J.C. Higgins single mantle Big Hat, Model 710.74011

Discussion in 'Simpson Sears-Sears Roebuck' started by jonathan fairbank, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. jonathan fairbank

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    Hi All,

    I've a very remarkable lantern which I've been spending quite a lot of time on recently. It was just in too nice a condition to let pass bye, so I asked my American (MA) pal if he'd not mind bidding In ebay, on my behalf ?

    So, after much a do & puffing & panting, the 'bit of a jewel' ended up in my living room, just a day or so before crimbo. The preparation afforded its safe carriage (Dd), was exemplary to say the least, I'd no need to worry ( but I still did a lot of this) !

    I'd seen a few Youtube vid's, with this same lantern featured, but couldn't really get to witness one that looked totally 'gobsmacking'. I was determined to eventually end up the owner of such, but suspected I'd be in for a long wait.

    "How wrong I was", it quickly turned out. .. .. . The first I'd seen belonged to Henry P, & if the truth be known, I'd been bitten by smitten, there & then.

    The work wasn't too demanding, as everything was well preserved, which I presume had much to do with the lantern hardly ever being used (just how I like it :lol: ) ! There was just two irritating sights I'd to spend time on, over all & these were the badly worn de-cal & some internal ring rust around the unseen base.

    Everything barring the main valve/ FA intake apparatus, was fully disassembled, then fettled & polished, near enough "as new". The globe is the original, the Big Hat is 99.8 % perfect (truly amazing fortitude, here)!! Just a new pump leather extra, was all that was required.

    Spending days & days at removing the rim rust, very carefully, with a stiff brush, old palette knife & a full jar of lemon jiff; was slightly irritating (but well worth the effort); to then mix up some craft enamels, to get a decent colour match, for touch up/ disguise antics. I couldn't get any comprehensive metallic enamels, so just resigned this effect away, though it'd have been more to my liking, if left proper.

    The J.C. Higgins de-cal is one of Fred K's, it's the larger of the two, he stocks. I think it's the 1st series (the larger one), that I affixed; the second series is marginally smaller ? They look the part, though applying them is quite stressful, as they grip on contact.

    I place 'em on with the help of two rounded dinner knifes, one in each hand, spec's on, and during a bright day. It's so easy to make a b*lls up doing this, & I'm always glad when it's completed, looking straight ](*,) .

    Now for the lighting up. I affixed a Coleman #1111 mantle, as this was what'd been used, prior. This is a massive sock, and the weave isn't that tight. I'd just bought them special, & if the burn hadn't had gone as well as it did, I'd have tried out a Peerless 99, or maybe an original 252 Milspec mantle.

    As it turned out, there was no problems at all, with the 'take off' part. The tank was two thirds full, I hit home just about 50 pumps, struck a long match, quarter turned the wheel; & then took no longer than 40 seconds to settle out, with a steady & bright glow ( be it the kitchen was large enough, I'd have done a cartwheel, it was just fantastic O:) ) !!

    I'm hoping to now get some J.C. Higgins prints, to fix to the box I had made, two would be enough. If not, I'll draw the signature insignia myself, on both sides.

    It'd be great to see any other enthusiasts Big Hat, of this model, within the gallery. I'm interested to find out its date of manufacture & also what true mantles should be used, if anyone could assist here ?

    The burner ovens top span, has some numerals, stamped left & right, near the bale arm openings. One side "200", the other a "7", or single number, could this be an indicator, I wonder ?

    Lastly, I re-lacquered the whole base area, also; just to be sure for its time ahead. Finding such a lantern, in as fine a condition as this was in, always has me wondering what the next fifty years has in store . . . . . .

    Maybe I'll find out (if I can resist the bay of evil) [-X .

    Cheers, Jon.

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    Thanks, now for more beachcombing work. . . . . . :thumbup:
     
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  2. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    That's a fine a fine looking lantern! :thumbup:
     
  3. Claus C

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    It looks spotless Jon and like it just left the factory. :mrgreen: You did a real neat paintwork. It is always nice to find a undamaged enamel-hood, and a un-bulged tank, while they always are difficult to fix, so you got a good base here in a unusual lamp. Thanks for sharing your fine work. :thumbup:
    What is that stands origin! The one with the holes?

