1930s Optimus 253

Discussion in 'Indoor Lamps' started by Mackburner, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    I think these were introduced around 1933-1934. From the style of control I guess this one is from the 1930s. I think the lamp on its own is model 255. Not sure though about that. Cetainly in the harp frame like this it is 253. A 200 cp lamp and this one is an evil beast that has caused me endless grief down the years. It came to me without a generator so Malcolm made one from a similar type, not sure what make, by cutting the tube and welding in a new lower end to make it the right length. A 200 cp generator from a lantern will not fit as they are too short. I had to wait maybe two or three years after I got the lamp before a globe arrived with the harp. The hood on these lamps will not sit on the globe cage without a globe so I had to wait for that before I could try to run it. Damn thing works ok some of the time but then as the mood takes it you get the normal Optimus black mantle. True to form as I was checking this one over to photograph it tonight the damn globe cracked. Did it all on its own just sitting to one side while I played with a new mantle. I made a couple of clips so the globe would sit right and I could run it but then I have had to add some glue and I won't be able to run it again now unless I can locate another globe. Rare glass too so I am not hopeful. Joys of owning rare lamps and rare glass. Got to run them but there is always the risk of damage. Not sure how common or not these are. I know I have not seen many. ::Neil::

    1292298081-Opt_253_01.jpg

    1292298093-Opt_253_02.jpg 1292298106-Opt_253_03.jpg 1292298121-Opt_253_04.jpg 1292298136-Opt_253_05.jpg 1292298160-Opt_253_06.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2017
  2. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    I've always liked the looks of these lamps. They have the right proportions.

    I wouldn't call them rare as they turn up a few times a year in Sweden. Not common though and always tend to fetch a good price. Usually going out of the country.

    You are right about this being the 253 and the lamp alone should be the 255. Lately I've been looking at paper from Optimus and have found that the 255 was first mentioned in the 1950s. Before that they only talk about the versions in the hanging frame.

    This lamp is most likely from the late 1930s. It has the level gauge which was first introduced around 1938 but still has the fibre wheel, so must be before the 40s. I have seen three versions of frame for these lamps, though there are only mentioned two in the catalogues. The third type is only mentioned with another model lamp but often turns up with the early versions of the 253. Does this one have a flat bottom?
     
  3. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    So late 1930s? I thought that was where it was.

    The frame has a slightly rounded bottom so it won't stand. Made it a pain to photograph. ::Neil::
     
  4. Nils Stephenson

    Nils Stephenson Founder Member

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    That sort of confirms my suspicions. I think your frame is a combination of the hoop from the flat bottomed version (used for the 263 and 268) and the tray from the last variation of the 253 frame.

    The frame shown in all the catalogues has ball joints where the hoop attaches to the tray and another ball underneath for decoration. In about 1957 the frame lost the ball underneath.

    The flat bottomed frame was only shown in the catalogues with the 263 and 268. It does turn up quite often with the pre war 253s though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2017
  5. Fjellot

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    Tjosvejs.

    I was woundering if any of you lucky 25x owners could provide me with this meassurment... see picture..


    Regards Fjellot

    1482362590-253mess.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2017
  6. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    I've measured mine in three places around the circumference and taken the average.
    On my lamp, the distance is 130mm.

    Henry.
     

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