X-RAY SPECS: A Guest Blog By Young Man Gone West
Richard, blogger extraordinaire, going by the pseudonym ‘Young Man Gone West,’ (YMGW), has kindly allowed me to post his wonderful blog ‘X-Ray Specs’ for our Mullard Antiques readers.
Some of you may recognise this Halsey USAAF X-Ray Warning Light from our website. YMGW purchased the light and has ensured that it is now in full working condition. The blog explains more about its fascinating history with some great accompanying images!
I think we can all say that YMGW has done a good job on the post and the light. Wonderful to see the lamp in working condition. A real vintage statement piece!
Likely manufactured in the late-1960s but updated in the mid-1980s – the Freed transformer inside is dated August 1969, but the Soderberg anti-collision beacon October 1985 – this Halsey industrial X-ray warning device was used by the United States military. The item bears an affixed metal plate, plus a sticker from the time of its disposal, that together provide valuable information on its origins.
The Disposal Turn-In Document (DTID) number acts as a unique disposal serial number. The first six places provide the Address Activity Code. FB5587 is RAF Lakenheath. The light was, thus, used by the USAAF. The next four places indicate the date the item was catalogued for disposal. Per the US military’s adaptation of the Julian dating system, 9196 is 6 April 1991.
The National Stock Number (NSN) system was standardised by NATO in 1974 to track military assets, although versions of it existed prior. The first four places indicate the Federal Supply Classification Group. FSCG 9905 is for signs, advertising displays and identification plates: even military ID plates have their own ID codes! 00 in the fifth and sixth places indicates the United States.
Demilitarisation Codes indicate the degree of physical destruction required. DEMIL: A denotes a non-munitions/non-strategic item that does not demand any such. $2,245.63 is understood to be the asking price at disposal in 1991, over £3,000 at 2017 prices. The Federal Condition Code is given as A1 – serviceable without qualification, new/unused.
Halsey was a trademark of Post Glover Medical Products, of Erlanger, Kentucky. Established in 1938, the company supplied medical items, including X-ray illumination boxes. It still trades, as PG LifeLink. The light would have been supplied via the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Georgia, part of the USAAF’s Materiel Command.
Shaped like a truncated pyramid, the device stands 29 inches tall. When switched on the Lucite panels are illuminated from within, and the twin bulbs in the beacon rotate within the red glass housing. Built to operate on US 115v mains, the light has been converted to run on UK 240v, with a new transformer inserted to provide steeped-down voltage for the 28v DC beacon. The original transformer and Hubbell connectors have been left in place, to enable any future reinstatement to the original set-up.
(Many thanks to Steve and Karen, of Mullard Magic, for assistance with the item’s history; and to various members of the UK Vintage Radio Repair and Restoration Forum for advice and parts.)
Post written by Richard: Young Man Gone West (YMGW)
Thank you to you YMGW too! And for all Mullard Antiques blog readers, please click on the following link to YMGW’s website for more fascinating posts.