Registered: 1356915973 Posts: 670
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I was asked by a local museum to refurbish a Hot Blast Dietz Railroad Inspector Lantern. I fell in love with it but had to give it back! So I looked for a Cold Blast Dietz with a reflector. At Brimfield, I found a Rayo #26, and purchased it. Ya it was expensive, but it was gorgeous!
It was brand new and had never been fired. What a find! Then I found out it was from Catherine Thuro's collection and was most likely then last brand new Rayo #26 in existence! So there is no way I am ever firing that! Later in the year at Madison Bouckville, I met a lantern guy who showed me an old catalog with an accessory reflector that you could purchase and add to any lantern! I had two Dietz D-Lites that have been in my family since the 1930's. So, I used the D-Lite with the large Fount and attempted to recreate the reflector accessory. A new wick and an original Syracuse globe from W.T. Kirkman to replace the no name replacement globe and I was halfway there! I started with a 22ga sheet of steel from HD. Cut a 6 X 6" piece and soldered on 28" pieces of 12ga copper electrical wire, using a Weller 40W soldering station (Amazon). This is what I had up to this point. When I was still at Madison Bouckville, I purchased an original Mercury reflector. This one was special, in that it did not have a post soldered on the back, just a tab. Which was the style the original's used. I then cut a slot in the center of the 22ga steel plate with a Dremel and a Fiber Reinforced Cut-off wheel as shown. Painted the 22ga steel plate the same color as the D-Lite, , the color of Post WWII Dietz Blue Lanterns. Hammerite 41125 Dark Blue Hammered Drilled both the Mercury Reflector's tab and the plate and used a sheet metal screw to keep them together. (Ya I know it should be a slot screw for historic accuracy!) With the reflector accessory completed, I wrapped the upper wires around the upper air tubes and the lower wires to the lower tubes as was shown in the catalog image and fired it up on Klean Heat. At three feet, I had this beam pattern: The first test at night showed me I had to angle the reflector downward because when carrying the lantern, she was now tail heavy, and the concentrated light was angled upward, not downward. I lengthened the lower wires and settled on the start of the concentrated light to be 6 ft. ahead on the ground and extending outward to about 50 ft. You can actually read a newspaper at 40 ft! (I tried!) Temperature readings of the reflector averaged about 115 deg. F after 30 minutes of operation. So, I finally got my reflector lantern after all and I am very impressed with its performance. And it looks quite close to the original catalog image. (Wish I had been smart enough to take a picture of that catalog when he showed it to me!) __________________
(Hiding in my Kerosene Lab @ Tech Editor Productions)