A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

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KimDobbins
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A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by KimDobbins » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:35 pm

Atwood-Castle Co. was established in late 1908:

· “F.E. Castle, formerly with Gray & Davis, of Amesbury, Mass., has again gone into the lamp business by acquiring an interest in the Atwood Mfg. Co., of Amesbury. As a result of the arrangement the name of the company will be changed to the Atwood-Castle Co., for the future.”

o Source: The Motor World, November 12, 1908.



The Castle Lamp Company announced in March 1910:

“The centralizing of the automobile industry in the states of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana is the reason given for the recently announced removal of the Atwood-Castle Lamp Company from Amesbury, Mass., to Toledo, Ohio.

The first step in the removal plans of the company was the reorganization and the increase of the capital stock to $300,000. The concern at present has orders amounting to $300,000 and the plant at Amesbury will be kept running until the new Toledo factory is ready. The company is now discussing sites in Toledo and will select one as soon as possible and rush its new factory to completion.

The reorganized concern will be known as The Castle Lamp Company, with F. E. Castle as president, and will continue the manufacture of automobile, commercial vehicle and boat lamps on an increased scale. When the new Toledo factory is put into operation employment will be given to 500 men, and increase of 300 over the present number of employees.

Mr. Castle, who is also to be general manager of the reorganized and enlarged company, said that the chief reason for the company’s removal from the Massachusetts town was that it is too far away from the center of the automobile industry. He points out that by far the greater number of motor car factories are located in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, and that the bulk of his company’s output is absorbed by three companies.”

o Editorial notes: the three auto companies referenced in the last sentence were likely Ford, Overland, and Jackson; apparently company plans changed subsequently to this article, as The Castle Lamp Co. was ultimately located in Elmira, NY.

o Source: The Chicago Inter Ocean newspaper, March 11, 1910.

A few of the early model T's used Atwood Castle lamps. The first headlights used were the model 84. They are beautiful and well made headlights, but were a little pricey when compared to the E&J model 466 headlights which were much more common on 1909 Fords.


Scott Rosenthal
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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:17 am

atwood castle bruchure 1909 1-17-2020.docx
(263.67 KiB) Downloaded 28 times
This brochure from Atwood Castle dated 1909 announces F.E. Castle joining this company. Another trade publication says Atwood Castle was incorporated late in 1908 as the result of the merger of the Atwood and Castle lamp companies. Get's a little confusing where Castle production is mentioned at Amesbury, Elmira, Detroit, and Toledo. Yet another trade publication states that Castle Lamp Co. is controlled by John L. Willys, president of the Overland Auto Co. Does this mean that Overland controlled Atwood Castle, or possibly controlled the Castle Lamp Co. prior to the 1908 acquisition?

Castle lamps come up for sale regularly, where some examples are brass bale handle lamps that appear to be very early (pre 1910) auto and/or carriage lamps? F.E. Castle is noted as having been associated with the Gray Davis Lamp Co., Castle Lamp Co., and Atwood Castle Lamp Co. Wow, this guy really got around!

Bruce McCalley references what he refers to as the Atwood Castle #204 side lamp for 1909, where his accompanying photo shows the Castle #204 side lamp. No question is this lamp is a Castle #204 side lamp, as per stamping that can be seen on the chimney cap. I have never seen an Atwood Castle #204 lamp, perhaps others here have? Curious what data Bruce used to form his position on these.

Invoice data in Bruce's Black Book for 1909 shows the Atwood Castle headlamps being used generously until approximated #5200. Also shows that prior to approximately #2500, headlamps are noted as a "YES" but mfr. is not identified. If assuming that A/C lamps were also used pre #2500, and assuming the same percentages of these being used throughout Bruce's 100 serial number increments, would this not imply it likely that these headlamps were used on thousands of the approximately 8000 1909 model year cars sold?

Side and tail lamp identification is especially sketchy, where these do not show up on Bruce's early abbreviated invoice data, and are randomly not identified on the individual "Build Sheets". Unrelated early auto data shows where some early manufacturers shipped cars to dealerships without fragile items like lamps, horns, and windshields, where it was the role of dealers to furnish these out of dealership inventories or to source those parts locally. Ford shows where these parts were furnished as Model T Standard equipment, but does this exclude the possibility that that Ford dealers installed these parts out of their inventories? Being relatively delicate and reliable commercial parts which were not required to mechanically qualify the automobile, one could question whether these were at least removed prior to shipment and packed for protected handling. Would Ford or the parts suppliers ship these parts separately in bulk to dealers, to reduce handling and avoid the potential of damages? Seems like this would have been an efficient, and less costly process....cost being the operative word here.

