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Navy battle lanterns

Started by Bob Hudson , May 03 2010 03:14 PM

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#1 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:14 PM

I picked up a Navy battle lantern recently, and then we watched PT-109 where a battle lantern gets a minor starring role. I looked through the forum and found bits and pieces about this equipment so I thought it was time to give it its own thread and maybe we can see some of the different styles. These are water-proof, and should also be safe around explosive fumes.

There were two basic types: hard-wired and battery-powered. This one is battery operated and uses two of those big old six-volt batteries with the spring contacts on top:

battlant1.jpg

I opened this up and discovered a nice paper labels that provides some details. Notice there are four types shown - the battery operated one, one for 110 volts AC, one for 115 volts DC and one for 230 volts DC. The battery-powered one is designated the Sym. No. 100.2 Portable model and you can find online a brand new one of these for sale for $98 under that model number. This label also shows an "FSN" or Federal Stock Number which would date this particular battle lantern to the 1960's. What is interesting is that this one is gray, when it had been thought that by the 60's they were all yellow. It may well be that the label was added to an older lantern during repair or rehab.

battlant3.jpg

Here's some more of the inside:

battlant4.jpg

The lamps look a bit like a headlight from an old six-volt Volkswagen: I can imagine these wore the batteries down rather quickly. A pair of these batteries today runs close to $20 with tax so I resisted temptation to put in a fresh set and see how long they lasted.

battlant5.jpg

On the back is a bracket to attach it to bulkhead brackets.

battlant2.jpg

#2 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:20 PM

As I mentioned, you can buy new ones online: they also sell kits to replace the old power-hungry incandescent bulbs with LED's.

lantern.jpg

#3 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:23 PM

These two (2) lantern are also from the 1960's. They were removed from a decommissioned Yard Tug (YTB) at Pearl Harbor before she was sold off.

They are the same lanterns as above but in yellow plastic rather than grey plastic.

One is a hardwired version & the other is set up to be a portable battle lantern. You can see the two (2) different mounting brackets on the reverse side. Both are of the key-slotted twist off type that were mounted to overheads or bulkheads.

Attached Images

  • Lanterns_03.jpg
  • Lanterns_02.jpg
  • Lanterns_01.jpg


#4 Bob Hudson

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:37 PM

Here's one of the earlier styles, possibly WWII. These used tall round batteries.

lanternwwii.jpg

At the end of the WWII the magazine ads offered up war surplus battle lanterns for what must have actually been a lot of money in 1946:

lantern1946ad.jpg

#5 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:41 PM

The hard wired version is fed through a water tight packing gland in the top of the lantern. It also has a manual operating switch.

Attached Images

  • Lanterns_07.jpg
  • Lanterns_06.jpg
  • Lanterns_08.jpg

Edited by Salvage Sailor, 03 May 2010 - 07:42 PM.


#6 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:45 PM

As does the portable battery operated version with the handle.

Both of these lanterns are manufactured by the Roflan Company of Topsfield, Massachusetts.

Attached Images

  • Lanterns_04.jpg
  • Lanterns_05.jpg
  • Lanterns_09.jpg


#7 sigsaye

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 05:47 AM

The hard wired version is fed through a water tight packing gland in the top of the lantern. It also has a manual operating switch.

Salvage, I remeber the hard wired versions had "Press to Test" switches, meaning they would only turn on the light while they were depressed, to test the lantern. The hard wireing was set so that when power was lost, these lamps came on to provide emergencey lighting. As long as power was on, the switch stayed "open" and teh manual switch was there to temporarely "close" the switch to make sure the batteries were still good

Steve Hesson

Edited by sigsaye, 04 May 2010 - 05:49 AM.


#8 Salvage Sailor

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:35 AM

Salvage, I remeber the hard wired versions had "Press to Test" switches, meaning they would only turn on the light while they were depressed, to test the lantern. The hard wireing was set so that when power was lost, these lamps came on to provide emergencey lighting. As long as power was on, the switch stayed "open" and teh manual switch was there to temporarely "close" the switch to make sure the batteries were still good

Steve Hesson


Quite correct Steve,

That's exactly how the hard wired version works.

