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Woolworths 15w Orange Pygmy Lamp

HH_Electrical_25w_Yellow_Pygmy_Lamp.JPG Ring_Daylight_15w_Pygmy_Lamp.JPG Woolworths_15w_orange_pygmy.JPG BlueGLSLit.jpg BTH_Mazda_15w_Blue_Sign_Lamp.jpg
File information
Album name:Andy / Pygmy Lamps
Power Consumption:15w
Working Voltage:200/250v
Cap Type:B22
Date / Code:Date Code 4H
Country Of Origin:UK
Filesize:59 KiB
Date added:Jun 21, 2012
Dimensions:729 x 1024 pixels
Displayed:53 times
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Versalift09   [Jun 21, 2012 at 08:26 PM]
always loved pygmy lamps Smile What always intrigued me was that they were also know as 'sign lamps'. What sign exactly??
Andy   [Jun 22, 2012 at 09:04 AM]
I've always wondered why they are called sign lights too. Maybe they used to spell out words using lots of these little bulbs.
Tom   [Jun 22, 2012 at 09:30 AM]
Yep I'm with Andy on that theory! Certainly not for internally lit signs! Only time Pygmy lamps have been used behind Perspex was in disco light screens! The best example was the infinity tunnels!! They were awesome!
Versalift09   [Jun 22, 2012 at 10:12 PM]
sounds likely Andy... such a shame GLS festoons are gradually disappearing as they could be seen in those too. Give me an xmas tree with proper GLS colour lamped festoon any day Very Happy
Tom   [Jun 22, 2012 at 11:36 PM]
LOL re festoons I know what you mean there Davy! It's all them 1w LED Golfball things now! I confess I did consider relamping my retro disco boxes with those things but decided against in the end in view of cost and probably not working too well on sound to light! Oh and if you see any modern Crompton Harlequin clear coloured pigs, they are no where near as good as the old UK made ones!! The colours fade, particularly the blues, which fade to a daylight tint!
Australuminous   [Jun 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM]
@ Globe Collector - good old ELMA, gee I miss them. I used to see these old pilot bulbs in bakelite sockets with bakelite covers. I think they used to be connected to the Hot Water element to show when it was heating. It was always in the older wooden houses (called 'Queenslanders' where I come from)
Globe Collector   [Jun 29, 2012 at 12:22 PM]
Here in Australia these are called "Pilot" lamps and they were made at E.L.M.A. Z.E.L.M.A. in Miramar, Wellington, made them too. The most common power rating was 15w although a rare few were 25w. The bulbs were usually an "S" type conical bulb 30mm in diameter and about 62mm long. Some of the later ones had cylinderical bulbs or broken-conical bulbs, with a 22mm cylinderical section then a cone out to 30mm and a domed crown. Sign lamps were a little bigger, but of similar or lower power ratings. All these lamps usually had a 5WR filament, (5 support wires "W" shape, Rugged construction). True sign lamps are about 45mm in diameter at the greatest and have a hemispherical crown. True sign lamps seem to be more of a North American beast, although I have seen British made ones from the 1930's and Taiwanese made ones from the late 1980's. In between these rough dates they all seemed to be U.S. made. Genuine British Pygmy or Australian Pilot lamps came in clear, pearl, and colours. In the 1970's they were internally powder coated and available in strident colours, Red, Orange (as above), yellow, green and blue. Earlier ones, from the 40's and 50's were externally coated with a matt like paint and a green Osram one of these is depicted in this gallery. The American sign lamps tended to be emammelled, a hard, durable external coating with a semi shiny sheen. The way they were used, sign in the U.S. and Canada, Pygmy in the U.K. and Pilot here, was in signs outside shops and businesses. The sign often had fluoro tubes inside, milk perspex in each side and a thin galvo steel "frame". It was in this frame that dozens of E26 or B22 sockets were mounted, out in the whether often, and these little vacuum lamps were place in them. Some sort of mechanical chaser, a multi position switch with its wiper driven buy a geared down motor. Thus would chase the lamps around the periphery of the sign attracting attention to it. They probably stopped doing this due to spectacular trak-overs
Globe Collector   [Jun 29, 2012 at 12:27 PM]
@Australuminous. Yes I know the Queenslander. I once foolishly sprayed a paper wasps' nest under one in the Brisbaine suburb of Winsor with a can of deodourant. BIG MISTAKE, the wasps went mad and I had to make a very hastey retreat. The wasps came out through the lattice work aeound the basement area and I had to retreat right down the yard!
Globe Collector   [Jun 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM]
in wet sockets, particularly those at the top of the sign facing directly upward. They were probably supplied with rubber gaskets to fit snugly around the lamps, but these would have soon been lost of perished. When I was about six years old I can remember a sign in a shopping centre for a key-cutter/boot polisher. It was in the shape of a bent arrow and had red translucent perspex in each side. Dozens of clear pilot lamps were fitted around the edge and flashed by a mechanical chaser which made quite a bit of noise. It was very effective and could be seen from quite some distance away and it was inside in the under cover part of the crude 1960's "shopping mall". I hope this goes some way to answering your queries.
Funeral_86   [Feb 11, 2013 at 07:09 PM]
has anyone seen the 'Ritz' hotel signs? they are made with clear pygmy lamps - well it was a couple of years ago....probably bloody LED now!!

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