Identifying Old Lights...

SAWYeR

Active Member
So, I was digging around in one of the balconies in our shop and stumbled across these two old lights and was wondering if anyone knew their names. I know the larger of the two is mad by Major and the smaller by Century-Strand, but I don't know the exact models.
The Major:
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Also, is there something that is supposed to hold the lense in, or does it just rest in the body?
The Century-Strand:
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Also, does anyone know where I could find a cap and lense for this light? Any help you can give on any of these topics would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 

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Premium Member
there are two threads of this running... just an FYI

Also, as far as the basecap for the instrument, you might be able to find one but odds are it will be more trouble then its actually worth, unless you want to save it for an antique of course.
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
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Well, I'll let ship do all the nitty-gritty, but here are the basics.

The first light, the one Major, is a plano-convex spotlight. It used a plain lense, one side being flat and smooth, and the other convex. In operation it is similar to that of a Fresnel, the lamp is simply moved back and forth. However, the focal point of the P/C lense is longer, so thus the housing is too. This is how the stage was lit before the Fresnel took over. A Fresnel lense is essentially a P/C with steps cut into the face. This is a principal that was developed back in 1822 for use in lighthouses, and eventually made it's way to the stage, and, being more effecient than the P/C it replaced. The early P/C's, such as this one by Major, often had an uneven beam, and the lense sometimes caused a rainbow effect at the edges of the pool of light. There was also the problem of filament projection. When the lamp was at the focal point of the lense, an exact image of the filament was projected. It's not like these lights completely and utterly stunk, they just had enough drawbacks that they developed a bad name in the U.S. P/C's are still made today, both with their Original Plano-Convex Lenses and Pebble-Convex lenses, which instead of being smooth on one side, are stippled to created a softer beam and combate the disadvantages of the older P/C's. P/C's are still used mostly in Europe, and should not be disregarded as a viable choice of instrument, as the modern P/C's have overcome the problems of their historic counterparts.

As for the other light, it is definatly an older leko. My first suggestion would be to go to the strand archive and see if its on there. By the looks, it might be similar to the conventional 6x9. but never having seen one in person, I can't say.

Congradualtions on the find of these old lights. If for nothing else, their historical value makes them worth keeping. As far as the leko goes, I don't really think it would be worth rehabbing from a practical point, but if you wish to from a historical standpoint, I'm sure others an here can help. To me, cleaning it up would be enough. In the case of the P/C, its a unique type of fixture all to itself and, at the very least, is a great tool to teach others how things "used to be done". In addition, since it uses a true Plano-Convex lense, its beam is very different from modern P/C spots, a fact that might be useful depending on one's needs, especially for certain 'period' looks.
 

Van

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Can you post the pics? I think I'm too old to log in to Facebook. :(
 

SAWYeR

Active Member
I'll get the pics working, they did earlier...As for the Plano-Convex, I've rewired it and found a cap for it and it now works perfectly. It's ridiculously huge compared to a Source 4, but I like it.
 

gafftapegreenia

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Cool. Love those old P/C's.
 

SAWYeR

Active Member
Here are the new pics. The Major P/C is first, follwed by the Century-Strand
Major P/C:
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Century-Strand Leko:
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SAWYeR

Active Member
I'm perplexed. The pics from Facebook work half the time, and the ones from Flickr, well, not at all. I has a confusion. -_-
 

Grog12

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Can you post the pics? I think I'm too old to log in to Facebook. :(

Van wins this thread...I about fell out of my chair.:lol:
 

JD

Well-Known Member
I could not help but add to this thread in the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy...

If the fixture has big fluffy white wires hanging out of the back...
You might have an old light!

If it has gas fittings and a place to put the lime block...
You might have an old light!

If the C clamp is designed to fit around a wooden beam....
You might have an old light!

If the "stove pipe" on the front, Really is a Stove Pipe....
You might have an old light!
 

Grog12

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If your light has a step lens....


Hehe...I like this idea
 

JD

Well-Known Member
If the name of the lighting supply house has the phrase "and General Store" in it...
You might have an old light!

If you candlepower is determined by how many candles you crammed into the fixture....
You might have an old light!

If the Yoke looks suspiciously like a modified horse stirrup......
You might have an old light!

If the light housing has the initials of the blacksmith carved in it....
You might have an old light!

If it has an Edison base that Thomas signed....
You might have an old light!
 

Van

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Now, That's funny! :p
 

gafftaper

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Stop your killing me... I was just recovering from being to old for facebook... and then the foxworthy jokes rolled in.

My turn!

If your barn doors are real barn doors...

If your shutters are made of cedar...

If your top hat is a real top hat...

If your moving light involves several ropes and pulleys...

If you program your light console with punch cards...

If your dimmer involves a bucket of MERCURY... crap not a joke just really scarry... can't get that one out of my head...
 

Logos

Well-Known Member
If your dimmer involves a bucket of MERCURY... crap not a joke just really scarry... can't get that one out of my head...
Please check original thread for disclaimer. It was a rectifier not a dimmer. But hey it would have killed just as quick.
If you have to rub two sticks together to get it to strike.
 
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Grog12

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If your moving lights are programmed by yelling "HEY TED, point it over there!"
If your Fresnel lens can only be replaced by contacting the local light house.
If the A in your PAR doesn't stand for Aluminized but for Applewood.
If your dimming systems consists of 4 guys with matches.
 

SAWYeR

Active Member
Gafftaper, you made me laugh so hard. Wow.
 

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