focus lamp.

    No, more like the fore-runner to modern projection. Linnebach Projectors could have mechanical drives in them which would run a loop of acetate in front of the instrument. These could be used for moving effects on a cyc or sky drop.

    What I cannot understand is why they would be mounted FOH?!?! perhaps they were used to project a logo on the main rag? It simply makes no real sense having them FOH, Linnebach's were typically used backstage, and more often than not, used to rear project the image they were casting.
  11. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Van, if you look at that Hub catelogue, they have a "for instance" illustration showing how they recommend the unit be used FOH.

    I've noticed rarely did things ever work as the old manufacturers suggested they do
  12. blahoobadyhoo

    blahoobadyhoo New Member

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    Actually our theatre was built rather poorly, as it has only catwalks from which to hang lights, but only the first two are FOH, the last two are behind the curtain line.
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    AHA! See I assumed ! I heard Ctwlk and Assumed FOH. My bad. Sorry.
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    See how I knew that, without ever having even heard of the venue, based solely on three installed "fixtures"? One of the biggest failings is that one is forever forced to use projected scenery, as the venue becomes problematic for any other type.
  15. blahoobadyhoo

    blahoobadyhoo New Member

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    The best part is, even if we wanted to use them and got them working, There is much more stuff built in the way that we couldn't get a clear shot to the cyc. I'm considering gutting them and removing the front face to make them shelves (as there is always stuff strewn across that cat). They're more of a nuisance than anything and a possible hazard for any incoming freshman too curious for their own good ;).
  16. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Save at least one for history!
  17. ScottT

    ScottT Active Member

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    Send one to [USER]derekleffew[/USER] or [USER]Ship[/USER]!
  18. blahoobadyhoo

    blahoobadyhoo New Member

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    Well there's almost no way I could send them to anyone, but I suppose I should keep the best one intact for historical purposes. Good Call
  19. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Don't touch - disconnect until you can at some point be sure of what you are doing or ensure it will be either example for display or your own showing properly. Literally I found a candle up in the ceiling of a 1911 theater - it was fabricator made to be in that location. Still there - at times you just leave it alone and it is better as legend than removed.

    Funny though, the elder ME where I work was just taking about our recently acquired Brenkert 6" Carbon Arc on a stand mount today. He was also talking about resistance in-line so as to limit output in a number of words - I'm "Bush short" in comparision in book about it told about the shop. Going to be a few months before I get to it in working on, but he is of the opinion that it should work at a lower level due to resistance for example also in how this one works.

    Safe... from what I understand, should the resistance load of a filament lamp expire, you will note it. Should help to maintain the arc of the lamp over a longer period of time. Think the pre MSR metal hallide or Xenon spot lamp in concept as it is. Guys in the 60's were not stupid, they just advanced technology into what we have now. Imagine life without the computer.

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