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Brian Keith

Delta made lights

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Brian, in post #1 that life preserver light is post WWII manufactured light circa late 1940's.the life preserver lights made by Delta during WWII were metal bodies.The only plastic bodied life preserver light manufactured during WWII might be a company by the name of Lennan lights, i have not been able to confirm it yet .These lights by Lennan do turn up here and there and are red palstic body with red lense.the other two manufacturers of life preserver lights are Taunton Pearl works and Colvin Slocum Boats. Colvin made a red metal body and the clip swiveled vs. the other makers had a fixed clip and all had laynards woth a safety pin.

Delta, colvin Slocum and Lennan produced lights for the merchant marines through the Transporation Corp which over saw transporation and shipping of goods and personnel, these lights were to be fitted to all life preservers aboard all sea going vessels.The red lense indicates "person".Taunton made their lights for the bureau of aeronautics only.

the light pictured in post #1 are often refered to as "safety lights" and evidence leads me to believe this is one made for the civilian market after the war.Lennan I know produced lights for the civlian market for many years after the war

here is a WWII Delta life preserve light

post-56-1196879419.jpg

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Dustin,

Thanks for the great information.

That is a nice early contract light, they are harder to find than the later plastic lights. I do disagree that all the plastic bodied lights are post war. We have a booklet published prior to war's end by Delta. It is not dated but mentions some dates in '45, so probably mid '45 as it says the war is ongoing but they are returning to some civilian production. It clearly illustrates a Life Preserver Light, like I posted, in plastic, with the metal chain, although I did not mention the missing safety pin on the example I posted. Some of these Delta lights have a cloth cord as you show, some with the metal chain. I have seen a couple of histories of Delta and none indicate any post-WW II military contracts. They did have military contracts in WW I. The plastic ones were probably a dime a dozen in the surplus market of the '50's.

We have some other Delta made lights, I'll get out of the display case and post soon, I'll try to post some of the booklet I mentioned. We also have some of the other makes of Life Preserver Lights, but they're not as interesting to me as the Indiana made ones.

 

BKW

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Brian, perhaps I should rephrase myself, I have found no direct evidence that plastic body lights were used during WWII, I am still educated myself on this subject.Perhaps the Delta plastic body light was produced for the civilian market ,as you said they are re-gearing for civilian production which by 1945 many companies were doing just that.From my research there were only three companies that made life preserver lights for direct military use through military contracts and they are Taunton Pearl Works, BMG and Fulton.It does not surprise me that items such as these were being made from plastic circa 1945 as that technology was more advanced by that time.

kinks in the chain do show up such as this Lennan life preserver light Model-1, I do commonly see red body lights by Lennan marked as Model-2.The interesting thing about this light is that it is marked USN and is under spec. 17-L-16.this spec. is also the same for the grey metal body ones used during WWII 1944-1945 but this Lennan light is plastic. I think that this is the next generation life preserver light and prior to a larger but similar in shape light in use by the early 1950's

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post-56-1196896297.jpg

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got off topic so back to Delta. here is another inetersting one but with safety pin and stamped USN another more common variant is stamped USCG.For awhile I thpught maybe the light was stamped USCG to signify that it meets USCG approval codes but then the USN surfaced, this could also apply but most likely not.Info on the plastic ones is hard to come by and on the whole I really do not know what to think about them but am certainly leaning towards post WWII though they may have been produced during the war,did not see use till after the hostilities ended.I am always open for more insight

I would be very inetersted in seeing that add you have brian!

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post-56-1196900304.jpg

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Dustin, I don't think i've seen a Delta made light with just the pin like that, just something else to look for! I suspect they chainless type like that were made very late, as a design change to simplify production.

Here is some more info.

First, a NOS (New, Old Stock) Life Preserver Light with the original box.

 

post-1549-1196965702.jpg

 

post-1549-1196965716.jpg

 

The box is only marked with the #'s, "A2050P" as is the metal clip.

 

post-1549-1196965731.jpg

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Thanks, Brian, where did this add come from? it is clearly that light that you posted in #1.

I have been spending time going through my references and they all cover the metal bodied lights.Right now I would have to believe these were a very late addition to the inventory (late 1945).I am interested and will have to put some more effort into it!

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This is an interesting topic and discussion. I will be interested to see how it all sorts out. The Delta ad/catalog page is pretty cool. I think that the industrial history stuff is very interesting as well.

 

Charlie


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Signal Gun Light

 

Brian,

 

I've never seen that model of signal light gun before; does it have any markings/an official designation? Do you know if it found very widespread use?

 

Fletcher

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Glad people have found this interesting, here are more images from the Delta Electric Co. Booklet.

This booklet is undated, but mentions the ongoing war, but they are shifting to more civilian production. My best guess it was published prior to VE Day (May 8 '45).

Dustin, I was digging through some boxes last night and found one of the Delta Life Preserver lights with just the safety pin attachment, no chain. One less thing I have to look for!

 

post-1549-1197385963.jpg

 

Delta's WW II Military products.

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Very interesting, Brian. I was not aware that Delta had made such a wide variety of illuminating devices during the War. Thanks for posting this.

 

Charlie


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post-1549-1197386718.jpg

 

Caption says: "DELTA'S LATEST DEVELOPMENT"- The molding of plastics illustrated here in the first of a battery of the latest type molding machines for the production of thermoplastic castings. Production from these machines will shortly be embodied in DELTA’S postwar products.”

 

From the booklet: “Delta leadership in peacetime production of lighting devices made Delta the leading and often the sole supplier of millions of lights for the armed forces. As this Delta Album is going to press, we are still engaged in war production, but have found time, too, for planning the finest peacetime products ever to beat the name of Delta.”

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That looks like a very early version of an injection molding machine, something that is very useful in creating large quantities of precision molded plastic parts as used by Delta.

 

Charlie


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Durandal,

The light has no name or numbers marked on it. Prior to seeing it in the Delata album, I didn't know who made it. I suspect they were only used in training, they are not built very sturdy. Plastic and fiber tubes, it wouldn't stand up to field use for long. There is another, more common, signal light produced during WW II, green painted, steel bodied, with a detachable shoulder stock.

In the Delta album, it calls the light a "Five Cell Signal Gun".

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Durandal,

The light has no name or numbers marked on it. Prior to seeing it in the Delata album, I didn't know who made it. I suspect they were only used in training, they are not built very sturdy. Plastic and fiber tubes, it wouldn't stand up to field use for long. There is another, more common, signal light produced during WW II, green painted, steel bodied, with a detachable shoulder stock.

In the Delta album, it calls the light a "Five Cell Signal Gun".

 

Brian,

Thanks for the info; definitely an interesting piece.

 

Fletcher

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