No2 Lantern, Electric, Traffic

Driving convoys of vehicles down darkened roads was difficult in wartime, with dimmed headlights and no street lights to help navigation. Added to this, in Northern France cleared land mines tended to be dumped into the verge of roads, so if a vehicle stayed off the cleared road they were in danger of being blown up. One method of marking the roads at night was to use small battery powered lights. These lamps were made of stamped metal and had deep hoods to throw the light downwards onto the road to minimise the risk of it being observed by the enemy:

The lamp could be mounted on the top of a post, the base being shaped and fitted with holes to allow a screw or nail to be used to secure it:

A piece of green glass can be added to change the colour of the light, it is held in with a piece of tensioning wire:

A circular knob is fitted to the top to turn the lamp on or off:

The two screws on either side of the lid are undone to give access to the inside to add a battery and access the spare bulb:

The back of the lamp has a tab so it could be worn on the belt if preferred and the lamp’s designation is marked here, although the subsequent layer of paint does make this hard to read:

Ten years or so ago, these lamps were very common and made very little money, even when mint in their shipping box. Today however they seem to have become a little harder to find and prices have crept steadily upwards.

One comment

  1. I think the holes in the ‘skirt’ around the base are so that it could be wired (or nailed) to a post. There was also a red filter available for it, and I suspect another use was for marking cleared paths through minefields and so forth. Uses the obsolete ‘800’ cycle lamp battery. Replaced by the ‘Bardic’ lamp more recently (which takes a directional arrow for path indication).

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