Carbide Generator Update: Well, at least it looks good… March 12th, 2019

Well, after last year’s long journey just to acquire a proper carbide generator for our truck, we managed to get it out for thorough inspection and restoration. Alas, she will not be lighting the truck with carbide gas due to some holes in areas essential to its safe function. I am a bit saddened by this as I was hoping to be the first person to use carbide light on a Liberty in God knows how long- however, we still managed to get the generator cleaned and painted to match the truck. Tom over at Firebrand LLC managed to help us clean up a few features on our older Solar model generator to include removing the mounting brackets cast into the body rim, and one of the two feed nozzles to better match the 1012-B model intended for the truck and allow it to mount into the firewall bracket. The older 712 model we have was designed to be mounted to a car’s firewall or side using brackets cast directly into its bronze body- a feature which keep it from mounting to the liberty as intended. It was meant to also power two headlamps, while the Liberty only has one search light needing one gas nozzle. These two features had to be modified in order to mount to the Liberty accurately (I apologize to all the brass-era restorers out there who are sobbing while reading this). If you missed our first post when we initially acquired the generator take a look here!

Solar Brand early model Generator on FDM truck COMPLETE
The ‘Solar’ brand Model 712 Carbide generator cleaned, painted and mounted on the First Division Museum’s second-series Class-B standardized ‘Liberty’ truck. Though an older model, it is nearly identical in dimensions and features to the 1012-B model intended for the truck.

Since taking this photo I have touched up the paint we scratched up in the process of mounting the generator (whoops) but she sure does look good! Though non-functioning, the presence of the generator on the truck will help us at the museum to better interpret the history of the truck and automotive design to the public as an illustration of what types of lighting used to exist before electricity became the standard. We also received our custom fabricated horn mount we’ve been dying to get which was the last piece of the puzzle. Once I find our Klaxon horn in the chaos of our most recent garage move, our truck will finally be complete.

Be sure to check out our post about the second-series Liberty Truck gas and oil lighting system for more info on the lighting system in its entirety.