Updated 05-III-2016

Danvers Lamp

It is not certain when this Danvers factory was founded, but its original owners appear to have been the Boston Incandescent Lamp Company. It is believed to have been in existence in the early 1890s when the Edison litigation against infringing lampmakers reached its peak, because several references cite that this company manufactured the so-called "Pollard Lamp". Edwin Pollard was a glass-etcher of Cambridge, Massachussetts, and he developed a novel method of bringing an electric current through the envelope of a glass bulb without reliance on the usual metallic wires. Instead he applied a coating of fine silver powder in the form of an enamel glaze onto the internal surface of a glass stem tube, in two longitudinal stripes. After pinching this glass tube closed around a pair of metallic wires which penetrated only a short distance into the seal and made contact with the electrically conductive films, a successful current-carrying glass-to-metal seal was effected. Despite the different construction, the Boston Incandescent Lamp Co. was defeated in court in 1894. It is possible that the original company may have closed down at that time - it is notable that in 1895, it failed to file its tax returns for that year.

In 1906 however, a company of the same name in Danvers was still active in the electric lamp business - this time being involved in the manufacture of rejuvenated lamps. This was a popular business a century ago, in which the tips would be removed from burned out lamps, a hole made in the bulb crown, and a new carbon filament looped into the bulb and fixed in place before re-tubulating and exhausting the renewed lamp. This process allowed lamps to be manufactured for approximately two thirds of the price of a new lamp.

In 1906, the Boston Incandescent Lamp Company was taken over by the National Lamp Works of the General Electric Company. An announcement in February of that year notes its immediate move to new premises, in the old armoury on Maple Street in the same town. That building had been constructed approximately 20 years earlier as a skating rink. It is unlikely that the practice of rejuvenating lamps would have been popular with a manufacturer such as National, and the relocation may have been accompanied with a change of business from a lamp renewer to a lamp manufacturer.

Address Originally School Street<1906. After 1906 old armories building. In 1915, 128 Maple Street, Danvers, Massachussetts, USA.
Location Unknown.
Opened Prior to 1892.
Closed After 1915.
Products Carbon Filament Lamps, Pollard lamps, refilled incandescent lamps.

1 The Electric Incandescent Lamp 1880-1925, E.J. Covington, NELA Press 1988, p.34.
2 Boston Evening Transcript, February 27th 1906, p.7.
3 The Industries and Foreign Trade of Massachussetts, 1915, p.127.
4 Directory of Massachusetts Manufacturers, Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics, 1913.
5 Annual Reports of Public Officers and Institutions, 1894, citing existence in 1892.
6 Annual Reports of Public Officers and Institutions, 1905.
7 Advertisement in the Western Electrician, Vol. XXXVIII, 1906.
8 Office of the Attorney-General of Massachusetts, Annual Report 1897, p.89, citing failure to pay tax returns for 1895
9 Fire extinguished at century-old building on Danvers Square, including history of the factory, Danvers Herald, September 26th 2009.