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The first thing I ever really started seriously collecting!  I keep adding to the pile.  Recently acquired a few from an old time flea marketer who had "retired."  Added a few nice ones.   Rainy day here so I decided to clean up and re-arrange a few of them.

Terry

Eclipse.jpg

Delta nickel.jpg

Hi Power St Louis.jpg

Lightening waffle bottom.jpg

Motoking.jpg

Northern King.jpg

Wade view 1.jpg

Wade view 2 showing top.jpg

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That is one collectible group I have always wanted to have and sadly waited too long to join in.  You have some fine examples!

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Never too late to start. There are loads on ebay, not all expensive either. A few nice ones make a nice collection and are always better than dozens of old rusty ones.

Terry

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Those in their original counter-top display boxes are cool.  I remember when the full warehouse load of those Westric plugs first started showing up.  Crates of them were unveiled at an early Carlisle swap meet and they sold like crazy to dealers, collectors, even people who wanted to run them in old cars.  Countertop displays and traveling salesman's sample cases are really neat.  Here are a few from my collection-986109001_Plugdisplaykits.jpg.17d8abfd1f1a1c04b1996aae733e4213.jpg

Red Head salesmans kit.jpg

Sterling display kit.jpg

Massa salesmans kit.jpg

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Great plug and an interesting history.  Here's what I've put together from a variety of sources including early advertising, automotive periodicals and info on some PA and industrial history websites.

 

Bethlehem plugs were produced by the  Silvex Company in Bethlehem PA.   The Silvex Company was founded in Bethlehem in 1912 with E H Schwab president. Reorganization took place in 1917 with the addition of a new million-dollar factory.   Wartime production gave the already successful company a real boost.  Silvex became the Bethlehem Spark Plug Company in 1920. Then, in 1924, the company acquired Splitdorf becoming the Splitdorf-Bethlehem Electrical Company. A merger with Bethlehem Steel in 1928 created Edison-Splitdorf and ended Splitdorf-Bethlehem.  Edison-Splitdorf was eventually sold to Champion.

 

The company was successful becoming the third largest producer of spark plugs. I believe that Ford and Packard used Bethlehem spark plugs in new cars and tractors in 1921-1922, although for Ford, Champion was the primary supplier.  In addition to their own regularly branded Bethlehem plugs,  and the Bethlehem Aviation spark plug, they also made spark plugs for the Aircraft & Motor Supply company for a short time in 1919 under the “Aero-Auto” or “A-A” brand.

 

Terry

 

 

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A few more interesting plugs from my collection.

HERZ Stone plugs 2.jpg

AC starter plug 3.jpg

Ball Point 775.jpg

Brown QD full script name.jpg

Bulls Eye.jpg

Center Fire.jpg

Clean E-Z Prime.jpg

Chivalaco.jpg

Daves Hole in the Wall.jpg

ELK.jpg

HP.jpg

Reflex Priming (top) brass and Nickle version.jpg

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Some great ones there.

 

I am more of an accumulator than collector. These came from clean outs, barn sales, etc.

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Most people don't realize they have a collection.  Just like you, people tend to pick them up when they find them.  There might be something unusual about it, perhaps a name they've never heard of before, or something odd about the firing points.  Next thing you know, it's a collection.  One my rules - three is a collection!   My collection started with a cigar box under the seat in my Model A ford purchased in 1966.  I think there were about six or seven plugs in that box, a couple of Champions of course, but I distinctly remember an Edison and a couple of Splitdorfs.  It didn't seem like a collection until I was asked one day what I collected.  Couldn't think of anything else at the moment.  Look where its led!

 

Here is a photo of the 1912 style Bethlehem spark plug I mentioned earlier.

Terry

Bethlehem 1912 type.jpg

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Here are a few more really unusual plugs from my collection.  The De-Lux is really odd.  Lift the lever and the electrode points can be used to scrape carbon away from the base of the insulator.  Although the idea of keeping carbon deposits from shorting out a plug is a good one, I have to wonder were all that carbon trash ended up?  I don't think this plug sold for any great length of time and probably didn't work too well.   The "Double-Head" plug is a reversible spark plug.  When one end fouled, just unscrew it, screw the other end in the cylinder, replace the little clip and you've got a second plug.  There were several different types of these many by other companies.  The E.Z. plug is known as a "quick detachable" style of plug.  Just a slight twist and the entire center electrode comes out, leaving the base still screwed into the cylinder.  You could easily clean the plug, or drop a little gas into the cylinder to prime the engine for easier cold weather starts.  There were several brands of these plugs that came with a tire pump that could be inserted so you could use compression to put air into your tires.  The last plug is one of several different types that have a little fan built into the base.  Theoretically,. the spinning fan "throws off" oil and soot.  Wonder what happened when the little fan broke off!  Last one is called an Automat and it's a breather style of plug.  Fresh air is drawn into the cylinder on the intake stroke via a spring loaded check-valve  Interesting idea that actually appeared in several different brands of plugs, some through the top like this one, others through a little check-valve in the side of the plug. 

Any ideas for improvement in spark plugs has been tried before - sometimes more than once.

Terry

De Lux.jpg

Double Head.jpg

E-Z Quick Detachable.jpg

Multiple Point.jpg

Automat.jpg

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