Project of the Month for June, 2005
This project involved the restoration of six cast iron torchieres and twenty-three bronze signs, circa 1935. The torchieres were in very bad condition with severe rust due to poor drainage, miss-matching plastic lenses, missing finials, cracked castings, etc. New tempered, frosted glass lenses were sealed into the frames and new drainage holes opened. All parts were repaired or replaced with exact-matching new. The iron was completely disassembled, de-rusted and re-painted as per the specification.
The rust damage was substantial, especially to the lantern base plate.
Damaged parts were repaired and all parts were primed and painted as per the specification, inside and out, all surfaces. This can sometimes be a challenge.
Sealer was used to prevent water from wicking into gaps via capillary action. All fasteners were replaced with either brass or stainless steel. The center column and fittings acting as the spine of the fixture were replaced with stainless steel.
The torchieres were manufactured by Michaels Art Bronze Co, of Covington KY, a well known foundry in its day with substantial capabilities. These torchieres were used on other government projects from the 1930s and have been found in at least one other manufacturer's catalog.
The signs were of soldered bronze, polished and lacquered. We repaired and re-finished them, adding modern lighting and replacing one shattered glass face.