Rushlight Club Midwest Regional Meeting Report
January 25th, 2014, Glen Ellyn, IL

by Donna Schoenly

Photo of Boesch Lantern Co. cable car headlight

Frigid temperatures and snow didn't deter eighteen Club members and guests who braved the elements to attend the 6th Annual Midwest Regional Meeting. Gerald Mercer made the trip by car from Newark, Ohio and Chuck Leib flew in from Los Angeles. Meeting hosts Donna and Don Schoenly served Honey Baked Ham and Turkey for lunch to supplement the delicious salads and desserts brought by the participants. One of the attendee's called the meeting "relaxing, enjoyable and historic with great discussions about our cultural heritage". Show and Tell, the "main attraction", provided people the opportunity to engage in discussions about the lamps that were brought.

Photo of Cruto-Light-Bulb_1880s

Mel Zaloudek brought a Cable Car Headlight made of copper, brass and tin produced by the Boesch Lantern Co., San Francisco. He also showed a Requa lantern made by the Excelsior Lantern Co., New York, NY, E.B. Requa's patent July 19,1881, no. 244670.

Photo of Excelsior Lantern Co. Requa

Keith Letsche showed a rare Cruto light bulb. Invented in 1881 by Italian Alessandro Cruto, the lamp used a carbon coated platinum filament which was claimed to be more efficient than Edison's carbonized bamboo filament of the time. The Cruto lamp was exhibited at the Munich Exposition of 1882 but Cruto's filament was not likely used after the nitrocellulose filament came into general use in the early 1890's. Keith also brought one of the earliest (early 19th century) Star Glass Tumbler Lamps.

Photo of Star Glass Tumbler Lamp

Chuck Leib showed a catalog from the I. Sack Cabinet Hardware Co., likely published in the late 1920's, which illustrated "authentic" reproductions of antique lighting items. Chuck emphasized that the reproductions were made using the same materials and methods as the originals and therefore the reproductions are virtually impossible to distinguish from the original items In addition he had a book called Fabulous but Fake by Norman Young which is a "must have" for Lighting collectors.

Photo of Wood and Rice-Paper Korean Lantern

Bob Jacobsen brought a few of his Korean lamps. Bob spent several years working in Korea and brought home a few examples of lighting from their culture. Bob commented that lighting items were difficult to find in Korea. He showed several brass pricket candle holders, a small porcelain lamp and a wooden lantern with rice-paper windows.

Photo of Harrison Telescopic Candlestick

John Shallcross showed a pair of brass Harrison Telescopic Candlesticks with Tate's patented candle gripper. When the top of the candlestick is rotated, three levers move inward to surround and grip the candle. One of the grippers is visible in the photo below. He also had a chamberstick by J. Sankey & Sons with a similar candle socket.

Photo of Tate's Patent Candle Holder Mechanism

The Meeting ended with a group picture but four participants had to leave early and missed the picture.

Group Photo, ushlight Club Regional Meeting, 01-25-2014

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