Electric Pointolite Lamp

Physics

Accession Number: 2009.ph.98

Description:

A black metal box with perforated sides and a solid top. Three wooden knobs and one metal switch are attached to the top of the box. The metal switch is a two way toggle switch. The wooden knobs all have cords running out of them. One wooden knob has a rubber coated power cord of length 1.69 m. One wooden knob has three prongs and a 1.79 m cord ending in a light bulb socket. The third wooden knob has two prongs and a short cord that connects to the box. The two-prong knob can be inserted into several holes.

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Metal, Wood, Ceramic

Markings:

Engraved labels on the top read “Ediswan Pointolite Resistance”, “Push & release quickly”, “If polarity doubtful and spark will not strike reverse plug”, “100 V, 110 V, 200 V, 220 V, 240 V, Plugs must be in sockets corresponding to supply voltage”.

Dimensions (cm): 18.5 cm x 21.5 cm x 21.5 cm

Function:

This is a system for creating a very bright point of light.

Condition:

Good. The top panel of the object exhibits small scratches and marks from use. The metal components are discoloured and scratched, with some minor corrosion.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Ediswan

Date of Manufacture: c. 1930s

Provenance:

University of Toronto Department of Physics

Historical Notes:

Compare with this similar object at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History: Pointolite Resistance, Ediswan and this object at the Oxford Museum for the History of Science: Electric Pointolite Lamp, by Ediswan.