As many of you know, for the last few years have been trying to create a source of supply for new glass reflectors for the carbide lamps. Being an optical Engineer with a background in optics and lens manufacture, it only seemed as the natural thing to do. Up until now, it seemed to be an insurmountable task. However, that may have changed.
Attached is a photograph of a pressed glass sample (next to an original glass reflector) that I had made by a domestic glass house. While it is not of the correct shape and size, it clearly shows that the concept of "Pressing out" reflectors is possible without the tedious procedures of optical grinding and polishing. More work is needed in the prototyping to improve the surface, but nevertheless, this sample shows that we are on the right track.
If we move forward with this, the minimum quantity I would have to make is 200 pieces in order to make it worth the while of the glass house. My target price is $250 for a pair, coated and ready to install. They would only be available in pairs.
So, before moving forward, I think it would be encouraging to see a show of hands of who would be interested at this price, along with some feedback.
Two pair for me! Larry Reed 209 6028407
One pair please, firstname.lastname@example.org
I need two pair,but they differ in diameter.Are you going to make both sizes?
Jack.. I'm starting out with the common 6" OD lens. It fits the J. Brown lamps among others. If your lenses are just a hair smaller, the larger ones can probably be edge ground at my shop to reduce the diameter. But I have to solve the first hurdles first!
I'll take a pair please
I'll have a pair
I'll take a pair
One pair please.
One pair - E&J
I'd like a pair as well.
Why don't you speak with the suppliers and see if they'll buy out all 200?
Jerry - I thought about it but I don't think I can get them cheap enough to make it cost effective for them or me. I don't know how Langs and the others price their products, but Standard retail business practices are typically calculated at total costs X 3. That means they'll want to be into them for less than a hundred bucks per pair. I can't make them that cheap. Plus, I have a lot of up front costs I have to put out that I'll need to recover. That's why I am taking this head count in order to determine if the market is there.
One pair E&J please.
One pair please
At least 2 pair for me.
I know that Lee at The Brassworks makes reproduction E&J lamps mainly for hot rods (with sealed beams). You might want to see if he has considered building complete original lamps with reflectors and burners.
Typically OEM margins are less than Reseller margins. I think 3X is kind of high as 2X is the target for most reseller arrangements I've been involved in.
I would explore all the options as you do not have anything to lose...worst case is they say "no".
Original reflectors vary in thickness across their cross-section, getting thicker as you move toward the outside edge, and are angled on the face to accommodate the wedges (at least on certain Jno. Browns) that hold them in place. Will this be a "plug-and-play" part or will it require some sort of adapter / retainer?
One pair for a set of black and brass Victors for me.
I will buy a pair for Brown Headlamps.
John... Thanks.. good idea. It may be of interest if Brassworks could roll them into their products.
Walter.. The reflectors will come Plug-n-play and will be a duplicate of the originals.
James, thanks for you efforts on this. Wasn't Lancaster glass making these within the last 5-8 years? Did they go out of business or just stop making them?
Kim.. I have no record of Lancaster glass making them and haven't seen any of them. All I have ever heard is that you have to find the old ones and re-silver them. Of course, that isn't to say that they didn't make them!
One Pair for E & J Model 66
One Pair for E & J Model 577
The Model 66 is pretty common on early Ts, if I recall correctly.
The Model 577 is quite a bit bigger (non-T).
Lancaster glass went DOA a decade or 2 back. I think the building in Lancaster, Ohio still exists but is used for something else now. I bought some reflectors about 30 years ago from Lancaster and they were very nice. Wish I had bought several more sets at the time. Somebody might have more info on the demise of Lancaster.
I would be interested in a pair for Victor #2. and possible a pair for JB 16.
Some of the E&J models are 365, 366, 376, 377, 387 and 388. Another seen in Model T is 66 and you have a 577. In each case, the last number is the diameter of the mangin mirror in the lamp.
Some of the E&J Searchlights are denoted by a zero as the last number and the third number is the mangin mirror diameter. E&J 3660, 3770 and 3880 are searchlights.
Ken in Texas
Lancaster Glass still has a web page with a phone number listed, www.lancasterglasscorp.com Not sure if it is the same one. Dan
Dan... The link for Lancaster glass is a dead webpage. I get nothing but errors when I try to navigate away from the home page. Too bad. I'd have had them quote the job.
Ken, I've got E and Js on my '14, but there is no number on them. What does that mean?
I don't know. Do the bonnets have the Ford/E&J logo on them?
E&J 666, 66 and 656 were models used on the black and brass Model T. I don't have any but maybe someone can say if you show a photo of the bonnets.
I got the information off the following 1910 add I found four or five months ago:
I don't know what numbers are on the 1908-12 Model T lamps. Bruce mentions an E&J Model 666 in all brass.
Ken in Texas
Guys.. The curvature of the reflectors (for Model T's) are nominally the same. I am making reflectors that are 6.0 inches to the outer most physical diameter. If your lamps hold 6.0" reflectors, then these will fit.
two pairs for me
Two pairs for me.
