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Vintage Lighting NTL X-Ray Ref Co. lamp socket 12" Floodlight fixture - that or is it a X-Ray fixture

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by ship, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Working on a 12" c.1911 floodlight fixture that’s got a lamp socket marked with the above and 1,500 Watts. Long discontinued lamp socket that was chipped/broken off in half of one of it's flanges. PC Products’ 1oz. “Fahrenheit” putty epoxy I’m trying out for use on the broken mounting fin to the lamp socket. So far shaped up well and flap sandered and drilled down well after drying time. Bit of appliance epoxy enamal spray paint applied to the socket and hard to tell which fin is the broken one.

    Question is, assuming I did read X-Ray on the lamp socket, and it is say 1910-1911 for the fixture in probably the original socket for it, when did X-Ray as a term get invented? Any noting of it in or before this period? Realizing also, stage lighting history also had X-Ray products later in history noted... any relation perhaps otherwise?

    Obviously, the lamp will never see the same wattage and I’ll do some padding and spring tension to the weaker socket fins instead of perhaps what broke the porcelain. Still though, a good fix seemingly so far. Don’t know how well it might work with line fixtures, but works good with this socket in repair - especially given the socket is no longer made, and in this case exposed to what one sees in viewing the open faced fixture. Epoxy and paint are necessary to present it as per how it might look if new / workable.

    Wykee perhaps in what a “floodlight” fixture is, and perhaps in me having two of them, (one 4.1/2" in smaller wall mount) how rare they are to see. Good science and history of lighting in the Pre-Fresnel concept. Or is this one not a floodlight and instead an X-Ray or spot in concept? It's clearly old but see below on what must have been a very impressive glass reflector in having an effect on the focused adjustable for size beam much like what a Fresnel has, but with some beam projector properties to it assuming glass reflector.

    As said, I don’t know what brand it is, the cup under this lamp socket had some writing on it, but it was spot welded to the slider plate and there was not enough letters to make anything out of it. Once re-painted, the lettering was gone in a very light stamp.

    Often if a old fixture’s paint is in decent condition, I’ll rust reform and or rust reformer oil coat it sufficient in not having to sand blast and or paint stripper and grind the paint off in starting over. Try lots of products to reform pockets of rust. In this case, it was stored in a lime flaking off the brick storage room and the paint was mostly gone. In what was left, seemingly a lacquer finish over black. Far different than any other painting I have seen before, but easy enough to reproduce.

    Also a note of limited lead solder reinforced bolted joints where they were not pound rivets applied. About half and half in the use - top baffle was pound rivet, bottom baffles that also mounted lamp assembly was bolted and soldered.

    Chicago Cinema Equipment, Major and Chicago Stage Lighting didn’t do solder welding, Benjamin Lighting did that type of welding almost exclusively in them falling apart a hundred years later. Both bolting and welding - pound rivets aside says in all using them for places probably not any of the above brand for style.

    1.5Kw lamp socket and designed about an incandescent lamp over 100w design thus it has to date post 1910 in the nitrogen lamp invention for higher wattages. That the socket is only 1.5Kw, says earlier than later when the 2Kw lamp was invented. Just finished a 5" PC type Chicago Cinema Equipment fixture with a broken lens. Was able to super glue it back together and while it looked good, once I got into buffing the lens, the dirt in the area of the crack built up into the crack area. Solid repair, but one with defined crack which Kopp Glass that probably made the lens (finally in replying) won’t make a replacement to. Nobody makes a 5" dia. lens that’s one inch thick. Gonna have to live with a cracked lens.

    Important about the Chicago Cinema Equipment PC fixture is that it was designed to be a carbon arc light. Same casting for where the control levers might be for a carbon arc that just were not drilled out - instead other new holes were in use. Compared this fixture to a similar size Brenkert carbon arc spotlight, yep the CCE fixture is an incandescent fixture they made from a carbon arc type casting.

    Back to the 12" Floodlight fixture in question. All the parts are ready to go in black lacquer finish to everything - photos later, missing it’s reflector. There was two of four felt lined brackets at the rear of the can still in existence. Way earlier than the aluminum Azark process - was either a steel silvered mirror reflector which would not need felt lined rolled edge 1/4" wide brackets, or more likely a glass mirrored reflector at the rear of the can. Can itself looks like a trash can, except for the great efforts they took to make a more convex top to it.

    Way out of budget to get such a mirror and I am sure it will have been specacular, best I can do is a cut away Mole Richardson 10K Fresnel aluminum reflector at the rear of the fixture so as to represent what it what at about 80% and much less given the damaged one I’m replacing it with to make it work.

    This no doubt was an amazing mirror in perhaps in the above socket being “X-Lite” in some way for it being a beam of light instead of flood. Again this is at least 1911 and there is no literature or knowledge about it.

    Possible not just a floodlight but the original X-Beam perhaps more rare than a flood light of this size?

    Lots of questions and parts to re-assemble on it. Literally on such a fixture, there is no base of what it is and or what brand it is.