Regards,
Scott

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:10 pm

i have about 12 -204s all marked castle.about the same 104s marked atwood castle.all used on overlands 1911-12,always need more.charley


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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:28 pm

Hi Charley:
You have 104 or 104A lamps, or YES? For any unfamiliar, unlike the 120A's 104's and 104A's are distinctly different from each other. I'm led to believe it is the 104 that was used on the 1909 Model T, however am not aware of how this is known to be certain?

Regards,
Scott

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:46 pm

mine are 104-a. need at least 5 to make one light ha,ha. charley


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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:55 pm

atwood castle 104 and 104A    1-17-2020.jpg
Funny you should say that Charlie. If this photo was oriented properly, the front left lamp is a 104, and the other 5 are 104A's
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Scott

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:21 pm

have you seen any difference???? charley


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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:14 pm

At least 6 features:

1) Chimney cap is stamped underlined #104
2) Chimney tier has 6 1/4" holes thru the underside
3) Red Jewel is opal, not faceted
4) Housing base is cut for 2 lug font, not 3 lug
5) Font has larger gauge 2 lug mounting not 3 lug
6) Taller Font has 3/8 tall collar that overlaps housing base

Bevel glass, reflectors, bracket mounting, smoke collar, chimney tier top, regulator, all look identical as #104A
Regards,
Scott


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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:08 pm

castle lamp co. 204 ane 120A   1-18-2020.jpg
Tail lamp shown here is Castle Lamp Co. #120A Made in Amesbury Mass. Doesn't say this was made by Atwood Castle Lamp Co, but it unquestionably was. Strange that the Castle plant address on this lamp is not Elmira? I would love to see the chimney cap on the identical Dietz 120A right now on Ebay. Dietz was out of NYC, but will bet a dime to a doughnut that lamp also shows Amesbury.
Regards,
Scott

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:13 pm

what do we know about this lamp.nickel,flat red glass,ring at the bottom of the body???? charley
Attachments
120-A TAIL LIGHT 003.JPG
120-A TAIL LIGHT 002.JPG
120-A TAIL LIGHT 001.JPG


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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Mon Jan 20, 2020 4:21 pm

It is identical to my A/C 120 except for:
-Nickel finish
-Red lens is flat instead of opal face
-Font fitter has concentric relief at the bottom
-Chimney cap has been squashed, otherwise identical to my brass 120

Red lens does not strike me as original as per other A/C 120, 120A. or 120X examples, and because this lens OD retainer geometry does not look like other A/C rolled lens housings. Have not seen too many flat glass applications like this on any lamp that are not a repair. Could possibly be that someone back in the day produced such a replacement lens and frame for repair purposes, where rear lamps and headlamps were repair candidates as the result of front end and rear end collisions. If the lower concentric fitter feature is for the earlier style A/C (2) lug font, this housing will have (2) larger lug cutouts, not (3). As for the finish.....no idea....never seen one that was nickel plated. Could be this is a later plating job, where I have seen later nickel finish for both brass lamps and horns. I will assume this was intended to reduce upkeep, and to maybe
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Scott

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:13 pm

how about a gas burner looks org?? the nickle light looks very org not a repair job.most times if you didnt like brass you just painted it black. it has the 3 luge tank. charley
Attachments
120-A GAS 003.JPG
120-A GAS 002.JPG

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:48 am

this is what most look like today.ha,ha. charley
Attachments
120-APAINT IT 001.JPG


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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:11 pm

120A in distress  1-21-2020.jpg
Or like this 120A. this one has slight stress cracking....a little TLC and will be good as new.
Regards,
Scott

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:22 pm

here we have another oddball, chimney top and neckXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX charley


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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by Scott Rosenthal » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:28 am

As discussed, A/C produced dozens of versions of this 120 series lamp. Examples I have show there are at least (3) distinctly different chimney configurations, all using this 120 platform. If assuming a nickel plating option was offered, the number of these variations could climb exponentially.

The 120A recently posted shows this domed and tiered chimney that matches the 104 and 104A side lamps...perhaps an aesthetic thing, or perhaps tailored to a specific customer, or possibly some performance enhancement? I'm not aware of another early lamp version where there are so many variations, and certainly no example where a manufacturer was building lamps to sell under a competitor's name...remarkable.
Regards,
Scott

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Re: A bit of history on the Atwood Castle lamp co.

Post by HornsRus » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:54 pm

i am done with these,time to move on to the 1909-10 overland j-b lights.then maybe i can get back to gas pumps. charley

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