    Claus C
     
  4. Dan D

    Dan D Subscriber

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    Hi Jon,

    I agree with Claus. You've done another spectacular restoration. Fred's decal really finishes it off. Unlike water slide decals, these stick on ones seem to leave no margin for error. I'll remember your technique.

    Your meticulous attention to detail really shows (and shines). There's always something special about a Big Hat.

    I'm going to guess your lantern is from the 1950's. The next time I'm at my local library, I'll check the Sears catalogs of that era and see if I can narrow it down a bit more.

    In the mean time, here's a link from Sears, regarding the JC Higgins brand name Higgins link

    Thanks for sharing,
    Dan
     
  5. jonathan fairbank

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    Yes Claus, cheers for the praise. I hadn't really to touch up any of the main founts exterior look, it was just some minute browning (faint rust) around the collar; but there was much more though, underneath, around the inner bases perimeter wall (thankfully it hadn't spread further).

    It's been bye & large all made possible, given my ebay trolling vigilance, & then Dan's very detailed patience & kindness. There'd been a lot of work input placed about, before I'd got my mitts on the beauty; I'm truly in-debted :clap: .

    I was very pleased, another classic has been eventually halted from decline. It'd be interesting to know just how many of these particular model's, actually rolled off the production line, back in the day ? (t'wud be hard work, finding this answer out) 1000, - 8000, etc ? ! :shock: I remember hearing how rare a 228 Coleman BH was, next to the slim 220's, ratio production-wise. There still seems plenty of those about, maybe I'm a member of a very exclusive club :mrgreen: ; with this Higg's ?

    He He, the bronze stand, was in the "bronze box", at the local scrapyard. I originally picked it up (£5), to sell on' to a jewellers; thinking it a nice platform for a mannequins neck & head (velvet/ jewels, etc). Then came the Lanterns, & a cunning plan was later hatched.. . . My mechanic pal, say's it could be a ball race mount, from a tractor wheel or wagon, etc ? (there's a Magpie in us all . . . . . ) ;)

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    The difference of the "enamel matt & original hammered metallic, can just be seen ? It was difficult to get a detailed close-up, the camera lens started flippin'& grindin' stuck. I'll be looking for a newer one, with bigger buttons, soon-ish now.

    Jon :thumbup:
     
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  6. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    It's a ball bearing retainer. Not specifically for tractors or vehicles.
    And I'm pretty sure they aren't bronze. At least the ones I have held in my hands has rather "felt" like an alloy close to brass. Or probably just simply actual brass!
    We throw these retainers away pretty often at work, and typically they are used on large angular contact bearings, but two of that model you have here might also have been used in pairs on special two row ball bearings for large hydrogene compressors we have at the plant. (I think. Memory might fail me.)
    Perhaps I should grab a couple next time I see them in the dumpster... :-k
     
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  7. jonathan fairbank

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    Hi Dan,

    The Higg's link is well appreciated, maybe there's a photo of the esteemed John Higgins, in the reference libraries ?

    If I could weave around expertly, I'd look into this; and then also whether I'm placing the correct sized de-cals from Fred, on the smaller Higgin's lanterns. I prefer the larger of the two size's, there mightn't be no difference or quivelling (upto preference, etc) ?

    Check out the shiny 'birds eye' BH shot, in a bit.. . . "very nice indeed" :)

    UUUmmh, I really am not so clued up, to be able to say whether these were made by Sears or American Gas Machine; Contractual manufacture privilege's, between the big mill names, get me a bit "too many stick's to pick up,-ish".

    There isn't any scribing detail, making note of the Manufacturer or model n.o, around the collar; unlike that afforded the little 'Rocket'. I don't do that much reading TTYTT (always fettling BMS, busy Mongoose syndrome, etc . . . .)

    One collar on the two British Hong Kong J.C. Higgins I'm slowly working on, shows British Hong Kong, scribed adjacent to JC's lettering, yet the other one doesn't ? Deducing why this is, force's me to the fridge, for more comfort . . . . The Hong Kong H's, also have a round fount valve placement bush, where the US Higgs's, are hex's.

    There may have been two different companies, building the Higgs's, hailing from the eastern part of the world; Union Metal Works, and possibly another plant, before or later ?

