Sign in to follow this  
AVS619

Brass Lamp Restorer

Recommended Posts

The side and tail lamps of my 1911 IHC J 30 are in poor condition but original to the car. They are a brand I don't know of, the Indiana Lamp Co in Connersville, Ind. Before I purchase reproduction E & J's, is there anyone who restores these lamps other than Rick Britten. I have nothing against Rick, his work is impeccable, but I can't afford his prices now that I had to retire. If you know of anyone, or you restore them yourself, please let me know. Thank you indeed!

IMG_9770.JPG

IMG_9768.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There used to be a guy who offered a free exchange of new lamps for old, but Al Addin didn’t have good luck with that, as I recall...

😉

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Indiana lamps are not that difficult to find, except for perhaps those with the IHC script on top, which I assume yours would have since you say they are original to the vehicle.  

 

They are also not too difficult to restore and yours seem very sound, needing only replated reflectors and polished brass.  There seems to be no missing or broken glass.  

 

It can be fun and satisfying work to restore them to original luster  yourself.  You will want to carefully disassemble them. They are soldered together.  No need to remove the glass from the lamp side panels.  You can polish the brass around the glass but be careful on a buffing wheel!  The interior reflectors can be replated in either proper silver or in nickle, but that job is probably best left to a professional plater for best quality work.  There are home use plating kits available though so again, a do-it-yourself project might work for you.  Reassembly using solder isn't easy work-but can be done.  I've seen some home-restored lamps reassembled using epoxy but if you intend to burn them, then that might not work. 

 

This is not intended to be a tutorial on lamp restoration but just a snapshot at what doing it yourself might entail.  It's fussy but not impossible work and you'll have great results with a little care.

There is a You-Tube video available showing some basics on Model T sidelamp restoration and those would essentially be the same as yours.

 

As an alternative though, why not look for a nicer pair of lamps at Hershey.  I've seen plenty of the Indiana lamps in great shape, ready to polish and mount, and they are not terribly expensive.  They might not have the IHC script on top but you can use them on the car, continuing to save the originals on the shelf where you photo'd them. 

 

Rick's prices reflect the quality of his work, so if you are going for 1st class lamps, you'll be glad to have spent the bucks.   You might let him have a close look to estimate the cost involved as it might be less than you expect depending on the amount of work needed.  It's been my experience that fabricating parts is a whole bunch more expensive than buffing/polishing.

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the Marmon lamps marked as Marmon on their tops?  It's hard to tell from the original post here if the IHC lamps were all brass or a combination of steel and brass, which I suspect is the case.  By 1911, many lamps were done as part black and part brass, even some with nickle plate on the brass parts of them.   Here is an interesting pair of Indiana lamps in my collection with embossed tops.  Iv'e never been able to figure out what the initials are.  Any guesses out there?

Terry

20160608_184631.jpg

20160608_184609.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Terry Bond said:

Are the Marmon lamps marked as Marmon on their tops?  It's hard to tell from the original post here if the IHC lamps were all brass or a combination of steel and brass, which I suspect is the case.  By 1911, many lamps were done as part black and part brass, even some with nickle plate on the brass parts of them.   Here is an interesting pair of Indiana lamps in my collection with embossed tops.  Iv'e never been able to figure out what the initials are.  Any guesses out there?

Terry

20160608_184631.jpg

20160608_184609.jpg

Terry, 

 

I don't know if they had Marmon on them. My set of Indiana's are all brass like yours.  My Dad always said they were put on Marmon's that were made in nearby Indy. 

 

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to pin it down.  I've never seen the Marmon name on Indiana lamps, but of course that doesn't mean Marmon didn't purchase some from the local company.  The Marmon was a high-end car and the Indiana lamps were a lesser quality lamp so I'd not really think they would have used that brand.  I have seen Marmon photos from the 1910s time frame and they appear to be Solar lamps on them.  Perhaps we can get Sam Barnett to chime in and figure it out.

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry but the Marmon forum is not producing any results.  What have you decided to do on your lamps, and are they all brass or just part brass?

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this