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U.S. Signal Corps Heliograph

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Here is something not seen much anymore, a pre-WW1 U.S. Signal Corps heliograph. The device was produced by J.B. Colt and patented in 1902. This model was powered by the use of a acetylene generator, which was in a cylinder that was attached to the heliograph. The heliograph itself is very well made, heavy as its mainly brass. According the the 1916 signal corps manual, this device could produce 1900 candlepower, which is an obsolete form of measurement, however today the candlepower equals roughly 1 per 13 lumens. These devices were primarily used for night signaling and the range was about 30 miles. 

I have only been lucky enough to find the heliograph unit, I am still looking for the tripod and the generator. However the heliograph I have in in very good shape, with no real damage and seems to function as normal, the Morse key also functions. 








Except from the 1916 signal corps manual in which it discusses the device.


Image from the internet showing the heliograph and generator. 

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Here is an image from the internet showing the device in use. 


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