Vintage Lighting Carbon Arc carbons

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by WoodyPyeatt, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  2. PhysicsGirl

    PhysicsGirl New Member

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    I have about 100 arc carbon rods which you are welcome to have. Most are 155 mm long, diameter is 5 mm. If you are not close to Worcester, MA, you'd need to pay for postage.
     
  3. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    carbon wash light.jpg carbon wash light b.jpg carbon wash light.jpg carbon wash light b.jpg carbon wash light c.jpg carbon wash light.jpg carbon wash light b.jpg


    These are the long life 12mm+ carbons I got in recently for a studio/movie wash light. Self leveling/maintaining the arc carbons. Have read about such carbon arc's that would self sustain by way of fixture mechanisms, never seen one and have not time to see the gizzards of this one. No doubt a technition can do better in why carbon arc follow spots are tech person maintained, but interesting given this technology is well over a hundred years old that the technology did not go further. Suspect xenon lamps the reason but that leaves like 60 years at least a gap in why not.
     
  4. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Well Ship, that and the whole Ozone/Cancer thing.. ;)
    Still, I have an almost romantic / nostalgic love of Carbon Arcs! Really loved the fullness of the light spectrum, especial the old supers!
    As for PhysicsGirl, I am not sure what would use a 5mm carbon. Pretty sure the old AC troupers were 6mm, and of course the DC supers took the Orotip 6mm negative and Suprex 7mm positive. Seen a lot bigger carbons, but don't remember the 5mm size.
     
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  5. JonCarter

    JonCarter Well-Known Member

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  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Thanks much for the notes on the TBA project. Fixture was posted before in a "what's this" post, and I knew this concept of self sustaining carbon arcs was high technology for the time - by at least 1916 it as a concept was advertised. Any idea of when the concept of self sustaining carbon arc's was invented? 1904 Iriquos fire was started by way of non-maintined carbon arc wash lights similar in design or at least concept to these. Granted it's theorized that it was less about a sustained arc and more about the impurities in the carbon arc materials which caused the spark to a near by drape.

    Have not had time to go to the Chicago Historical Society yet which own's the fixture which started the fire. This to see if it's self sustaining, or if the stage tech... who during the show is blamed with responsibility for the fire - out in the back lot on a smoking break in not attending to his fixture.

    If self sustaining carbon arc wash light in use, that tech person might have been board and thought he didn't need to attend to his arc's. But if impurities in the carbon's sputtering and sparking, yea he should have been at his post to put out the fire, but better quality carbon arc doping should have been the point of blame instead of this tech person who was also at fault. A thought or perhaps a concept for perspective MFA students to study.

    just interesting history point theorized.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  7. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    To drag this thread into 2019, an LD I'm working with for a production of Annie acquired an AC Strong Trouper, along with an old box of the 6mm carbons. Mechanically it's in excellent shape, though the 115v transformer gets grumpy very quickly at higher settings with our modern service running closer to 125v...


    To anyone maybe less informed, or viewing this thread from the wonders of Google SEO, the presence of the "magic mineral" as well as the exhaust fumes from these are serious hazards that should be addressed.

    Also, don't be *that person* who operates it with the side panel off. Unless you like arc flash and UVA/B/C burns.

    Glad to see that there's at least one supplier making the carbon rods economically available!

    (Handsome fellow you see in the shot on the left is not me. My hand is however visible holding the carbons!)

    Before someone says it, i know there's 15 years between when Annie takes place, and the first Troupers, but I think it's a nice touch to the live radio studio scene.
     

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  8. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  9. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    He actually has the top knobs!

    Somewhere...

    He took them off so he could get inside and properly clean out the assembly and realign everything, and misplaced the knobs somewhere in his shop.
     
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  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Got some modern 1/2" carbons sent to me - a package of them. Yet to try the fixture, and sad had to send it to a storage building in ready to test. Too busy and intimidated by it.

    Very interesting, starting at P.26 of the 1916 Chicago Stage Lighting catalogue (on wikkee catalogue reference), it lists a "Studio Lamps" lighting fixture similar to this. It is much safer than the one I have, think will work, but have not done... Interesting for me the three coils/taps are described - I was thinking voltage related, but they describe the single coil is for manual feed. I don't see any way to do this on my fixture safely short of asbestos gloves. Interesting, but still thinking the un-tapped coil is more about voltage in a past described discussion. Interesting though the note read tonight.... cannot imagine how to self adjust especially given half the resistance for this fixture though given that single coil concept to tap.

    Also notes a 90 degree angle to the carbon arc light strike in being more efficient in the 1916 Chicago Stage Lighting catalogue.... Never seen such a concept before, (90 degree opposed carbon arc focus,) but clearly explains their hood shape.
     
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  11. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  12. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if this one has said addon filter actually, I'll need to ask if that's among the treasure trove that came with it.
     
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