Author Topic: First fluorescent lighting installation in the world 1939  (Read 1521 times)
Larry
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First fluorescent lighting installation in the world 1939 « on: August 01, 2014, 07:55:38 PM » Author: Larry
Here is a claim of the first fluorescent lighting installation in the world during 1939 Cheesy.
Fluorescent lighting was demonstrated at the 1939 worlds fair, but it was for the most part for display only.
The fixtures are made by Miller using the new 100 watt 5 foot fluorescent bulbs.
No bulb or ballast manufacturer given, but since GE made the first 100 watt 5 foot fluorescent bulb, I would guess the bulbs and ballasts are GE.
Seems to have made quite a impression as lighting engineers came from all across the country to see the installation.

http://www.collinselectricco.com/fluorescent.html

Here is another first fluorescent lighting installation in the world. Cheesy

http://www.forgeofinnovation.org/springfield_armory_1892-1945/Themes/Technology_and_Manufacture/World_War_II/Flourescent_lighting/index.html


The Hygrade version of the history of the fluorescent light.
No mention of GE. Shocked

https://archive.org/details/TheDreamOfScientistsBecomesAnAccomplishedFactTheStoryOfFluorescent


The GE version of the history fluorescent lighting. Cheesy

http://thefluorescentlightbulb.umwblogs.org/invention/

http://home.frognet.net/~ejcov/inman.html

https://www.ies.org/PDF/100Papers/045.pdf


This book is involved, but may be the best book to really explain the history of lighting up to 1947.
I learned quite a bit from it. Wink

http://www.economics.rpi.edu/~simonk/pdf/bright1949.pdf



WOW Cheesy Shocked

RF lighting by GE.
"For the factories of the forties".
The RF (Rectified Fluorescent) fixture was a special type of high output fluorescent lighting that GE and Westinghouse used to light large factories from 1939 to 1942.

GE and Westinghouse made more than 300,000 of the RF fixtures.
The RF fixture was the only fluorescent fixture made by GE until 1948.
GE made and supplied ballast, bulb holders and bulbs for other fixture manufactures.
The RF fixtures were discontinued in 1942 due to the shortage of materials for the war effort.
Only a few survive today.

The special fixture used a 85 watt 58 inch T10 3000 hour bulb that was very different than a conventional fluorescent bulb.
The bulb had a three  prongs on one end and two prongs on the other so the bulb could only be installed one way.
One end had a filament and the other end had two carbon electrodes.
The ballasts were also special made just for the one or two special 85 watt bulbs only.
The ballasts had a multi tap switch that could switch in and out different windings to match various line voltages.
 
The bulbs that was held in with wire clips fit the wired sockets in one direction only.
Two colors only, blue white and industrial white.
4000 lumens for each 85 watt bulb, 47 lumens per watt.

The RF fixtures were sort of a cross between the mercury vapor bulb and the fluorescent bulb.
The RF fixtures were discontinued after 1942 although the special 85 watt bulbs was still available to about 1953.

One odd feature of the RF fixtures was that the RF fixture must be tilted to one end to operate. Shocked
GE tilted the whole RF fixture, Westinghouse kept their RF fixture level, but tilted the bulbs to one end.
This is why the pictures of the fixtures in the factories look odd tilted to one end.
Gravity is used to keep the mercury from building up on one end of the bulb due to the rectifying nature of the RF bulb.
One end of the fixture was required to be 3 inches lower than the other end of the fixture.
The RF fixture is position sensitive.
There is no mention of this odd tilt in the advertising.

The development of the RF fluorescent fixtures and conventional fluorescent lighting were conducted side by side in the early years at GE.

The RF fixtures look similar in design to the early Fleur-o-lier fluorescent fixtures which is no surprise as the Fleur-o-lier fixtures were designed by Mazda which GE engineering was heavily involved with at the time.
Also not surprising is that the GE RF fixtures and the early fleur-o-lier fluorescent fixtures look similar to the pre 1938 GE Mercury vapor fixtures that GE manufactured and sold in small quantities for special applications.
  
