How Your Hobby Started Part XVIII

| January/February 1972

3904-47th Avenue, S., Seattle, Washington 98118

Like the new era of improved living conditions ushered in by the introduction of gasoline engine electric lighting plants for the home, this 1972 New Year's installment will take a look at the various makes and models manufactured by numerous companies from early times to the present.

From the time that de Molyens of Cheltonham, England in 1841 first invented the incandescent lamp by the use of high resistance through a platinum wire, it was evident that light could be generated by means other than burning of candles and stove oil lamps.

In 1845 J. W. Starr of Cincinnati proposed the use of carbon for a lamp filament instead of platinum. In 1880 Edison patented the most practical lamp and the incandescent lamp was then developed for all kinds of use.

These lamps were first rated in candle power. The 16 c.p. lamp was considered a standard for indicating the output of the first gasoline engine driven electric home lighting plants. The specification of such units would state the capacity by the number of 16 c.p. lamps that could be supplied from the generator at full load on the engine. 55 watts of generator capacity at 110 volt was required for each 16 c. p. lamp.

Edison lamps had the type of screw in pockets as we know them today. The Thompson-Houston socket had a smooth base ring. The Sawyer-Man socket had annual rings and a stem at the end for a center contact.