    Anyway, onto the tip about applying the sticker. I find it even better, to directly mark the tank with some seamstress chalk, half central distance, upon where the de-cal should properly lay. Then, with left & right handed (rounded/ blunt dinner knife), hover over the placed white chalk mark, gauging the 'middle distance' on the sticker, to this (best to dot it, near the base, to later wet off). If you've both arc lips of the knife, stuck firm, before physical presentation, it helps to just "dip" the de-cal, so it bow's; this way, the centre out, lays flat, centre out, right, & centre out left.

    It's 'heart in mouth' tackle, but few inexpensive "dry runs", with some sticky back vinyl & a large glass jar; would be not too costly, for some prior practise. I've not applied a water slide, yet, I think they'll be even more trouble, barring the easier alignment exercise; it's the varnishing, over the 'slide', & whether or not the top protective coat, finally laid down, 'reacts' to what it's there to protect ? (more questions than answers, as always. . . . . . "best bat on then, for now" . .

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    Hopefully, when the box's finished, I'll send a shot or two of this as well. It's very difficult, cutting a vent protector from card, as if the cardboard is quite thick, the 'over all' square to be cut (if the card is thick stuff). It ends up being twice the thickness of the card (2 x 5mm = 10mm). The main box wasn't square, it's a 10mm rectangle, short of being a square.

    I didn't allow for this, so I'd to flatten down the main box's sides, with a wooden mallet & block, around the entry top; to just get it to squeeze in ! (A bit of a nightmare, but hey ho, it got done) 8)

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    That's me then, up to press, thanks eh.

    Jon :thumbup:
     
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  8. jonathan fairbank

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    Righto Christer,

    It was interesting just to know of another use, these ball runs were for. It was just a surface guess, the tractor or plant machinery, wheel use. I believed my pal to be right, but folks can be mistaken ?

    Bronze or brass ? That's a tough one, this one I have is really heavy & dense. Bronze tends to be a brighter metal (I don't want to scratch it, it's nice), but it does look more brass coloured, come to think of it.

    I'd pilfer a few out of the dumpster (or pay £ :D ) , then have one chromed over. They help the look of any lantern, rested upon; but the main reason I like to include it, is it breaks the base away from shadow, just allowing more light to give a better view of any founts seating periphery.

    Cheers, Jon :thumbup: .
     
  9. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Hi Jon.

    I found four tossed away when checking after I wrote my post here.
    Definitely brass, and that's also what the SKF-catalogue says.
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    Yes they lift the lamps from the surface for the pictures, but they can also fool people to think they actually belong to the lamp in some cases.
    It can be a bit misguiding to use it for reference pictures.
     
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  10. jonathan fairbank

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    He he :) UUUmmmh, I've apparently got some fettling to do now, as yours looks more sparkly than mine (eh deary me)! You're right about using it with chrome, steel, or brass buffed founts; it may confuse the viewer as to where the lantern begins or ends (not many folk, perhaps; but still a possibility).

    With a painted tank though, it's more obvious to the eye, used in a 2D pictorial. I can cut a circular 12-16mm deep, piece of marine ply, when I get more of the Tilley X's sorted out for display. They'll look like they're levitating, if the disc's out of view.

    Thanks for clearing that up, "a most unusual coincidence, if I do say so myself"; your self knowing the articles origins. This has been a bit of a stumper, but maybe they might catch on ?

    It's a decent enough way to show out the lamps, at an event, where folks could always query it in person.

    Jon. :thumbup:
     
  11. Carlsson

    Carlsson Sweden Admin/Founder Member

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    Actually I recognized it the very first time you posted a lamp with it under the tank. :lol:
    It's such a cool looking item. I guess that's why I reacted the first time I saw a mechanic throw it away many years ago.
    Perhaps I should start to collect them. :lol:
    Regarding the shine on the one I posted here; I cheated... I took it to the buffing wheel for a quick buff directly after picking the retainer up from the dumpster. It went from dull to shiny within the minute!
     
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  12. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    Sears Model 74011 was sold from Spring 1954 to Fall 1961. Quite a long period for Sears so it must have been a successful lantern. From which it follows that it should be fairly common but as ever items as good as this are rare so nice find and a great fettle. ::Neil::
     
  13. jonathan fairbank

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    Thanks for showing your appreciation with this one Jeff, it'd not have been possible without all the help I got from one good man (I make a steadfast salute) =; !
    I keep not being informed there's a newly added comment, to a topic within CPL I've loaded up. I'm not sure the software does this, maybe I'm only notified if it's just within a "private topic"...