This required tilting of the RF fixture may have been a problem as early conventional fluorescent fixture manufactures stressed that their fixtures were not position sensitive and could be mounted in any position.

Also the RF fixtures were not cheap, a two bulb 8000 lumen RF fixture (without bulbs) for $570.00 each (2014 prices)
85 watt Bulb $75 each two for $150. (2014 price)
Total fixture cost $720 each for a 8000 lumen fixture.

By 1942 the Fleur-o-lier certified manufactures double 100 watt bulb T17 five foot fluorescent fixtures were available rated at 8400 lumens for a total bulb and fixture price of $426 (2014 price).
Miller and other RLM manufactures made similar type double 100 watt five foot T17 fixtures by 1942.
The overall wattage and fixture dimensions was about the same between the double 58 inch T10 bulb RF fixtures and the double bulb 100 watt 5 foot T17 fixtures.

Looks like in the end the conventional 100 watt 5 foot T17 fluorescent fixture finaly won out.
At least it did not have to be tilted. Grin

So the RF fixture was already obsolete by 1942 anyway.
Plus GE sold the 100 watt ballasts and bulbs to the Fleur-o-lier and RLM fixture manufactures anyway so GE still benefitted in the long run.
And of course Westinghouse made their own 100 watt ballasts, bulbs and fixtures.

However the RF fixture started instantly, the first instant starting fluorescent fixture.

"Better than daylight". Grin

https://ia600807.us.archive.org/5/items/ProductionLightingForTodaysIndustryRfFluorescentLampsLookToGe/GeneralElectricCompany-RfFlourescentLamps.pdf



A "brick" ballast innards. Grin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjPGGttPOe0


1949 GE lighting catalog. Wink
GE Canada.

https://archive.org/stream/GeneralElectricLighting/11005-R#page/n9/mode/2up


 Shocked Shocked Shocked
http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=137360



« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 09:08:23 PM by Larry » Logged

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Memorex_Telex
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Miroxaphene
Re: First fluorescent lighting installation in the world 1939 « Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 06:12:25 AM » Author: Memorex_Telex
My Westinghouse RF luminaire isnít tilted in any way. The tubes are completely level.
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vintagefluorescent
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Re: First fluorescent lighting installation in the world 1939 « Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 06:20:34 PM » Author: vintagefluorescent
Mine is a single bulb RF fixture I believe dates back to around 1941.

The fixture was under a table in an old attic from what I was told
The seller would not ship the light ,and I canít blame him,

I Love that Light !!

I drove all the way up to Massachusetts from Houston Tx to get that Light,
Iíll never forget that trip,
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subway5411
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Re: First fluorescent lighting installation in the world 1939 « Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 11:11:51 AM » Author: subway5411
The RF fixture was the only fluorescent fixture made by GE until 1948.

You sure about that? I have a General Electric 2xF40T12 Fluorescent Fixture made by CGE in 1945.
https://www.lighting-gallery.net/gallery/displayimage.php?album=3427&pos=1&pid=120750
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Memorex_Telex
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Miroxaphene
Re: First fluorescent lighting installation in the world 1939 « Reply #4 on: May 07, 2019, 12:23:42 PM » Author: Memorex_Telex
Where are the pictures of this thing? You have the bulbs?



Mine is a single bulb RF fixture I believe dates back to around 1941.

The fixture was under a table in an old attic from what I was told
The seller would not ship the light ,and I canít blame him,

I Love that Light !!

I drove all the way up to Massachusetts from Houston Tx to get that Light,
Iíll never forget that trip,
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vintagefluorescent
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Re: First fluorescent lighting installation in the world 1939 « Reply #5 on: May 07, 2019, 01:52:11 PM » Author: vintagefluorescent
Memorex_ Telex

I havenít had a chance to post pictures of it Yet ,

I recently looked it over and thought it was made by Westinghouse like Youres But it was made by General Electric,

The line cord is badly Frayed and the fluorescent bulb appears to be possibly burned out , The bulb reads Blue White ,
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