Vintage Lighting Can someone please tell me what light this is?

Eastwest420

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Jul 14, 2016
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New York
I was hoping you could help me as to what I have here. I purchased it at a goodwill and cannot find much info on it online.
The unit is approx 20" tall and is quite heavy. I'm not sure if it works because I have not plugged it in and although the bulb (which is very big btw) is not broken, it looks like it is "blown"
Also, the clamp says Capital NYC and there is a yellow symbol written on the front casing of the light that I was hoping you could explain.
Lmk and thank you for your time!
 

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PeteEngel

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Nov 5, 2009
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Not sure the name on the clamp (Capitol) or the name on the gel frame (Kliegl) are indicative of the manufacturer of the fixture. have you examined the inside of the fixture to see if there are any other markings? I think the yellow symbol is the roman numeral 5, probably written on the fixture for identification by someone that used the fixture, but that is just a guess. Good luck hunting more info down. Let us know what you find! Ship, any ideas?
 

gafftapegreenia

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I have one of those clamps, but I've never seen the yoke it works with. Awesome!


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Eastwest420

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Not sure the name on the clamp (Capitol) or the name on the gel frame (Kliegl) are indicative of the manufacturer of the fixture. have you examined the inside of the fixture to see if there are any other markings? I think the yellow symbol is the roman numeral 5, probably written on the fixture for identification by someone that used the fixture, but that is just a guess. Good luck hunting more info down. Let us know what you find! Ship, any ideas?
Thank you for the answer. Any idea on the age of the light or value?
 

derekleffew

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Not sure the name on the clamp (Capitol) or the name on the gel frame (Kliegl) are indicative of the manufacturer of the fixture.
Since the clamp is specific to the yoke, I'd say it's a Capitol Stage Lighting Co. unit and the Kliegl Bros. colorframe is from another fixture. One wonders how did the makers ever expect to tighten down the pan (side to side) movement.

I have no idea what the hieroglyphic yellow paint upside-down-roman-numeral-five-in-a-circle means. May have been a symbol of the theater owner.

The closest I can find in our 1937 Capitol catalog is a 6" version #6-Y, but I suspect yours is at least an 8". What is the diameter of the front circle?

As to value, it's been rewired at least once, and not very well done. Original wiring certainly contained asbestos, and the fixture still may. DO NOT attempt to plug it in. With its uninsulated mogul screwbase socket and lack of grounding, it will always be unsafe to energize.

Until we can determine more about the luminaire, I'd say it's in the $20-30 range, which like many vintage fixtures makes it more expensive to ship than it's worth. The best idea is to send it to our resident fixture collector, @ship.
 

gafftapegreenia

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With the uneven and haphazard drilling of the vent holes, I'd think it's at least been modified, and possibly home built.


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JD

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Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
I was hoping you could help me as to what I have here. I purchased it at a goodwill and cannot find much info on it online.
The unit is approx 20" tall and is quite heavy. I'm not sure if it works because I have not plugged it in and although the bulb (which is very big btw) is not broken, it looks like it is "blown"
Also, the clamp says Capital NYC and there is a yellow symbol written on the front casing of the light that I was hoping you could explain.
Lmk and thank you for your time!
It is a very old Scoop Light. If the lamp is a PS-52 (52 eights of an inch, 6.5 inches in diameter) then it is probably 750 watt or 1000 watt. Wiring on it is deadly! Good as a collector's item. As other have said, don't plug it in.
 

ship

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Illinois
Lamp is not original but later period working direct replacement. You have a very old lighting fixture.

Some debate could be done given the metal instead of wooden gel frame and it's smaller size. http://www.klieglbros.com/catalogs/G/G.htm website doesn't show anything like this, Fuchs' Stage Lighting c.1928/9 shows a smaller version of this light. Had to cut apart a few pages to find page 189 of Fuch's (mint and never read) would the person from this forum please send me back my other working copy... Been a few years and I'll never loan out books given the the amount I never get back.

Confirmed is a box light version of a floodlight. Most likely from Century but interesting Kliegl gel frame mentioned fitting in it - and such a gel frame around and of the same size. Non 1" wide horizontal gel frame brackets mean it's not designed for a wooden gel frame, but that doesn't mean specifically it cannot be before say 1916 when it was still common to have such wooden brackets. Lack of a reflector or shaped body probably means it's before say 1928. Truss head screws as opposed to round head screws, but square nuts attaching it together are not normal for say pre-1916 use. (Than we get into post WW1 technology - not much but slight differences.)

Back in the day, you had floodlights and spotlights to choose from. Normally from what I have seen is a floodlight in this case which is a various form of olivete wash pre(pre-scoop) or small lensless PC fixture. Never seen one that is other than the classic olivette shape for flood, but do see them in research, and have a lenseless PC shape small flood. Normal by 1926 at least in date floodlights when not olivete are shaped bodies though.

Nuts/Bones...
I think given the fasteners and design it is between 1919 and 1926 in date in earlier more so than later. More photos put on line - a lot more would be helpful to further define and identify it for others. Remove gel frame and more info with the lamp socket and wireing. Lamp socket could be a concept missing it's screw on porcelain cover - impossible to replace. Would take a little more research to figure out an appropriate replacement lamp socket. Nice light - only I have ever seen in guessing a lot about it - but some experience with old lights.
 
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Amiers

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I love reading your posts.
 