    P.S. I'll grind away the paint on the lamp socket cup so as to get what I can for letters not spot welded to the baffle plate. Didn't mean anything to me but perhaps might be useful later. Also the photos of what it is back to restored condition.

    P.P.S, Ship you are using an epoxy that's only rated for x temperature, that much less paint not rated for it. Yep noted and the lamp no matter in me putting a 2Kw globe lamp into it for dispay purposes given it's larger than the 1Kw globe in no 1.5Kw ones in stock, or other for show use - can believe it will never be using origional lamps or wattage, and it will be dimmed way down if used. Possibly could do what was designed for, but following restoration to this extent and extent, would be antique and never used again for it's design concept - at least for long. In lamps - way too expensive to replace for any show given I have an old lamp. For prop use, better options able to do. For this open faced fixture... probably will never see any shows if I can help it. Don't own it - got work to buy it for me, but still manage it and did the work - lots of work on it.

    Is it a Floodlight or perhaps the X-Lite concept? Neither I have seen before in existance.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Re: NTL X-Ray Ref Co. lamp socket 12" Floodlight fixture - that or is it a X-Ray fixt

    I suspect many of these questions may be answered by visiting the wiki entry X-ray.
  3. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Re: NTL X-Ray Ref Co. lamp socket 12" Floodlight fixture - that or is it a X-Ray fixt

    So thanks for that link in term I was thinking of, yet they are later I think in date. And or in a single fixure this is a different animal.

    Still though thanks for the base line of info and conformation that it was and does exist in some way.
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Re: NTL X-Ray Ref Co. lamp socket 12" Floodlight fixture - that or is it a X-Ray fixt

    Not satified in while X-Ray was a strip light - this fixture has that brand of base as per a flood light. More research...

    Fascinating but not useful in research. National X-Ray Reflector Co. | Cladrite Radio .

    "Curtis Lighting, 1119 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago. “X-Ray” Mirrored-glass Reflectors, and Footlights and Borderlights containing them; and outdoor Floodlighting projectors. (Catalogue) c.1929 Listed & c.1930-1940 Listed. as found in a few of my books might be more useful.

    Further info: off vhttp://blog.rubylane.com/node/942
    NSWER: Augustus Darwin Curtis, born in Hawley, Pennsylvania on October 14, 1865, moved to Chicago in 1900 and shortly thereafter established the Curtis-Leger Fixture Company for which he served as president and treasurer and the National X-Ray Reflector Company for which he served as president.. Arthur J. Morgan was the secretary for both companies. A July 5, 1912 obituary noted: “Mr. Morgan was known in electrical circles through his work during the past four years in connection with commercial and technical development of indirect lighting and show-window lighting.”

    The National X-Ray Reflector Company became famous for the development of a style of light reflector that promised to create less tired eyes by reducing glare. By 1916 National X-Ray reflectors were touted as producing the highest type of illumination possible. The company provided reflective lighting for a wide variety of lighting uses including banks, buildings (interior and exterior), hospitals, movie theaters, offices, schools, stages, etc.

    National X-Ray Reflector Company advertised extensively in National Geographic. The advertisement in the July 1915 issue notes: “The efficiency of clerks, stenographers, and other employees is increased by Eye Comfort Lighting, which greatly reduces the tendency to headache and nervousness due to improper lighting.”

    National X-Ray Reflector Company must have received a government contract during World War I to manufacture a ship semaphore. Your semaphore has more curiosity than collector value, albeit it certainly is a conversation piece."


    Fascinating in while hinting to a floodlight by them viable - not listed in 1911 at least the age of the fixture - but not before say 1910 when the Nitrogen lamp became viable.


    Further link in initial start to research to Rinker On Collectibles: Questions and Answers | Notes From the Lane . Very interesting also.

    TBA the photos of the fixture (all be it using a damaged aluminum reflector instead of a glass mirror). Just waiting on making a bottom flanged rosette yoke for it in parts. Very difficult to rig.

    More research out there I think on the light... with photos I will present hopefully something more substantial about it. Intresting for me a lot in that I have lots of fixtures I have heard of, or some I question about the same fixture just with say Madelite instead of Major about if any name brand on etc. That's old lights as with 60's lights in similar problems at times and black holes between. Often other than minor details they are the same fixture but possible copies from another brand to figure out.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Re: NTL X-Ray Ref Co. lamp socket 12" Floodlight fixture - that or is it a X-Ray fixt

    Sorry to keep the thread alive by myself but I did learn lots of stuff today in research about it and other brands of lights.

    Lots of research today into the Agustus Darwin Curtis Born 10/14/1866 Lighting company called Curtis Lighting, Incorporated, New York & Chicago.

    Some confusion on Chicago addresses and no noting of the NY address. Established by way of eBooks.com: Buy Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Textbooks Online National Electrical Manufacturers Association Acronological History of development from 600BC. Fascinating read.

