Light on a Stick

Astronomy

Accession Number: 2019.ast.232

Description:

This object consists of a long varnished wooden rod that is affixed to a lamp in a cylindrical metal casing painted grey. The lamp is covered with a convex clear cover; this cover is held on by a metal ring that is affixed to the casing by four metal screws. On the grey casing, there is a toggle switch. Emerging from the casing there is a fabric-insulated cable with a small (non-standard sized) two-pronged plug at the end.

Visible behind the glass cover is a conical reflective surface and an unusual element consisting of a domed metal piece attached by a wire to a base.

Primary Materials:

Wood, Metal: Iron Alloy, Glass, Textile, Plastic.

Markings:

Embossed on the glass cover of the lamp: “GE”

Dimensions (cm): Diameter = 15, Length = 80.5.

Function: Unknown; this is a powerful lamp.

Condition:

Very good: The wooden handle of the lamp is marked in places with small nicks and dark scrapes. The varnish on the end of the rod is almost entirely worn away. There is a split in the wood where the rod connects to the metal housing of the lamp. The paint on the wood and metal housing is worn away in places, particularly on the edges of the instrument.

The glass cover and lamp interior are in very good condition with no signs of use. The metal ring that holds the glass cover on is dulled and the screws slightly rusted.

Manufacturer:

Lamp: General Electric, Handle: Locally made?

Date of Manufacture: Mid 20th Century

Provenance:

This lamp likely had some specific use at the David Dunlap Observatory in Richmond Hill, where it was kept following its use. Upon the sale of the Observatory in 2009, it was moved to the University of Toronto’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the St George Campus. In 2017 it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.