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Navy Speed Light

Article about: These were used to indicate a ships speed to the surrounding fleet by pulsing the light at certain intervals. I couldn't resist buying it off ebay some years ago. It still has the original M

  1. #1

    Default Navy Speed Light

    These were used to indicate a ships speed to the surrounding fleet by pulsing the light at certain intervals. I couldn't resist buying it off ebay some years ago. It still has the original Mitsubishi made bulb in it and it checks good with a meter. Interesting item I thought I'd share.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Navy Speed Light   Navy Speed Light  

    Navy Speed Light   Navy Speed Light  

    Navy Speed Light   Navy Speed Light  


  2. #2

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    Cool, the bulb has the Mitsubishi logo and the stamp on the apex of the globe reads マツダ Matsuda [Mazda to Americans!].


    --Guy

  3. #3

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    Quote by ghp95134 View Post
    Cool, the bulb has the Mitsubishi logo and the stamp on the apex of the globe reads マツダ Matsuda [Mazda to Americans!].


    --Guy
    Mucho Thanky Guy! Interesting that Mitsubishi and Matsuda would both be on the bulb. What does the writing say just above Matsuda?
    When I bought this there were two other lamps available. One had a green bulb and the other had a red bulb. It is believed that the green bulb was used when the ship was stopped and that the red one was used when the ship was backing up. I wish I could have picked up all three of these but just one was expensive enough. I found it interesting to see that they used 110 volts on these lamps. With the brass loops on the top and bottom I assume that they were hoisted together on one of the masts. I was in our Navy in the early '70s and don't recall us using lamps like this.

  4. #4

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    Quote by arisakadogs View Post
    ... What does the writing say just above Matsuda?..
    瓦斯入
    gasu iri
    Contains Gas

    The kanji [called "ate-ji", striking-words] are used to replicate the foreign word "gas" which in katakana is ガス (ga su). Here's the dictionary citation:
    ガス 《瓦斯 (ateji)》 (n) (1) (uk) gas (state of matter, e.g. poison gas, natural gas); (2) (uk) gasoline; gas; petrol; (3) (uk) dense fog; thick fog; (4) (uk) (abbr) (See ガス焜炉) gas stove; gas cooker; gas range; (5) (uk) (col) flatulence; gas; wind; fart;
    A better explanation of ateji at Wiki.

    --Guy

  5. #5

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    Just got this interpretation from my buddy Takehito.

    "Anyways, the stencil on the bulb says “Gas filled” and the maker “Matsuda” which was the light bulb subsidiary of Toshiba.
    The tags reads “Speed light Mod.1 (Single bulb)”, “Manufactured August 1941” and “Anzen Electric Industries Co., Ltd.”

  6. #6

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    Found this information on how the US Navy used speed lights. I'd imagine that it was similar or the same for the Japanese Navy

    Table 2-2.— Speed Light Signals SIGNAL SELECTOR SWITCH DIAL MARKINGS PULSATIONS Standard speed ahead Steady white light (motor off) One-third speed ahead One white flash in 6 seconds Two-thirds speed ahead Two white flashes in 6 seconds Full speed ahead Four white flashes in 6 seconds Flank speed ahead Five white flashes in 6 seconds Hand pulse key ahead Manually controlled (code same as above) Stop Steady red light (motor off) Slow speed back One flash in 6 seconds Full speed back Two flashes in 6 seconds Hand pulse key back Manually controlled (code same as above)

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