Author Topic: Anyone into old lanterns? ( The Sequel Part 8, Finale 4 - Second from the Last)  (Read 215 times)

Online TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6741
  • A Ringy-Dingy Thingy
    • . . . been good so far
Made an eBay seller an offer on a second the listing of a rusty Little Wizard. The seller was asking $25 plus shipping but accepted $5 plus $10 shipping. That was a reasonable price if found at an antique mall. The globe was broken but I already had a spare ($8) so no extra cost there. Total restoration supplies were less than $6, plus my free time, and $29 total as seen in the after photos.

When it came, it was so full of rust my fingers would be brown just from handling it. About 10 days in molasses and 4 rub downs with Brillo left a clean but heavily pitted lantern. The top cap was removed to fix the tab slots which had been punched through by the tab posts. Soldered those from the inside so I could leave a solder build up to support the tab posts. That fix turned out well.

The tank had more than a few small holes in the bottom which were repaired using solder, metal filler and POR-15 fuel tank sealer. That is discussed in this topic:

     http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=18961.0

It's not the prettiest lantern I have, far from it. Probably the most character of any of my lanterns and the metal feels like 150 grit sandpaper that has been worn out. Overall, the burner, mixing chamber, upper structure, fuel filler spout and fuel cap are all in very good condition. Over all it was worth the time it took to restore, a Syracuse made February 1929 Dietz Little Wizard now clean and once again function but with a lot of character.
            John . . .

              

Offline twocvbloke

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4099
  • W.E. 500 DM
So, is this the last, last, last, last lamp? ;D

Offline AL_as_needed

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
  • '41 WE 302
No that was three lanterns ago  ;D

Just goes to show, even a total rusted basket case can still turn out a fine lantern. Not to mention all the new tricks learned on the way.

Well done as always! All we need is one more member to salvage a beat up little wizard and we can start a Rusty Wizard Club.
TWinbrook7

Online TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6741
  • A Ringy-Dingy Thingy
    • . . . been good so far
So, is this the last, last, last, last lamp? ;D

Funny!

No, it's  not any of those. That one is in the molasses bath right now and after that, I'm going to dump out to molasses solution and throw the 5 gallon pail away.

At first I enjoyed the smell of kerosene flavored molasses enhanced by whatever dirt and crud was on the lantern but I noticed over the past 3 or 4 lanterns, the smell has turned disgusting to me. Every time I clean a lantern, I can smell that on my hands and in my nose for a couple of days and it's starting to bother me.

As such, my final and last lantern will be this one shown below, a rusty old Dietz No. 2 D-Lite, same as the very first lantern I restored so in the tradition of "Ground Hog Day," it will be the day after once this D-Lite is done. As it turned out, after my last last lantern, I bought 6 more within a few days starting with Doug's Side Lantern and am finally getting to the last of that half dozen. That group of 6 increased my collection by about 50% so I think I'm all set for the next power failure - two in every room and a couple of spares. Time to light one up and move on down the road.

Time for someone else to carry the torch in this topic and lead us on to new and/or different lantern types and styles which I will enjoy reading about with my soon to be odor free hands and work shop.
            John . . .

              

Online TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6741
  • A Ringy-Dingy Thingy
    • . . . been good so far
Finally, done with lanterns.

Here are the last two, a '29 Little Wizard next to the last ever '36 No 2 D-Lite. Both were heavily rust covered, both are pitted, both ended up with a similar dark grey finish. The D-Lite has a smoother finish, less pitted, that the Wizard. The D-Lite is in really great physical condition, one of the better lanterns I worked with.

Nearly identical except for size so I still wonder why they made the smaller lantern, what was the purpose or use of the Wizard. Could just be a size/weight thing. Don't know. Maybe initial cost?
            John . . .

              

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6067
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
John....I am amazed. Wonderful job....they look brand new kudos to you kiddo.....superb!
Kidphone

Online TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6741
  • A Ringy-Dingy Thingy
    • . . . been good so far
John....I am amazed. Wonderful job....they look brand new kudos to you kiddo.....superb!

Thanks, Doug.

It was fun exploring that segment of our history and learning all that is needed to do lantern metal work and restoration.

I've always wondered who owned the lanterns I restored along with where an how they were used. Would be nice if they could talk since my 21 lanterns range from near NOS in the home for emergency use only shiny tin plate to extremely frosted by harsh chemicals in the air to heavily rusted from use and/or storage. Won't happen.

However, these two ads show how the lanterns would be seen in a store if looking for a new one. Both of these are for store owners who would want to buy the display tree and lanterns for what today would be the price of a lunch in Boston or NYC. One has the major, mainline lanterns and the other has a full range assortment from a skaters lantern to road lanterns to the mainline lanterns.

Both nice displays and with my 21 assorted lanterns, was thinking of maybe building one of these trees (got to find a supplier that sells fumed oak first) to hang mine on in place of our annual Christmas tree. Just have to remember to leave a large window open, turn off the furnace, put a layer of tin foil on the ceiling and have a large fire extinguisher available.

A Christmas Lantern Tree . . .
            John . . .

              

Offline AL_as_needed

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
  • '41 WE 302
Just throw a few red and green globes into the mix and that would be a festive sight. I assume that was the sort of thing a hardware store would get as a sales piece?
TWinbrook7

Online TelePlay

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6741
  • A Ringy-Dingy Thingy
    • . . . been good so far
Just throw a few red and green globes into the mix and that would be a festive sight. I assume that was the sort of thing a hardware store would get as a sales piece?

Yes, exactly. Sold to stores as a complete unit - the tree and a dozen lantern for $33 including shipping to the west coast from NY. Quite a nice display. Walk in and browse and there in the middle of an aisle would be the tree. Didn't rotate so it had to be free standing with all sides open. They also bought a dozen or more of each lantern at the same time for, what, $12-20 a dozen, to sell to customers. I wonder how they came, probably a wood box stuffed with excelsior.

A saw one ad of a woman yelling to her husband as he drove away from the farm to not to forget a new shiny lantern to replace the one from last year which was no longer shiny. Created desire and demand marketing even back then.

I have blue, green, amber, red and white globes so it would be festive, hot but festive. Still haven't figured out how to "fume" oak.
            John . . .