Military issue 'dark lamp' and electric battery made by Kempthorne Australia in 1944. Painted khaki green. Metal cover which can be lowered over the light for use in black-out conditions. The lamp would give a glimmer of light, nearly enough to see the road by, but the light could not be seen from above.

Kempthorne was sequestered by the Department of Defence in 1939 to support the war effort, and made lamps for the air force, navy and army. The Kempthorne lighting business had been established by brothers James and Selwyn Coffey in Malvern in 1931. The business expanded with the addition of two further brothers, Erle and Terence, and was officially named the Kempthorne Lighting Company in honor of ancestor Sir John Kempthorne, who commanded the Mary Rose in the 17th century.

While World War II disrupted the domestic production of lighting, it stimulated new processes and techniques that Kempthorne used after the war, when accomplished industrial designer Joyce Coffey joined her husband Selwyn to lead the design team. (During the war, Joyce was seconded to work on mechanical engineering drafting for a highly classified Australian aerial torpedo.)

Physical Description

Small metal lamp painted khaki green with hinged metal cover and metal handle at top. Clip on back is impressed with inscription. Battery has a red, blue and white paper cover. The battery fits into the body of the lamp.

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