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Benjamin Electric Two Lamp 40w Turret

Benjamin Electric Two Lamp 40w Turret

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I found two of these in my grandma’s garage shortly before she died. I have no idea how they got there, since no one used that garage for at least a decade.

Unfortunately, the other fixture had a bad ballast. The starters would not come out of the sockets, and the case ripped off the base when I tried to take them out, so I had to use pliers. I ended up putting then back in during testing. I had to take the starters out again to manually preheat the lamps with a piece of wire when it still refused to start during my second test, but the metal tab on one of the starters, a cheap regent branded one, broke and made contact with one of the pins and shocked me pretty bad. Replacing the ballast didn’t work, so I had to give up on saving the original sockets. I was so frustrated that I ended up making a quick bracket with some modern lampholders to get it to work. The makeshift socket assembly I built was crap, but I’ve left it because it worked and I was tired of messing with it. I’m currently working on making a proper set of new sockets with vintage lampholders and four pin thermal starters.

The pictured fixture worked perfectly, and I didn’t have to do anything other than replace the cord. The old Jefferson Electric ballast is still quiet, much quieter than the rapid start ones in my basement, and runs the lamps quite brightly.

Lastly, a word of caution; Don’t cut into the metal lampholders on these Benjamin fixtures- they are cadmium plated underneath the paint. I did this to the dead set to try to find the fault, and I later found out from a 1949 catalog that the “Springlox” lampholders, as they were called, were made of cadmium plated steel.

59A6C0AE-9D77-42CF-976A-CFB3B138335A.jpeg 1DA21917-B481-4D15-94E7-8276C0303510.jpeg 4FD3DC02-577D-4E6A-BEF1-682DD1AA8DEA.jpeg B63DE16C-22B0-4971-99D2-B28F8BF742FF.jpeg

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:Benjamin Electric
Lamp
Lamp Type:40w Fluorescent
Base:G13 Bi Pin
Fixture
Fixture Type:Turret Industrial for Two 40w Preheat Lamps
Ballast Type:Jefferson Electric Tulamp (The dead ballast was a GE)
Socket Type:G13 Bi Pin and Starter Assembly (Called “Springlox” Lampholders by the Manufacturer)
Electrical
Wattage:96w
Voltage:118v
Current:0.8a
Physical/Production
Dimensions:50” by 11” by 6” high
Factory Location:Des Plaines, Illinois
Fabrication Date:Probably Around 1949

File information

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Mr. Orthosilicate
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Jan 22, 2020 at 09:36 PM Author: Mr. Orthosilicate
Here’s the catalog I found that contained this fixture:

https://archive.org/details/BenjaminFluorescentLightingSystems0001/page/n3
ace100w120v
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Jan 23, 2020 at 12:17 AM Author: ace100w120v
Excellent save!
joseph_125
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Jan 24, 2020 at 03:10 AM Author: joseph_125
Nice light! I have a very similar light, only difference is that the socket spacing seems to be a bit wider.
Mr. Orthosilicate
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Jan 25, 2020 at 08:55 PM Author: Mr. Orthosilicate
They made two versions: One with an 11” reflector (Type A), and one with a 13” reflector (Type E). The 13” version had a wider ballast channel and hence wider sockets, since the Type E reflector was used for the 3 lamp version, necessitating greater space to fit the third lamp. Mine is the Type A version, which is a few inches shorter than the type E, which had a 53” long reflector. The two lamp variety was available in Type A or Type E.

See page 25 in the catalog to see these fixtures.
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