Original Pre-WWI Era U.S. Navy Shipboard Portable Battery Powered Lamp by Grether Fire Equipment Co.
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice example of an early 20th Century Shipboard Portable Battery powered lamp, marked U.S. NAVY on the back. The early design is quite heavily built and sturdy, designed for use on Naval ships at night. Most likely it used a very heavy battery, so it would have been somewhat unwieldy to carry for long periods, even with the sturdy carry handle.
The top of the battery compartment door still has a fully legible data plate:
GRETHER FIRE EQUIPMENT CO.
PORTABLE ELECTRIC LANTERN TYPE E
2 1/2 VOLTS 1 AMPERE
REG. No. 619 CONT. No.30723
The lamp measures about 8 1/2 inches tall (not counting the handle), with a width of 5 3/4 and a depth of about 6 inches. Overall condition is very good, with a great aged patina to the cast aluminum body. We do not know if the internal electrics are still functional, but the power switch still moves in and out, and the bulb looks intact. The circuit design is quite simple, so it could probably be repaired easily if needed.
All of the brass screws are intact except for one of the 4 battery lid top screws, which has sheared off at the joint. The leather carry handle is also definitely aged and somewhat degraded.
A great display piece from the early days of battery powered electric lamps, ready to display!
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