Vintage Lighting Identity and date these fixtures?

TaylorRose

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Oct 15, 2019
Location
Boston, MA
Hi All!

I just acquired a new space and am finding all sorts of new (read: old) things.

I could use some help identifying some of the fixtures in this picture. Specifically looking for roughly how old they could be? Need a reason to justify to the higher ups if they are worth fixing and maintaining or taking apart and properly recycling.


Any and all info is appreciated!
Thanks
 

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aeh20s

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Oct 15, 2013
Location
Northern Virgina
This would be a bit easier to do if you could take individual pictures of the units you don't recognize. I think I see three or four different kinds of ellipsoidals, some 6 inch fresnels, a PAR 64, and some scoops. It's hard to tell with everything on bunched together like it is. Depending on what the rest of your inventory is, there is no reason why you couldn't take the time to clean up those fixtures and use them regardless of how old they are.
 

JohnD

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On the plus side, I don't see any fuzzy white single conductor cables coming out of the fixtures. That means no asbestos wiring. The front left brown fixtures are the older style radial ERS and from Altman.
 

Les

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Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Looks like you have an Altman Shakespeare in the very back. It's still a good fixture for projecting gobos (including glass). It may need a new socket, but that's only a roughly $15 expense. The big dome fixtures are Scoops, probably 14". They make great worklights if you retrofit them to LED. You may need a socket adapter, but it's a good utilitarian use for an older fixture. If not, it's made almost entirely of aluminum so it has a couple dollars worth of scrap metal value if you strip it down. Then you appear to have some Altman 360Q's next to the Shakespeare. I count two. They're still a serviceable fixture, and are worth selling or donating if you have no use for them.
The fixtures that look like 360Q's but with a tilted lamp holder assembly (one is brown, two are black) is, as said above, an older version of the 360Q (the 360). It's a bit less useful and takes a lamp that may not last on the market much longer. Still possibly useful to someone, even if for parts.

The par can (middle of picture) - heh. You can use it but you probably can't sell it. They are difficult to even give away and the lamps are going away fast. A few fresnels in there too (the short ones). I use fresnels all the time. If you don't need them, I'll bet you could find a home.

Estimate for age of fixtures -- early/mid 90's for the black fixtures at the earliest. The brown fixtures date back to the 70's and 80's.

The two ellipsoidal fixtures on the right are a very early design. I would probably keep them for their "historical value" or find someone else who wants them for that purpose.

As for what looks to be dimmers and such - depends on your infrastructure as to whether you can or want to use them. They look like decent units.
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
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May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Those poor dimmers. Get that crap off them and put them in a proper rack not a carpet dolly. Before you start a fire.
 
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TaylorRose

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2019
Location
Boston, MA
Looks like you have an Altman Shakespeare in the very back. It's still a good fixture for projecting gobos (including glass). It may need a new socket, but that's only a roughly $15 expense. The big dome fixtures are Scoops, probably 14". They make great worklights if you retrofit them to LED. You may need a socket adapter, but it's a good utilitarian use for an older fixture. If not, it's made almost entirely of aluminum so it has a couple dollars worth of scrap metal value if you strip it down. Then you appear to have some Altman 360Q's next to the Shakespeare. I count two. They're still a serviceable fixture, and are worth selling or donating if you have no use for them.
The fixtures that look like 360Q's but with a tilted lamp holder assembly (one is brown, two are black) is, as said above, an older version of the 360Q (the 360). It's a bit less useful and takes a lamp that may not last on the market much longer. Still possibly useful to someone, even if for parts.

The par can (middle of picture) - heh. You can use it but you probably can't sell it. They are difficult to even give away and the lamps are going away fast. A few fresnels in there too (the short ones). I use fresnels all the time. If you don't need them, I'll bet you could find a home.

Estimate for age of fixtures -- early/mid 90's for the black fixtures at the earliest. The brown fixtures date back to the 70's and 80's.

The two ellipsoidal fixtures on the right are a very early design. I would probably keep them for their "historical value" or find someone else who wants them for that purpose.

As for what looks to be dimmers and such - depends on your infrastructure as to whether you can or want to use them. They look like decent units.
Thank you for the detailed response! This was a huge help and exactly the information I was looking for and then some!
 

derekleffew

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The two ellipsoidal fixtures on the right are a very early design.
Not as early as one might expect. Early-1960s Hub 8768. And one of the best ControlBooth Search and Rescue missions: https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/what-is-this-fixture-ers.14245/ .

Century 6" Leko 36 , c.1938-41 or Hub #8768, c.1958-62 - 750T12/9 P-28s lamp. Black, Hexagon body & Square radial lamp cap: Second generation of the Century Leko? Or later reproduction by Hub?
 
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JonCarter

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Meridian, Idaho, US
And those mid-'60-s Hubs probably don't have asbestos leads because they were updated with 3-wire (grounding) whips long after they were built with asbestos wiring.

