Thorn Beta 5

This is an older version of my 1996 Beta 5. It was given to me on the same date as the Z5698U - Wednesday, 14th May 2003. Differences in this lantern include a shorter gear tray, a squarer canopy and a springy lamp support, but the bowl is identical to the new version in every way. This style of Beta 5 was used all over the city - they started appearing in the early 1980s to replace Group 'B' mercury lanterns.

I think the first thing to notice about this lantern is the casting height - it's higher than that of the new version, although the gear is the same size.  Also, this lantern is more boxy and the toggle clip does not seem as tight - probably due to age. There are two cables coming out of the back of this lantern due to one (the one that goes directly upwards) being wired to the 'live out' terminal of the NEMA socket - obviously the lantern's photocell was used as the controller for another load - perhaps another lantern, or maybe a signlight or bollard in the vicinity.

The lantern came without a lamp but fortunately I had a spare Thorn one from the 1980s and so I used this, as this is almost certainly what would have been used when the lantern was new.


On Monday, 19th April 2004 I decided to give the Beta 5 a much needed cleaning. The canopy had everything removed from it and was then put into some very soapy water. I then rubbed a Brillo pad all over the outside of the canopy and managed to get it looking more or less as it would have when it was first put up in the early 1980s. I then put the bowl into the soapy water and cleaned that up too, but strangely I decided against using the Brillo Pad on it!

A side view here, showing the squeaky clean bowl and canopy.

This view of the top of the canopy shows just how shiny the canopy now is...

...compared to how dirty it used to be!


The lantern was mounted to an AC Ford AC872 wall bracket on Monday, 15th August 2005.

Now compare this version of the Beta 5 to the 1989 and 1996 versions by clicking here.

Lantern warm-up video:

Thorn Beta 5s in the Collection

C. 1965

1982

1983

1989

1996

2001

2004

2006

2008

GEC Z5698U | Atlas Alpha 3


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