Are the reflectors made to be used with lit acetylene burners?
Ken in Texas
They are, and they are better. The originals were made from soda-lime glass which has a high coefficient of thermal expansion. The ones I am working on are borosilicate which is a Pyrex derivative. They're made for heat tolerance.
Jim: I'm glad you are doing this. This is something our hobby can really use! My hat is off to you.
They are made to be used. Sounds like a winner. They don't get much more than warm when in use.
Are you going to be able to address the focus issue? Or, is that not that much of an issue? I have a pair of spherical reflectors but the silver is so bad I haven't tried to see about the focus.
Thank you for working on this project. More folks would probably use their gas lamps if they had mirrors.
Ken in Texas
I am only trying to duplicate the optical prescription that was on the original mirrors. Issues with focus are related to several factors... Curvature of the two surfaces, spacing between them, homogeneity of the glass, position of the flame at the reflector focal plane, and also the size of the flame. Basically, focus is a moving target for this design so the best we can hope for (for now) is a robust duplicate of the factory reflector.
Ken Parker - You seem to have some knowledge of headlights. The clipping you posted is very interesting. Do you know if there are any other contemporary E&J catalogs or brochures that list the features of the various models of headlights that were produced by Edmunds & Jones? I've been looking, but have so far been unsuccessful. James Lyons - great project. Thanks, Craig
Ken, yes, the lamps have the E and J logo and the Ford logo. It looks like all the other E and Js I've seen, just no number!!! I'll uncover it and take a pic. Thanks.
I found that add in an auto supply book from 1910 on a word search on the internet. I clipped it because it gave the correlation of the model number to the mangin mirror size. It is the index of advertisers in that particular issue.
Another journal on line is The Acetylene Journal from about 1904 to 1916 or so. A lot of good adds and advertising in that one.
There are quite a few add sheets on ebay. This one is Solar and Columbus but E&J did the same thing:
I became interested in the acetylene lighting when I made the John Brown 16's operational on my '14. I use a Prest-O-Lite B Tank because it is so much more convenient. Model T #1 was shipped with a Prest-O-Lite Tank and it was an upgrade over a carbide generator for the years 1909 through 1914.
Do you use your gas lights?
Marty - I don't have any E&J acetylenes but maybe someone can tell you something about it if you post a couple of photos. I have Browns and Victors.
Ken in Texas
I will take a pair. Thank you for making these. Bill
Below is a photo of the no-number E&J lamp bonnet. In my understanding, it is the same as the Model 66 & 666 bonnet, just without the numbers stamped into it. The later lamps differ from the early models in the reduction in brass used throughout, replaced with steel thru '14.
Sorry James, I didn't mean to get off topic; I was going to create a different post for my last post/comment/photo.
What I intended to post here was that I am interested in a set of reflectors for my E&J Lamps. Thanks for undertaking this project.
I can use a pair also.
There were at least 2 different focal length reflectors used in lamps on T Fords.
What focal length do you intend to make and what make lamps do they fit?
David, you beat me to posting a pic. That is exactly like mine. My 14 is pretty correct and original, so I'm assuming it is the correct light for my T. Anybody concur?
Layden - The reflectors I am making generate a 2.430" focal length. These are the same reflectors you find in the Jno. Brown and Victor 2 lamps. They probably fit others, but I don't have any examples on hand to compare. The mirrors in these old lamps are Mangin mirrors. THey are designed to eliminate spherical aberrations without the need for using more exotic parabolic surfaces. I used a laser Interferometer to accurately measure the focus of a few examples I have. I then measured the location of the burner in my Brown #16 lamp, when it is positioned in the center of the adjustment range and confirmed that the center of the burner axis is 2.4" from the surface of the mirror. Again, this is correct for Brown #16 and Victor #2 lamps.
Now I also have a different reflector that Larry Smith gave me but it has a slightly weaker radius which gives a longer focal length. The FL on this example is 3.11 inches. So it would be good if forum readers could check other makes of lamps by accurately measuring from the reflector surface to the center-line of the burner stem and report their findings.
We must also keep in mind that optical mirrors are precision with regards to their focal plane. The big bushy flame from a gas burner is not. So the flame simply has to fill the focal plane in order to generate good light. What this means is that most likely, either reflector will provide good light, but the one with the correct prescription will certainly be better.
I hope this helps!
Please measure the distance from the surface of the glass reflector (the deepest point) to the center-line of the burner stem and let me know what that distance is. Then we'll know what reflectors the E&J's take!
Pair for me as well. Thanks.
I just measured my John Brown and Victor 6 inch gas lamps I have been using on the '14. I have them focused with the center of the burner stem 1" (headlights) to 1-1/8" (driving light) in front of the ground lead edge of the mangin.
That is real close to your 2.4 inch focal point.
The No. 3209 on little chart following approximates all my 6 inch mirrors which must be standard focus.
Ken in Texas
Ken... thanks for the info!
I will also be needing one pair.