GEC Z9539

Lantern acquired in July 2004.

This lantern came from Claire Pendrous. I was attracted to it because it uses a P42 two-part cell but it is gear-in-head. Usually, two-part cells are used on gearless lanterns in order to simplify the wiring - all the connections can be wired into a controller in the column base. However, this lantern has a controller in the lantern itself! It appears as though the gear tray has been modified slightly to accommodate the controller - sometimes this means that the capacitor has to be removed from the circuit but it is still in place in this lantern, due to the ballast having an internal ignitor.

The lantern came from either Great Charles Street, or School Avenue, Brownhills, and was removed along with 11 others mounted on ancient Revo telegraph pole mounted brackets along those two roads. Originally the brackets carried incandescent lanterns; indeed the fuse holders in the cast iron fuse boxes are still the original porcelain ones. The P42 conversions at least allowed the original brackets to remain in place and Claire thinks that most other councils would have just replaced the entire bracket with a new column.

The Z9539 in a more-or-less 'as received' condition. The bowl is not original to this lantern but it is from another Z9539 - the existing one was cracked. Before this picture was taken, I shook the bowl out to rid it of a menagerie of dead wasps that had congregated inside!

Removing the bowl reveals the first thing that I will have to sort - the felt gasket needs to be glued back in place. About half of the lampholder securing plate and lamp support have gone rusty - suggesting that water has been able to get into the lantern (probably due to the loose gasket).

Looking down on the lantern shows the long gear tray - later models had a shorter gear tray as smaller gear was used.

Removing the lamp shows the blackening on the gear tray from years of heating from the ballast/lamp. The back of the P42 controller can be seen at the end of the gear tray. One of the tray's retaining screws has sheared and so it is all supported on just one other screw.

Undoing this single screw allowed the hinged tray to swing down. Unfortunately the label on the ballast has been lost over time but luckily the wiring is still in place and so I was able to identify which terminal should be used for each wire. Before the controller was fitted, the capacitor was probably positioned in such a way that it ran parallel with the tray, but with the inclusion of the controller, it had to be moved to the diagonal. Incidentally, the controller dates from October 1975 and so it has done remarkably well.

Another Z9539 entered the Collection in May 2010 - click here to see pictures.


Lanterns in the Z953# range in collection

Z9531 Z9532 (aluminium) Z9532 (GRP) (1) Z9532 (GRP) (2) Z9536 (aluminium) Z9536 (GRP) Z9538 Z9539 (1) Z9539 (2)

Thorn Pilote T2 | Philips MA 90




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