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Capital Lighting of New York 1927-1996 had a logo on the front of their fixtures? We called these Plano-Convex Spotlights. So, clamp could have come from them, but one would think the fixture did not as there is no Manufacturer's Logo? Ebay has a few of these at prices no one would pay.
 
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ship

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What you have is also called a box spot as sub-group of PC spotlight, at times there were bars of them as if par can trusses in use and they were rotatable and other magic was done at times in the use in bulk with them.

No the light in the above question is not a box spot, image 4341 shows it has no means of attaching a lens, and if you look at the bricks under the light you can see it's much larger than a box spot.

Wow! you are showing an incredible lighting fixture though!!! I have never seen a Capitol with a logo on it and own eighteen box spots of various brands - none with a logo, including for the c.1957-1962 Altman #101 sample in collection. No logos for any box spots in collection - though most do also have vertical gel frames.

Gel frame brackets sliding in vertically from the top by way of brackets instead of from the horizontal sides with Z clip brackets dates your light from between say the 1916's but possibly earlier. More likely it's much a later light and lastst generation = demise of the company era - if I remember right, around 1958 for dating of what you show. Yoke given a squared bottom edge are curious but seem factory.

What you have I believe given it's name plate, and condition is possibly more valuable than most box spots you might find on E-Bay. Yea, it's I would say between 1948 and 1958 but no other box spots have that name plate amongst many brands I have or have ever seen. Having that name plate even if a much younger age makes it I think more valuable. Good lighting fixture.
 

ship

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If of any help, I am fairly certain that while this is a different brand I have not looked into yet or had time to work on, it is at least 1934 thru say 1954 at most. Note it has a Fresnel instead of PC lens. Don't yet know how long the Fresnel lenses in box spots lasted as a concept. I know I in the 90's was making some PC's do that once just out of college and had no idea of wiring correct but knew it was a more viable solution for some really old lights. Yet to get an example of one of one - long term goal.
 

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venuetech

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I would like to see a front photo with the color frame removed. Does it look like there is a place for a lens to fit? If so, any provisions for holding the lens in? (screw holes or small bumps for a lens ring) I am not seeing anything that, near as I can tell 4337 shows nothing at all behind the colorframe.
The unit has a homemade look to it. the hole patterns are not consistant.
I think it is a handmade copy of a fixture. would also like detail photo of yoke/clamp connection, is that a coupling welded onto the yoke?
 

ship

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Na, not home made. No place for a lens to fit or you would see indications of a large standoff behind the gel frame. That's like a 8" lens hole and will have been a large standoff for such a lens size. If it had a lens it will have been at least 1.34" thick in size and will have easily cracked with heat. Think back to the age of horizontal gel frames - in this case metal but of that age. Say a age in switching to higher wattage lamps this was capable of, and the obsolete wooden gel frame. You still mostly had the choice of spot or wash lights. And yes they would seem home made as per the ability of the age.

Ever tell the tale about how like five years ago I needed to make some replacement parts for some PC fixtures? I had also gotten in some 1911 period accessories for PC/arc fixtures - a lot of them, but I wasn't going to buy fixtures just to mount them or I would want to display such lights bought also - alone. Given I had the original parts to copy, I made jigs and hand stamped the sheet metal to make more fixtures amongst other details.... took an entire summer to make six more lights plus the replacement parts needed. It was a lot of work and cheaper in man-hours even than it will have been to buy one. Plus the joints on these seem while not lead solder, original in bolting and bending - hard to re-produce with all of the various complex bends shown. Yes, I have physically made fixtures from the era, and repaired many more including silver braizing parts to make parts to others. Making one or a few lights is seemingly easy but easily eats up man/hours and materials + you need fabrication shop tooling, pars and ability. And an original to copy or a lot of design time to invent as I did with some parts on other lights.

At an antique shop basement I once found two very similar lights in a bin under a table.
1) Brenkert Hi-Lighter 5" PC Spotlight c. pre-1910-14; 250w Med. Screw G-30. Sym to a C700 or C701, Brown Olive Drab, Swivel ball wall mount, mounting fabricated. Fixture designed for FOH use.
1) Brenkert 5" Floodlight c.1910-14; 250w G-30 Med. Screw. Sym to a C700 or C701, Black Paint, No recess for lens retaining clip. Swivel ball wall mount, mounting fabricated. Fixture designed for FOH use.

Given different original colors they were from opposing years, but were in general the same lighting fixture. One had a means of lens retaining ring in the front casting, the other didn't. One was designed for one purpose, the other perhaps later remove the lens and you could do both.

Also have something that looks like an extended beam projector from the same early age:
1) National X-Ray Reflector Company 12" Floodlight / X-Ray Projector c.1911-1916; 1Kw G-40, E-39 Mog. Screw base. Rosette bottom Mount yoke, similar in shape to a 8" Fresnel but longer, missing any means of front lens assembly for such a concept, and with two horizontal gel frame clips mounted to the frame - pre-1930's. Similar to a beam projector but no means of mounting the spill shield. Replaced missing famous rear stationary glass mirror reflector with 8" aluminum. focusable lamp to reflector. From Atheneum Theater. Four more possibly in ceiling of the Chicago Theater.

Brenkert and National X-Ray Reflector Company I have posted links to in the past. Unfortunately due to Window's 10 upgrade (downgrade) I cannot find either direct link showing the above lighting fixtures in period catalogs.

While I have never seen the above box flood before, I do think it is period.