The Restored W.W. II Searchlight
If you grew up in Los
you have seen Carbon Arc Searchlights light up the sky for years
Hollywood Bowl Concerts, grand openings of supermarkets, movie
and other functions. They worked very well for outdoor
Few people realize that all
Carbon Arc Searchlights are all over 60 years old. Ten thousand
made, mostly ending up in Europe for WWII. One guess puts the surviving
number at about 2500 worldwide. They were built by the
Electric and Sperry Gyroscope for the U.S. Military as
Searchlight Units. Their original purpose was to aide World War II
gunnery crews in spotting enemy aircraft during night-time air
These lights have not been built since 1944. They were no longer
useful to the military after the war having been replaced by the
of radar. As far as I know, my light is the only fully restored
in the country that will work with a Distant Electronic Control unit as
it was designed to do during the war.
In October of 2001, this
light was brought to Santa Clarita. The goal was to restore this light
to it's full W.W. II operating condition and appearance. All the
original parts and I.D. tags were to be on this machine. Over the
next 6 months, most of the light was taken apart for painting,
located many of the parts that were missing. Parts from hubcaps to
came from all across the country as far away as New York.
After months of hard work, the
light looks like it came off the showroom floor, and performs to
specifications. The light is as beautiful to see in the daytime
to rent our searchlight!
HERE to see some of the steps it took to restore this light!