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REVO B6024 Swan Neck Bracket

Genre: Swan neck bracket

The "swan neck" bracket probably gained prominence as the electric arc lamp became popular in the late 19th century. The arc lamp required suspending above the roadway by its canopy, so a sweeping, curved bracket was utilised to position the lantern relative to the column. With the advent of the inverted mantle, gas manufacturers followed suit; suspending lanterns by their canopies prevented shadows and the dark spaces associated with the early post-top Windsor style frame lanterns. Finally, the first lanterns for tungsten filament bulbs followed the trend and were also top-entry.

The swan neck was easy to manufacture from a iron or steel rolled tube. They were either fully formed to support the lantern directly, or finished on the horizontal so a decorative finial was required. Other decorations included the purely aesthetic scrollwork and collars, whilst tulip and leaf husks not only beautified the spigot cap, but also provided additional protection from rust at the joint between the bracket and spigot.

The swan neck was a popular choice for a "gas conversion" in the 1940s and 1950s where the original gas post-top lantern was removed and replaced with a swan neck and high level termination. As columns were originally made in various heights, swan neck brackets were also made in different sizes so the lantern height above the road could be standardised.

By the 1950s, the swan neck bracket was still extremely popular, as manufacturers were still producing large numbers of top-entry lanterns. However, the lines became simpler, and the decoration was eventually scaled down and finally removed entirely. It was a practical move: scrollwork and spigot joints formed dirt and moisture traps where corrosion could set in.

As side entry lanterns became popular, the swan neck declined in numbers. Brackets evolved into simple bracket arms, or became part of the column (as with the popular "hockey stick" column). However, the swan neck does live on, albeit in smaller numbers, and is still available as a "traditional" option for decorative and/or heritage style street lighting.


Name: REVO B6024 Swan Neck Bracket
Date: Circa 1930s - 1960s
Dimensions: TBA (height), TBA (width)
Specs: Large pointed finial, no scrollwork, collar, tulip joint with spigot
Lantern: REVO C13721/T




History

This simple bracket with only limited ornamentation appears in REVOís 1930s and 1940s catalogues where it shares a section with far more flamboyant brackets.

Options included two different heights (36" and 42") and the addition of a D.P. switch and/or fuses in a round fuse box.




Popularity

Despite its simplicity, this bracket was extremely popular, and was used for many REVO installations. The lack of any scrollwork also meant the bracket could be fitted with the large low pressure sodium lanterns of the era.





The REVO B6024 In My Collection

facing profile

This REVO C13721/T enclosed low-pressure sodium lantern and REVO B6024 swan neck bracket were purchased from the company demolishing Cane Hill Mental Hospital in 2009. It was installed on a REVO Moseley column and was part of an installation lighting the hospitalís perimeter road.




front profile

After over forty years of service, including a decade standing idle on the derelict site, the bracket was still in good condition. The silver paint (shared with the neighbouring Croydon installation) was still mostly intact with only limited numbers of rust patches.




trailing profile

Therefore the rust was simply treated and the entire bracket was given a new coat of primer and silver paint.




finial

The bracket was fitted with the classic REVO spiked finial. These are often broken so it was good to find a complete example.




fuse box: road side

The collar was the only decoration fitted to the bracket. No scrollwork was ever installed.




fuse box: pavement side

The bracket was screwed into a tulip joint and standard REVO C2035 spigot cap. (The later was also available to fit either a ¾" or 1" B.S.P. tube and could fit an inside diameter from 2" through to 5¼").




The REVO B6024 Bracket As Purchased

This lantern and its swan neck originally stood on the perimeter road of the legendary Cane Hill Mental Hospital in Coulsdon, South London. It was purchased from the demolition contractors in 2009 when the majority of the derelict hospital was pulled down.

Exterior lighting for the hospitalís road network, paths and exterior courtyards was provided by REVO. Itís thought that the hospitalís works manager probably asked Croydon Council for advice for suitable exterior equipment as Croydon used both REVO and the GEC for their lighting.

REVO 13271/T low pressure sodium lanterns were installed along the perimeter road on ornate REVO swan-neck brackets and REVO Moseley columns. Lesser service roads and paths were also lit by REVO 13271/T lanterns but mounted on Stanton 7 concrete columns with arched brackets. In other areas, including exterior courtyards and footpaths, a variety of REVO Magnalite lanterns were installed.

The bracket was in good condition but rust was gradually starting to take over.




Fellow urban explorer Marlon Bones took this shot of the fire-damaged Vincent/Vanbrugh in late 2007 and also included my REVO 13271/T lantern on the perimeter road. Another collector attempted to rescue the column but it snapped off at the door when it was pulled from the ground.