GEC Z5540NC

I was given this lantern by a friend in 2004. He acquired it from an auction about 20 years ago. Apparently the lantern had originated from GEC's Plymouth office, which had been operational until the c1960s. It had been left over from the lighting schemes in the 1950s and was forgotten on a storeroom shelf. It was then moved to an unknown location until the auction years later. The fact that it remained unused since the 1950s probably makes it pretty unique.

Lantern- GEC Z5540NC'
Lamp- 60-200w Tungsten (BC)
Manufacture Date- 1950?

Although the glass refractor is dated to 1961, the lantern is of a design which would be more suited to 1953, therefore the refractor ring (Z6508) may well be a replacement installed in the early 1960s. An original GEC BC lampholder is fitted, and was designed for 60-200W GLS lamps. A nice feature of this lantern is its original glass 'acorn' style (Z6465) outer globe, which is in perfect condition. The only fault with the lantern is that it is missing its rubber seal around the lip of the globe, that having perished and disintegrated over the years. The top entry fixing for this lantern is via a 3/4" threaded tube, and secured by a 3mm grub screw. This fixing is still in perfect condition luckily, even 40 years down the line, due to the fact it hasn't been exposed to the elements. The lantern is in fact fabricated from copper, and painted silver.

Restoration Update- December 2005: I decided to give the lantern a repaint as it was scratched in places, and so it now looks a lot smarter. As the globe is in perfect condition, the lantern looks as new.

I then managed to find an ideal substitute for the missing original rubber bowl seal. Industrial grommet strip fitted perfectly, and allows a snug fit for the bowl, as well as protecting the vulnerable thin glass rim.

I have never seen another example of this lantern in the area, although they were used in the city back in the 1950s, prior to the use of lanterns running Mercury MBF/U lamps.

A picture found shows a wall mounted example (minus outer globe) in 1957 in Plymouth.

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İDavy Warren 2009