    -Frank Adam Electric is c.1845
    -Bengamin Electric Mfg. Co. c1901 with R.B. Benjamin as Vise President, Walter D. Steel as President at least at the time of the above book.
    -Century Lighting c1929 with Joseph Levy as President and Edward F. Kook as Treasurer
    -Curtis Lighting Inc. and earlier known as National X-Ray Lighting Reflector Company c1897 with A.D. Curtis as it’s president. Later is was known of Curtis - Leger Fixture Company.
    -Kliegl Brothers and earlier known as Universal Stage Lighting Company c.1896 with Anton T. Kliegl and John H. Kliegl as president.
    -Lighting Products Inc. and earlier known as Reflectors Inc. c.1937 with James Kirk as President
    -Roller - Smith Division Reality and Industrial Company; Earlier known as Whitney Electrical Instrument Company c.1891, Switchboard Equipment Company c. 1903 than Roller - Smith Company c.1908

    Limited other references and starting dates for other companies listed to the date of the above book.

    www.babel.hathiturt.org Has some interesting info which doesn’t match in all ways with eBooks.com: Buy Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Textbooks Online Listing the address of the company as 6236 w. Jackson Blvd. Chicago. The other listing as 235 w. Jackson Blvd. Chicago. Thru alternate sources (not Fuchs 1929 that doesn’t list them) in 1929, I show them at 1119 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago as possible in moving. The above other two addresses... if one removes the 6 from it are similar in location though across the street. Interesting.

    Still though, unknown New York address.

    Seen the free book on eBooks.com: Buy Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Textbooks Online herringshaw’s city blue book of biography Chicagoans of 1919.
    On the above Babel.hathitrust.org is an on-line c.1919 like 220 page catalogue/book from the company called Lighting from Concealed Sources by the Engineering Dpt. of National X-Ray Reflector Company. Good read initially and skip to like pages 148-153 for stage lighting and the rest skim thru. Controlbooth in it’s efforts to provide links to old stage lighting catalogues should have a link established to this catalogue.

    Good reads, including my questioning of the lacquer finish I put on the fixture - says enamel. But unfortunately while it is very similar to a X-Ray #60 floodlight, that version is architectural exterior, mine is interior and set up for stage lighting. Lens seen for the #60 was spot or flood in version available but glass silver mirrored. At least that part is confirmed that it was a glass concave lens. Probably a flood given the shallow hand pound riveted nature of the rear of the fixture. Also shows a beam projector like set of baffles for the front of the light - but no mounting on my fixture, nor was any baffle having a filament blocking/reflecting reflector yet at it’s center.

    Given the 1919 catalogue that lists a fixture in even description very similar to this, believe it was discontinued before the book was published. Given that also, perhaps the lacquer paint is valid also in thinking it was that which I removed. Obviously the 1Kw lamp couldn’t have been done before 1910/11 but that’s the start of the theater I found it at. No listings of that brand of anything higher in wattage than a 1Kw lamp though which means it’s 1.5Kw lamp socket didn’t mount a 1.5Kw lamp. This means a lot less spectacular lamp in it but not a problem in a few in stock for this open faced fixture.

    Either this fixture was using a National X-Ray lamp socket and otherwise isn’t known as to brand - any number of them in Chicago during the period, or National X-Ray once made a floodlight and by 1919 it was discontinued in them preferring to specilize in architectural lighting mostly, and some stage strip type lights. Flood lights were also done and shown in a clear difference for application and use than that of the Olivalitte for wash purposes. Different beam type spreads as curious.

    Final part of research in leaving that last page at work, Major as a name brand I believe was not copyrighted until 1926 from another search - this one got into name brand titles as a link. TBA this conformation but I’m fairly sure of it in at least date for trademark. This is important given the amount of non-branded and even Madelite fixtures I recentally acquired from the same theater and or in acquiring Major gear from other sources and this source.

    Yet to do research into Madelite as a company - if a company more than trademark that as per Leko faded away with time in buy out perhaps. Doubt I’ll find much given no noting of them in past research on brands. Do note three versions of the same fixture (minor parts changed) one without markings, one with Madelite and one with Major as markings though. 6" and 8" versions, plus some Major 8" PC versions that were framed down to 6" in say deceasing fixture stock needed to make. Around ten similar fixtures I’m comparing this concept amongst in having seen and worked on such a thought about.

    Hope the above info is useful.

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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Re: NTL X-Ray Ref Co. lamp socket 12" Floodlight fixture - that or is it a X-Ray fixt

    Completed fixture photos & before / after on making a side rosette mount.

    Note: the lamp moves but the reflector is fixed.

    Started work today on something very similar to a Mole Richardson 5K Freesnel shape, but with fixed reflector and movable lamp.

    Interesting about it is the 9" reflector that's on-center with the fixture, yet the lamp bench focuses with the 6" lens and both are off center to the fixture center.

    Possible there was a concept of a floodlight - reflector or not, where the lamp moves back and forth, and there is a PC lens to it? It's not a Plano Convex / profile spot fixture in that the reflector is fixed to the rear of the light and the lamp is indipendant of it. TBA conformation from Mole Richardson about the fixture and what it is.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012

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