Vintage Industrial Lights III: Dismantle

vintage industrial lighting uk

The refurb continues. We took advantage of some marvellous Cornish sunshine last week to work outside the warehouse.

The 14-inch domed Benjamins (and lookalike Cromptons, which are slightly shorter) came first. The remaining Enfield junction boxes that had carried the wiring network around the old factory roof, were unscrewed and snipped off.

We removed the glass – for the first time in 60 years? – by flicking back the Benjamin spring mechanism and easing the collar off the rim of the light. The curvature of these custom convex lenses really is stunning, and they clean up beautifully to a shine (see pics) – bearing in mind that these are just the 14-inch lenses; we have the 16-inch and 20-inch to come.

Next, the galleries were eased off and the neck removed, for easy stacking. The grey-enamelled shades have gone to our Fowey shop for a clean and polish, while the galleries and collars have been sent to be sand-blasted with very fine sand, to remove the rust, after which we’ll polish them up.

Having sorted the Benjamins from the Cromptons, the tally now reveals 19 x 14-inch Cromptons and 25 x 14-inch Benjmains.

Next up, the 16- and 20-inch Benjamin RLMs, which of course use a different mechanism to keep the glass in place.

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