And speaking of asbestos: Yes, asbestos fibers in the lungs are a carcinogen. However, I've worked with instruments with asbestos whips in the 50s, 60s and 70s and am fine now, at 80+ years. (But ask me about wet asbestos leads on a rainy day at an outdoor theatre!) Touching an asbestos-insulated wire is NOT the same as grabbing a 4160 volt bus bar in your facility's switchboard. Just bear in mind that you don't want to breathe asbestos fibers, and handle asbestos wire accordingly. Think: How many actors to you know or have heard of with lung cancer who performed under light pipes fill of asbestos whips on every instrument overhead for their entire careers? How man y stagehands do you know or have heard of with lung cancer who worked with instruments with asbestos whips for their entire careers? The people who really have to worry about asbestosis are those who worked with it in factories for 8 hours/day for 40 years. Yes: Asbestos fibers in the air are a hazard. Just don't make any and avoid those you do make.

I'll leave my soap box now. Thanks for putting up with the rant.
 

almorton

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Dec 17, 2014
Location
Caterham, Surrey, UK
Re asbestos - we had a discussion about this recently on the blue room, as to how it affected those doing restorations of old lanterns. It was pointed out that there's naturally occurring asbestos fibres in the air anyway and we all have asbestos fibres in our lungs. The ones that really cause havoc are from blue asbestos. White asbestos is considered less of a problem (although obviously you avoid it if you can) and it's white asbestos that was used to insulate cables. Blue and brown asbestos tended to be used in construction.
 

derekleffew

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How many stagehands have claimed illness due to asbestos exposure? Only one known case.
Err....not quite. New York stagehand Barbara Bercu passed away about 10 years ago of mesothelioma. Prior to her death, she sued a number of manufacturers and rental shops, alleging that her illness was due to asbestos exposure from fixtures and asbestos borders. The suit was settled after her death.
 
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ship

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Illinois
1) The Hex body steel top fixtures are some varient of either Century 6" Leko 36°, c.1938-41 or Hub #8768, c.1958-62 - 750T12/9 P-28s lamp. Black, Hexigon body & Square radial lamp cap. Most likely the later version. Hub normally had a sticker on the fixture, Century normally had a stamping but not always in either case.

I actually fought a E-Bay battle for my only sample of this with a fellow member of the forum for one of these - we figured out who was bidding on what and settled off line on who would get what amongst a few auctions we were bidding up each other on. I got this fixture as opposed to I believe a Kliegl PC from about 1924'.

Rare fixture in the Century concept (educated theory on my part,) of the first Generation of a 6" Leko, with date. But not so rare if Hub Electric if one of theirs. Hub re-sold or re-used Century resale fixtures often 20 or more years out of date in being modern. In my case, I had period Century knobs and parts in use, I was able to verify from a after this generation of Leko. Later Hub put stickers over Century castings or removed Century stickers and put “Major” knobs in replacement on Century lights. Long story in below Hub also buying out old castings from Altman also, and making their old Radial Leko’s from their old castings.... Easy tell is the Hub Leko’s don’t have a light blocking ring for the lamp cap, and the upper body aluminum castings have sharper edges and often vent holes blocked by bad casting.

2) Some radial Altman Leko’s of various lens train Altman #360 6x9 Leko, c.1962-1974 P-28s Medium Pre-focus lamp. - Altman Hammertone Brown; Radial Base. I do not believe them in photo the Hub version of this same fixture style.

3) Some form of 6" Fresnel - what ever the style, will have the same performance to a modern 65Q Altman Fresnel fixture. Square gel frame clips say pre- 1974.

4) 10" Altman Scoops - still made and nothing wrong with them for use of scoop or lightning effect lighting.
5) Appears to be a Altman Shakesphere fixture next to the mass of cables. Discontinued but certainly not a bad fixture. Just got my first two in last week. (One for the museum, one to donate to a community theater.) Has flutes on the upper part of the body assembly - as with the handles. C.1992 thru about 2016?
6) Cannot tell what the rest of the gear is.

Certainly all gear given exposed wiring due to failed fiberglass sleeving, and in general due to age of all will need a good service call before use in any way. All gear needs at least a qualified safety inspection before use. Corroded from arching lamp sockets, following that melted internal wiring inside the lights due to heat buildup from above makes such fixtures dangerous short of thorough inspection.

What to re- use.... Scoops, Fresnels, Shakespheres. Such fixtures to plan to have in just going LED for the rest.

Taking apart and recycling is an inefficient use of your time best spent on the useful fixtures, and in a historical sense, a bad use of your destruction of what was. Find a place out of the way and hang the lights to preserve them. Nothing is seen to be asbestos in wiring so everything was post 1974 (Evidence in late Hub above Leo’s) or re-wired since than. None the less, safe to store for a future generation that might make something of them. I just finished delivering some 4.5" Hub and other brands of Leko including some of your above Altman #360 series 6x9 into prop lights.

LED RGBW, DMX controlled color changing TMB brand Marquee lamps to be specific. They only have like 25 watts of output - but there is other LED node concepts available once you deal with heat dissipation in more output. Prop lights of 12x origional lights from the theater, converted to LED which with the rest of the audience chandeliers and cove lighting... pixel map the audience with controlled RGBW light.

Save your old lights, some day they might be useful. As a technical point... I did have to invent brackets to go LED node with forced cooling added. Than further invent a lamp base adaptor so as to bench focus the dim TMB system to old Leko. Technology will improve in having a use for the old style fixtures. Save them.
 
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