Models page 1: AC Ford, AEI, Bleeco, BTH



AC482, 140W SO/H from 1950s, Wolverhampton, Oct 2005 (Claire Pendrous)
AC712, 35W (was 45-60W SO), Sheffield, May 2006 (Claire Pendrous) AC762, 35W, Staffordshire (similar to Thorn Gamma 6) (Claire Pendrous)
AC710, 35W (Colin Grimes)    


Many of the Thorn models shown were originally AEI products, as shown in the table below: at one time AEI was using both names side-by-side. The BTH company was owned by AEI from 1927 to 1959.

Table of AEI lamps with Thorn equivalents

AEI Amber Minor / Thorn
Beta 5 (35W) (Mike Barford)

AEI Junior Amberline / Thorn
Beta 8 (55W) (Mike Barford)

AEI Amberline / Thorn Alpha 9 (90W) (Jonathan Salmon)

AEI Amberline / Thorn Alpha 5 (140W SLI) (Jonathan Salmon)

About the Alpha 9: AEI did make it as the “Amber”, but the shape and bowl of the lantern were based on an earlier AEI fluorescent lantern. The early AEI and BTH Amber lanterns were entirely different.

AEI products

Another Amber Junior, 35W, at Llay, Wrexham, 2003
Amber Minor, 35W, Mancot, Flintshire,
Amber Junior, 35W, Coedpoeth, Wrexham. 2003. Probably from 1950s.
Amber Junior (Simon Cornwell)
AEI/BTH Amber Mk V, 90W, Havant, Hampshire (Jonathan Salmon)
AEI/BTH, 85-140W SO, Nottinghamshire, 2005 (Claire Pendrous)
AEI/BTH Amber, 140W SO/H, Lichfield, Staffordshire, June 2006 (Claire Pendrous)


This company only existed from the 1930s to the 1950s and so it is unlikely you will see any of their lanterns today. However, it is interesting to see what sort of designs of monsters, sorry lanterns, were in use around sixty years ago! The 610 model was described as “extremely elegant” in the promotional literature of the time — well, at least in comparison to the other designs it looks a little more like more modern SOX lanterns. All the lamps shown are from the 1940s, and were supplied without gear.

“W” lantern no. 605 for 45W & 60W SO/H. Dimensions 16½″ long × 14½″ wide × 13¼″ deep, weight 17½ lbs, top-entry (Simon Cornwell)
“W” lantern nos. 606 for 85W SO/H (a 607 was also available for 140W SO/H). Lamp is shown with front glass removed. Dimensions: 23″ long × 14″ wide × 13½″ deep, weight 23½ lbs, top entry (same specs for both 606 & 607).

Streamline lantern no. 610 (side-entry) and no. 611 (top-entry) for 45W & 60W SO/H. Dimensions: 610 — 14″ long × 10½″ wide × 10½″ deep, weight 18½ lbs. 611 — 14″ long × 9½″ wide × 10½″ deep, weight 15 lbs.

The 610 lantern as fixed to a bracket.
Sodium cut-off lantern no. 617 for 85W & 140W SO/H. Dimensions 23″ long × 13″ wide × 10½″ deep, weight 16 lbs, top-entry (Simon Cornwell)
Streamline lantern no. 612 for 85W and 140W SO/H. Types 612 (top-entry) and 613 (side-entry) had double glass panels; 614 (side-entry) and 615 (top) had single panels. Typical dimensions 24″ long × 12″ wide × 10½″ deep, weight 18¼ to 30½ lbs. Variants for 45W & 60W SO/H were also available.

 BTH (see also AEI)

SL721 enclosed lantern from the 1950s. Variants available: SL721 — 140W SO, top-entry; SL722 — 85W SO, top-entry; SL730 — 140W SO, side-entry; SL731 — 85W SO, side-entry.

Typical dimensions 28¼″ long × 11⅛″ wide × 12⅛″ deep, weight 17 lbs. 45W & 60W versions also available.

SL 715 open lantern from the 1950s. Variants available: SL715 — 140W SO, top-entry; SL716 — 85W SO, top-entry; SL735 — 140W SO, side-entry; SL736 — 85W SO, side-entry.

Typical dimensions 26½″ long × 6⅝″ wide × 8½″ deep, weight typically 10½ lbs. 45W & 60W versions also available.

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© Matthew Eagles 2005. Page created July 2006; last modified 22nd October 2014.