Talk about vintage Christmas lights

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 Post subject: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:53 pm
Posts: 283
I have a question about the value of the Triangle
Triangle/Berwick in 1924.Detect-O-Lite outfit. I bought some lights
and it was included with them I had never heard of such a thing and I
would like to know it's value. Thank you.

----Our Reply---------You can reply, too, but be nice. :-) --------------------

Thanks for getting in touch. Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. One of my web sites more or less went down and I've been very busy.

Regarding your Detect-O-Light, I don't know its value myself. However, I will post your question on the OldChristmasTreelights discussion forum so my more expert friends can see it. If you have a photo you can e-mail to me, that would be very nice, too.

I will also copy your e-mail to a friend who runs NoelKat, an online store of vintage Christmas Decorations. He has come across many things along this line in the past.

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Photos of the reader's Detect-0-Light

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 Post subject: Re: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Those are a tough to find outfit. A nice intact complete boxed set at auction would probably fetch a good 150.00-200.00. An intact socket set by itself like this would probably go for about a 100.00.


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 Post subject: Re: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:33 pm 
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wow never saw this before


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 Post subject: Re: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:21 pm 
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If I understand this right, the rotary switch worked like a distributor cap (remember those?). The strand was wired in series, but if it went out, you could rotate the switch to bypass the bad bulb. When the lights came back on, you automatically knew which one was the culprit. If only the modern "If one goes out the others stay lit" strands worked so well. :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:25 pm 
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They were one of the first solutions Maria for trying to find the dead series lamp without having to go through all 8 sockets which was difficult on a decorated tree. Like Paul said, it is a series outfit in which each wired socket was able to be bypassed individually. You just had to turn the knob until you bypassed the correct socket with the dead lamp. Once found the remaining good lamps would light.

Another attempt at a solution during this period was the Westinghouse Mazda Detector Lamps. Each lamp had an unpainted portion of glass just above the threads. Once the filament in the lamp broke, an inert gas inside the lamp would 'glow' for a long period of time allowing you to easily find the dead lamp. Both of these ideas were great but far more costly than a basic series light set.


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 Post subject: Re: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 12:40 am 
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The 1930 Westinghouse Mazda Detector Lamp. Top pic shows dead amber lamp with inert gas glowing directly around broken filament and filament support.


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 Post subject: Re: Detect-O-Light
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:15 pm 
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Considering how expensive these solutions were, it's surprising they didn't introduce series lighting 25 years earlier.


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