Lighting for a Cowans 1931 crane
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Author:  Peter Jennings [ 04 Aug 2015, 10:27 ]
Post subject:  Lighting for a Cowans 1931 crane

I had heard that the Derrick-mounted lamp on a Cowans crane had multiple bulbs. I couldn't imagine just what that might look like, but I recently watched a Youtube film about the relaying of the St Pancras Junction in 1947 and it features an LMS Breakdown Crane with a 4-bulb lamp on the Derrick. It's a cracking film, by the way.

Does anyone have any idea where such a lamp might now be obtained?

Author:  Roger Cooke [ 05 Aug 2015, 16:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting for a Cowans 1931 crane

I've just watched the film to see the light you mention, and I must say that it is a very enjoyable 15 minutes film! If anyone else want to see it, it is here.

Having now seen the light in question, I think that probably you'd have to make one. The lamp shade seems to be a standard old-fashioned industrial type enamelled pendant unit of the type which turns up from time to time in sales, junk shops, and ebay, etc., but I've never seen one with a quad bulb mounting before. I don't think it would be too hard to make one up however, but I can't imagine it really gives out much light. It would probably be more of an ornamental period feature than a useful working light.

Drew Pritchard, the guy who features in the TV series "Salvage Hunters", is always trying to buy that kind of light, so presumably he also sells them. In fact if you look here he has similar-looking units in stock. Not cheap, though!

In fact if you google "industrial pendant light" you will get many generally similar looking units, but I don't see any with 4-bulb fittings.

Author:  David Withers [ 05 Aug 2015, 17:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting for a Cowans 1931 crane

A particularly clear view of the lamp can be seen at 12.30 minutes into the film.

Am I correct in thinking that the lamp would have been mounted semi-flexibly, so that gravity would cause it to illuminate an area close to the hook whatever the angle of the jib?

Unfortunately the derrick-mounted lamp is also missing from the NVR crane MP3. I'd hoped to find or manufacture a replacement but other matters took priority. We need to organise a production run! ;)

Author:  Roger Cooke [ 05 Aug 2015, 17:55 ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting for a Cowans 1931 crane

If it is like the (remains of) the similar lamp on No 2 it just dangles on a short chain from a ring on the jib, and gravity keeps it pointing downwards. Very unsophisticated really. I cannot comment on its effectiveness, but people then were less accustomed to the ridiculous amounts of light we nowadays expect. I imagine it seemed adequate then, but probably would seem inadequate now.

Author:  Peter Jennings [ 05 Aug 2015, 19:58 ]
Post subject:  Re: Lighting for a Cowans 1931 crane

Thank you, gentlemen. It appears that the aim is to keep the hook illuminated and in the dark days of yore, 4 x say, 40 watt bulbs would possibly have been sufficient. I'll keep my feelers out!

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