The only copy known of this masterpiece of the electrical trade catalogues – 1911

The only copy known of this masterpiece of the electrical trade catalogues – 1911

1500 euros

Country of manufacture


Categories: Scientific Books, Early Technology, Engineering antiques


The Vitrite Works Limited, Catalogue of Caps for Incandescent Electric Lamps

Middelburg, Holland, 1911. 

4to of 1 pages and 41 plates ; publisher’s printed wrappers.


The only copy known of this masterpiece of the electrical trade catalogues printed in chromolitography with gold and silver reflects in 1911 


A splendid trade catalogue of 41 fine full colour plates with hundred of special electric cpas produced and used by the most important electric lamps makers like Edison, Siemens and AEG companies. 

This catalogue reflects the great scientific and industrial advancements of the second industrial revolution in which the invention of the incandescent light bulb and the electrification were the most prominent factors. 

I cannot find no copies in any library around the world and no reference anywhere. 

In the catalogue are illustrated 433 different electric caps, listed by their many different shapes and sizes and by their suitability as components of incandescent light bulbs produced by the most important international companies of the time (some of them founded by the main inventors of the different types of light bulbs, like Thomas Alva Edison, William Edward Sawyer and Alessandro Cruto): bayonet caps, Edison caps, central-contact caps, loop caps, Siemens caps, Cruto caps, Ganz caps, helios caps, Egger caps, Sussman 2-pincap, Bernstein caps, Andrew cap, Victoria-Brush caps, Sawyer-Man cap, Thomson-Houston caps. 

All the 433 caps except 5 are illustrated in two views, side view and bottom view, making a total of 861 images printed in this catalogue. All the plates have a light pink background. All the caps have their serial numbers printed. 

The colours of the caps in the parts printed in shimmering gold or in shimmering brown changes according to the angle in which they are seen under the light. Under certain angles they become brilliant and shimmering. 


The first 14 plates illustrate the bayonet caps. The following 17 plates illustrate the Edison caps, some of them of large and very large dimensions (with only one, two, three or four big caps on each plate). The last 9 plates illustrate the remaining 13 different kind of caps, including some of important companies like Siemens and of companies founded by important inventors like Cruto and Sawyer. 

In the last plate of Edison caps (plate 32), the serial numbers of some caps are followed by the name AEG, indicating that some of these caps were especially produced for the German company AEG. 


Alessandro Cruto was an Italian inventor who created the incandescent light bulb. His technologically new light globe had better efficiency than that of Edison’s light bulb, also because it produced a white light instead of the yellowish light of Edison’s globe. 

The Electro-Dynamic Light Company of New York was a lighting and electrical distribution company formed in 1878 by Albon Man, a New York attorney, and William Edward Sawyer, an electrical engineer and inventor. The company held the patents for the first practical system of incandescent electric lighting. It was the first company formally established to provided electric lightning and was the first company organized specifically to manufacture and sell incandescent electric light bulbs. Man and Sawyer were involved in many legal actions between 1880 and 1884 to protect these patents for electric lighting. 

The German company AEG originated in 1882, when Emil Rathenau acquired licences to use some of Thomas Edison’s lamp patents in Germany. In 1883 Emil Rathenau founded Deutsche Edison-Gesellschaft für angewandte Elektricität in Berlin, which became Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft in 1887. Initially AEG produced electrical equipment such as light bulbs, motors and generators. 


The basis for The Vitrite Works Limited was a light bulb factory, founded in 1887 in Middelburg. It was the second light bulb factory in the Netherlands. The British-American company The Vitrite & Luminoid Company, by Theodore Mace and Alfred Swan, supplied the lamp bases and lamp holders. These contain a glassy filler called vitrite, a mixture that replaced the usual plaster. This company was transferred from England to Middelburg in 1889 to bypass British patent legislation. This is how The Vitrite Works Ltd. came into being in Middelburg. 


Very fine condition. A rarity.

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FR Le Zograscope

Established by Alexandre Piffault in 2014 and based in Paris at 5 rue de Condé, 75006, very close to Odéon, Le Zograscope specializes in antique and rare books in Science, Medicine and Technology, and rare antique instruments in the same fields. We have especially a strong interest in early and continental microscopy, early and special mathematical/drawing instruments, medical and surgical instrument, and rare technology.

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