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WORLD WAR TWO BAILEY BRIDGE TRAFFIC CONTROL LAMP:  World War Two in general, and specifically the preparation for the Normandy Invasion, resulted in the invention and development of a number of unique and fascinating “gadgets” to surmount the obstacles and solve the problems encountered by the combat soldier.  Due to the important part they played in the conduct of the war, or the association with specific events, some of these pieces of equipment gained notoriety and have become as famous and well known to historians as the battles in which they were used and the soldiers and units that employed them.  The Bangalore Torpedo, “Rupert” – the puppets parachuted into Normandy, and the toy crickets used for identification by the airborne troops are all well known to students of the Second World War, and on a larger scale the Bailey Bridge system certainly earned its place in this hall of fame of innovative equipment.  This portable bridging system carried countless allied troops across rivers, streams and obstacles on their way into Germany and there are likely few soldiers who served in France who did not at one time or another cross a span of a Bailey Bridge.   

This small lamp was part of the Bailey Bridge equipment set, used to illuminate the bridge and serve as a traffic control device.  This particular lamp has an amber glass lens; however I understand that they were also provided with a red lens.  Both colors of lens, angled and shielded so as to conceal the beam of light, were probably used together in sets to establish directions of travel on one way bridges to control the flow of traffic.  Each lamp was battery powered and equipped with an independent switch on the top of the lamp.  Measuring 4” high, 4” deep and 2.75” wide, the lamp is fitted with a collapsible bail-type handle on the top and a spring clip on the back for carrying or mounting on the bridge structure.  The lamp is in overall very good condition with the majority of the OD green paint intact, all the fittings present, the bulb present inside the lamp, the lens intact and unbroken, a functioning switch and the top cover present with both screws.   

Not particularly common or well known, it took me some time to positively identify this lamp and it will make for an interesting addition to your World War Two collection and a unique conversation piece in your display.  $65



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