#9 Grizzly Adams

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 05:38 PM

Here are a couple of mine.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/grizzly3674/DSC01605.jpg

The WWII example is near mint, and still works like a champ!

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/grizzly3674/DSC01606.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/grizzly3674/DSC01608.jpg

This one maybe from the 1950s or 60s I would guess.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/grizzly3674/DSC01611.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y213/grizzly3674/DSC01612.jpg

#10 BOLO

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:49 PM

these were also used on WWII submarines, I saw some on the USS PAMPANITO in SF

#11 sigsaye

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 11:58 AM

these were also used on WWII submarines, I saw some on the USS PAMPANITO in SF

Yes, submarines, Aricraft Carriers, tug boats, landing craft, even found a couple in the back of Navy pick up trucks and vans. I'm sure if you looked hard enough, you might find them in some of the bigger Naval Air Craft like P=3s and such.

Steve Hesson

#12 RustyCanteen

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 05:07 PM

The pre WW2 was pretty much the same as the standard WW2 example being more rounded though with some differences.

#13 hink441

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 02:07 PM

I stumbled upon a WW2 era battle lantern, it is painted red. I don't know why it is red, maybe a repair locker asset. Pretty cool no battery so no workie!! Thanks for looking.

Chris

http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy45/hink_album/battlelantern015.jpg

http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy45/hink_album/battlelantern017.jpg

#14 Grizzly Adams

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:57 PM

I stumbled upon a WW2 era battle lantern, it is painted red. I don't know why it is red, maybe a repair locker asset. Pretty cool no battery so no workie!! Thanks for looking.

Chris

http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy45/hink_album/battlelantern015.jpg

http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy45/hink_album/battlelantern017.jpg


This style used two EverReady EN-6. Kinda hard to find, but last time I checked Ralph's Electric (PH# 1-337-234-4507) had them - NOS. I think they are no longer made, but believe the Chinese are making a substitute for same, FWIW. :pinch:

#15 hink441

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:34 PM

I got another WW2 battle lantern today and it is black. Here it is next to my red one.

http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy45/hink_album/SANY0221.jpg

#16 Golem

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:50 PM

At the end of the WWII the magazine ads offered up war surplus battle lanterns for what must have actually been a lot of money in 1946:

Posted Image

In 2012 dollars, that light would cost $71.30 plus postage (don't ya love inflation?)

#17 MWalsh

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 04:24 PM

these were also used on WWII submarines, I saw some on the USS PAMPANITO in SF


They indeed are! I saw a number on the USS Cobia in February.

In fact, I took one I had there with me and donated it to the museum as they are one of those items they are always, always looking for, to replace the compliment of them which the sub used to have and can use replacements for. They get them mounted quite quickly I am told, once they get them.

I was told that usually they will not accept donations which are not pre-approved; battle laterns were a different story, they take decent ones on the spot.

If anyone would like to donate any to the Cobia I will give you the curator's name and email address!

MW

#18 338thRCT

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Posted 16 May 2012 - 04:59 AM

This is a USN marked lantern in Bakelite ( I believe) that I had some years ago. Unfortunately, I dont have any remaining pics of it. Did not know time period that it was from.light1.jpg

#19 hink441

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 06:20 AM

Very nice lantern. I think your bakelite battle lantern is early post WW2 era, around late 40s early 50s is my guess. Here are my battle lanterns. From left to right, is a 1920s era lantern, and two WW2 lanterns, and last is a modern lantern. I still need to find a WW1 lantern.

Chris

http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy45/hink_album/SANY0215-3.jpg

#20 Bob Hudson

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:37 AM

This is a USN marked lantern in Bakelite ( I believe) ...


Bakelite is carved, not cast, so it won't have seams like you see on this handle:

lanthandle.jpg


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