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Birmingham ship lights

delampenman

New Member
Hi all,

I'm Remco van den Burg from the Netherlands, in my free time I have a hobby, I restaurate old lamps and lanterns. One of my favorite type of lamps are old ship lights.
Now I see very often ship lights out of Birmingham. Can anyone explain why this many manufactures came from here, in the middle of the country?
In the Netherlands we see much manufactures from Rotterdam, what makes sense because it has a large harbour.

I also almost finished my website, if anyone can add any information on the manufactures out of Birmingham I will be very grateful. If any advice where to find more information I would also like to hear.

Some of the brands from Birmingham I found are:
Eli Griffiths and Sons
George Bocock & co
W.m. Harvie & co
Alfred F. Genton
Bulpitt & sons

Pictures and the info I found:

I hope anyone can help to gather more information about the manufactures and why Birmingham.

Thanks in advance

Greetings Remco
 
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Elmdon Boy

master brummie
Hi Remco welcome to the forum.
In the 1980s I worked for a spell at William McGeochs in Electric Avenue , Witton Birmingham. At the time they were working on a submarine navigation light for the Ministry of Defence. Cant tell you much about it as I didnt work on it.
The company started up in Glasgow in the 1800 and has a history of manufacturing maritime equipment including lights.
See the website below.
I guess in this day and age I doesn't matter where items are manufactured.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Vriendelijk groeten Remco Vervelkomen naar de Birmingham History Forum.

 

Lady Penelope

master brummie
Hi Remco,

I think, an answer to your question about 'Why Birmingham should make ships lamps?' is that this city made most things. It was known as 'The City of a Thousand Trades'. If it could be made, then Birmingham made it, regardless of where it might end up.

Webster & Horsfall of Birmingham manufactured one of the Atlantic cables and Chance Brothers of Smethwick (near to Birmingham) made glass for lighthouses. There are probably many more such instances but these are two that come to mind.

There have always been ties with Birmingham and the sea and men were recruited from here, in past times, for the navy and the marines. My own father was in the navy during WW2 and my uncle served in WW1.

Good Luck with you search
 

boomy

master brummie
Hi Remco,

I think, an answer to your question about 'Why Birmingham should make ships lamps?' is that this city made most things. It was known as 'The City of a Thousand Trades'. If it could be made, then Birmingham made it, regardless of where it might end up.

Webster & Horsfall of Birmingham manufactured one of the Atlantic cables and Chance Brothers of Smethwick (near to Birmingham) made glass for lighthouses. There are probably many more such instances but these are two that come to mind.

There have always been ties with Birmingham and the sea and men were recruited from here, in past times, for the navy and the marines. My own father was in the navy during WW2 and my uncle served in WW1.

Good Luck with you search
The engines for Britains first submarines were made by Wolseley at Adderley Park.
Boomy
 

superdad3

master brummie
JOSEPH LUCAS: Copied from ELTA News:

1875 – The Ship’s Lamp
After moving to Great King Street in Birmingham (Eventually the site of the famous Great King Street Factory); Lucas began producing its first lamp for ships called the “Tom Bowling”. A patent was applied for in 1875.
The patent was for "Certain Improvements in the Manufacture of Lamps". This related to the mode of constructing them in a portable manner that enabled individual components to be repaired or replaced.
Lucas SHip's Lamp
 

delampenman

New Member
First of all, my apologies for my late response. I supposed I was getting a message when a reaction was posted, didn't got one (or maybe came in my spam) and i forgot this post.

Yesterday I got a question about a ship light, and I thought about it again and now i see there are multiple replys, thanks for that ;-)

Vriendelijk groeten Remco Vervelkomen naar de Birmingham History Forum.

I saw this discussion, unfortunatly, a link to a Polish website is not working anymore, this should contained a lot of information.

Hi Remco,

I researched the history of Alfred F. Genton & Co and their predecessors and you can find it on my website here:-
http://mscrete.com/genton.htm
I hope you find it interesting.

Maurice :cool:
Yes, I found this already and it was very interesting to read, I wish this was done by all the manufacturers of ship lights. To be earnest I also used this info on my site, I had a ship light of this manufacturer a couple years ago. I will now post a source note at my page to your page, thanks for the info!! ;-)

Hi Remco,

I think, an answer to your question about 'Why Birmingham should make ships lamps?' is that this city made most things. It was known as 'The City of a Thousand Trades'. If it could be made, then Birmingham made it, regardless of where it might end up.

Webster & Horsfall of Birmingham manufactured one of the Atlantic cables and Chance Brothers of Smethwick (near to Birmingham) made glass for lighthouses. There are probably many more such instances but these are two that come to mind.

There have always been ties with Birmingham and the sea and men were recruited from here, in past times, for the navy and the marines. My own father was in the navy during WW2 and my uncle served in WW1.

Good Luck with you search
Thanks for your explanation, this sounds very reasonable to me and explains a lot, never knew that Birmingham was this important in the production and trades of this many kind of products.

JOSEPH LUCAS: Copied from ELTA News:

1875 – The Ship’s Lamp
After moving to Great King Street in Birmingham (Eventually the site of the famous Great King Street Factory); Lucas began producing its first lamp for ships called the “Tom Bowling”. A patent was applied for in 1875.
The patent was for "Certain Improvements in the Manufacture of Lamps". This related to the mode of constructing them in a portable manner that enabled individual components to be repaired or replaced.
Its very fortuitous that the one who contacted me about the ship light also shared a wonderfull Tom Bowling Lamp, I really hope I find one of this myself one day, really one of the most special ship lights i saw.
He also had the document in the attachment.
 

Attachments

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delampenman

New Member
The question I got, was about a ship light, where no manufacturer was added, but some initials.

On the glass is noted AP 14b and CB 43
AP is admiralty pattern, does anyone know where i can find the info of this pattern, find some online but not about 14b.
Anyone know the meaning of CB?

On the burner stands the name Playmit
On the button the initials GPL D, the d has a stripe below it, looks like a latin letter.
I can't mach this initials to a ship light manufacturer

Site with comparable burner and almost the same notes in the glass

Site with a look a like, marked as a product from Birmingham, by Birmingham Engineering Company
 

Attachments

Ken_R

master brummie
On the button the initials GPL D, the d has a stripe below it, looks like a latin letter.
I think perhaps it an abbreviation for Limited (as in Limited Company) but more commonly abbreviated as Ltd. From viewing old Church records, it was not an uncommon practice to place a horizontal line below a superscripted letter.

Would G. P. Limited make more sense?
 

delampenman

New Member
That was my first though, but an English conservator told this is never used. It's always Ltd
But if you can tell me a company which created shipslights with te name GP Limited, i believe you instantly. :)
 
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