The Easco lifejacket light was a small battery powered light that was attached to life jackets so that it was easier to see shipwrecked sailors floating in the sea at night. These small life saving devices had been developed during World War II and would continue to be standard issue for maritime craft for decades to come, indeed modern equivalents are still used today. In the bast we have looked at a blackened metal version of the light here. There were, however, two variations of the lamp and today we are looking at one painted in green:
The light is powered by a battery inside the green metal cylinder. Originally this had a paper label with instructions pasted to the outside and although this is still present it is badly worn and unreadable now:
Wires come off the top of the battery box and connect to the lamp itself, which has a red plastic cover. A powerful spring clip is attached that allows the lamp to be fastened to the lifejacket securely:
The name of the lamp, EASCO, is pressed into the metal of the cylinder at its base:
It is unclear exactly how many lives these little lamps managed to save over the years, but for a cheap and simple device they must have made searching for survivors in the dark far easier on moonless nights. Sadly this lamp has suffered badly over the years, with the outer casing showing signs of corrosion but it remains a little reminder of the efforts of those serving at sea during those dangerous wartime convoys.
I’d be afraid of the wires getting broken or pulled loose in use or the seawater shorting out the connections but it must have worked if they were issued that widely.
This one looks pretty much identical to the ones we were issued with flight gear, it went into a little zippered pocket on the inside of the upper left leg of the flight suit, the most irritating place possible to carry anything, especially something with corners that weighed more than it looks like it should and that swung around a lot when you walked since the flight suit wasn’t skin tight. Theoretically it should be carried in the same place by everyone so you know where to look for it in an emergency, but it usually got moved to a different pocket fairly quickly.