Here are pictures of a catalog insert
that was included in the 1918 issue of the American Ever Ready Works
catalog. It shows many beautiful figural lights that the company
offered, including several that are extremely rare today (the Indian
head, two faced boy and witch in particular). It is unclear as to
whether or not these lights were American made or imported by Eveready
for sale in the United States. Regardless of their origin, all of these
lamps are carbon filament examples, and were hand painted in soft,
beautiful colors. Later figural lamps offered for sale to the public
would not have the beautiful paint that the early examples exhibit. The
catalog is small, measuring only 6" x 9" when open, and is printed on a
type of newspaper stock, unusual for catalogs of this time period.
Typical catalogs were more often printed on glossy paper. Also, there
is an inconsistency in the catalog, as the cover states that the lamps
pictured within were made to operate on 100-120 volts, while the page
describing the various groups of lights available says that they are
made to operate on 110-120 volts.
Sadly, all that remains today of this
1919 Eveready catalog is the cover, which shows a couple happily
decorating their Christmas tree with Eveready brand lights. Notice that
the lamps on the tree are the round variety, which came after the pear
shapes but before the traditional cone shape that we are more familiar
with today. the catalog was distributed by the Taylor-Raulston Hardware
company in New York City.
here along with a Diamond brand set of battery operated lights,
this oak battery box from the Eveready company is quite hard to find.
Intended to house the batteries needed to operate radios in rural
areas, this portable "battery pack" was designed so that multiple
combinations of Eveready brand dry cell batteries could be arranged
inside, providing numerous voltage and current outputs for various
needs. The label shown on the outside of the box is actually on the
back, leaving the front clear so it would blend in with the oak
furniture so popular in the early part of the 20th century in America. CLICK
HERE to learn more about the Diamond
brand set of lights.
|This most interesting
outfit is circa 1920 and is from Zelco, an early Christmas light
manufacturer. This is a 32 volt "farm" or "Delco" outfit. The term
"farm" refers to the fact that this set was intended for use in farm or
rural areas that generated their power locally rather than getting it
from a city or main power grid. "Delco" is the name of a popular
generator of the time, which provided 32 volts for household electric
use. The lamps in this series wired outfit are each 4 volts, adding up
to the 32 volts provided by the farm generator.
A- A view of the outside of the box, showing the wonderful graphics.
This box is extremely representative of its time period, and I think
that is what appeals the most to me about this set. Also, the set has a
flip up type lid, which, while typical for 1930s era outfits, is
uncommon for boxes made in the 1920s.The toy train is marked A.T.&Y
(or possibly R.T. & Y.). I do not know if this is an actual
railroad name, or has some hidden meaning for either Zelco, the box
manufacturer or the artist who drew the charming scene.
B- A look inside the box shows the round 4 volt lamps
and the lighting festoon, with provisions for expanding the outfit if
C- A picture of the box before restoration. This box
was a difficult project, as there was a lot of masking tape on it,
which is extremely difficult to remove. Fortunately, the tape responded
well to heat and a bit of denatured alcohol, which facilitated its
removal with little additional damage to the graphics. Also, the large
piece that was missing from the cover was found tucked under the
interior divider, which made restoration that much easier. This is the
only outfit of this kind I have ever seen.