Why did some lights have clear lens vs the staggered lens? These are two tail lights, one with clear, 1 with a staggered lens.
I think that most of the side mounted type tail lights had just the clear lens. Someone may have just replaced the one using the stepped lens from a side light. But it might be a Canadian thing. What are the names on the lamps.
I have never seen a plain clear lens.
Allan from down under.
Allan, they are on the Ford O tail lights with the small red lens that faces to the rear and the big clear lens that faces the license plate. Pretty common here. Dave
The clear lenses diffuse the light quickly and are good for close area lighting. The fresnel lens, or stepped lens, focuses the light into more of a beam for lighting more distant areas OR being seen from farther away. Think lighthouse light with the huge fresnel lenses for being seen a long distance away.
Mark - No names on lamps. Terry & Sharon - I never would have thought that the large lens would be for lighting the licence plate. I think I have several of the small red lenses, so will need to change side to red.
David, the reverse is true in my experience here, large red lens to the rear, small, plain, clear lens on the side for the number plate.
Allan from down under.
The older model taillights had a blue lense on the left. I read the reason why once but can't remember. Did right hand drive cars have a blue lense on the right, or were the taillights still on the left side of the car? Seems like the blue lense was something to do with the railroad lights of the era.
For U.S. production, the large red lens fresnel tail lamp has a small clear lens for the license plate and was used from 1915 to early in 1923. The small red lens tail lamp, which began in 1923, has a large clear lens for the license plate. The side lights use the clear fresnel.
I believe this was the Ford solution for a requirement by some states to have a brighter light on the license plate. Here is the tail lamp, 1923-1926, that has a large clear lens for the license plate.
I'm not sure if the Canadian followed the same pattern. Also, this style lamp was very popular and may have been sold for use as aftermarket or replacement items.
Ken in Texas
(Message edited by drkbp on February 15, 2018)