    Cheers, Jon.
     
  14. jonathan fairbank

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    Claus, I must apologise to you, I can get mixed up with christian names; I've answered your question regarding the brass stand mount, over to Christer. I'm Mr :mrgreen: with PC work. Thanks for the interest though, & also your great comments on the 74011. I'll keep a look out for some of your lanterns/ lamps, within the gallery, ect. :thumbup:

    I'm sorry for the mix up, but isn't it also strange that Christer (via my inaccuracies) picked up the thread & then actually knew the mounts real purpose, offering more contribution info.

    Jon.
     
  15. jonathan fairbank

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    He he Christer, I reckon just for their own sculpturally 'pressed novelty', they'd make an interesting assortment of vivids, just placed up on the garage wall, or man cave. Like the planted ducks, flying up Stan & Hilda Ogdens, living room wall (Coronation Street, way back).

    I'll maybe not see another one, this one was just a fluke (but I'll keep a look out, scrapyard-wise).

    If I could get hold of another one, I'd have it chromed (so think on, please), as I've just bought an old Unimet GL-3, HONG KONG manufactured. The vents a dream, the colour's soon to be seen (if I get on with it, this is); but it'd look startling, sat on top a newly chromed, brass stand.
    I'll load it when it's ready, it arrived with a dashed dent to the tank :rage:

    Nuff said :thumbup:

    Jon.
     
  16. jonathan fairbank

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    Hi Neil,

    Ta, for the dating information :- 54' - 61' (and by Sears, only). I've found this lantern to be a very satisfying project; it all culminated in such an easy light up, it was thankfully "unreal".

    The box work is still in the pipeline, for this one, as is usual, there's always other project/s to slowly attend too. I've just sammed up another unusual lantern, from .com; it's a Unimet GL-3. A very startling blue colour, with the tank being a bit tatty, as well as there being a visible dent to its side :roll: .

    Will have to re-size the few new pic's I've taken, then load them to the gallery; so with that, this'll be the first time I'll hopefully be loading "before & afters", of the same Jolly (Lamp).

    Hey ho, I found a low kb snap :-

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    It maybe difficult to view the damage, but the long wedge's base, marked in the skies reflection, upon the tank; is the end to end length (just over 2mm deep, also). The dash-dent, is around two inch long & appears in the shot, to be running almost straight upwards to the pic frame orientation.

    Am also needing a new de-cal, could these be as rare as hens teeth, do you figure ?

    Cheers then, much appreciated,

    Jon :) .
     
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  17. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    Exclusive to Sears because J.C.Higgins is a Sears Brand name. In the general scheme of things no Sears products should be considered to be rare. Sears was all about quality but cheap and bulk sales so there would have been plenty of these around in the 1950s. ::Neil::
     
  18. Mr. Lantern

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    I know that this thread is coming up on a year but I hve to say that this J.C. Higgins "Big Hat" lantern is simply stunning! It looks like it came straight from the factory line! Back from time!
    Anyway, you sure got yourself one heck of a deal and sure ws worth the price to get it.
    I also got a J.C. Higgins "Big Hat" lantern about a week ago. Some chap offered to me for $20 bucks and from the look of it when I got it I could see for myself why. But any way I had first made up my mind that I would use it for parts, completely disassemble it, etc. but after taking a long hard look at it I decided to see if I could get it back in working condition. This past Sunday I started on it, completely disassembled it, cleaned everything real good, made sure everything checked out O K and in working order and well after I got through (it sure didn't come out looking like yours though, lol!) I decided to try it out.
    After a few hard attempts I could hear hope coming soon. Put on a Peerless 99 mantle, gave it a massive load of pumps, turned the cleaning lever, turned the Valve a quarter turn then put flame to it...then it "lights" beautifully!
    Sure am glad I decided to keep it then part it out. Looking at it and seeing for myself how it is really such a pleasant looking lantern has really opened my eyes to the J.C. Higgins brand lantern. Hopefully one of these days hopefully I can get lucky and find one in such great shape and condition as yours.

    Thanks for posting and sharing!
     

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