GEC Z8796

This old gem was obtained from fellow collector John Thompson in early 2008. It originated from Aberdeen in Scotland.

Lantern- GEC Z8796
Lamp- 80/125W MBFU
Manufacture Date- 1968
Control Gear- Remote
Original Control- Switch Wire

The Z8796 will require a full restoration in time, and this will include removal of the old bracket, complete repaint, internal refurbishment and new outer globe. The lantern has luckily never been drilled for a 2-part photocell as many in the city had been. The lampholder has been changed to an ES type in the past to accommodate 70w SON lamp, but I will revert back to the original 3-pin BC lampholder to run MBF/U lamps. I am pleased to have got this lantern, as it is another of the variants in the GEC series of small Mercury lanterns. Its later sister the Z8896 was hugely more popular and can be found in most areas of the UK.

Restoration Update: the first job was to remove the old bracket from the lantern. This was removed, and the thread cleaned out. Next, paint stripper was used to clean off the paint drips on the canopy, and the inside was wire-brushed to remove all the old flaky paint. The canopy was then cleaned and ready for painting.

The canopy was given coats of metal primer and then top coats were applied. This comprised Hammered Grey for the canopy exterior and white gloss for the inner surface. The interior was then rebuilt with reconditioned parts including porcelain cable clamp and terminal block. The lampholder was also changed back to an authentic GEC 3-pin BC type for MBFU lamps. Although a polycarbonate bowl has been fitted, this may be swapped for a glass type if one can be sourced at a later date.

I had never seen any Z8796s in existence until I learned of their use in Aberdeen, Scotland. There are still many of these diminutive top entry lanterns in use in the area.

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