Light bulb

Used mercury vapour light bulb. Elongated glass bulb with metal, three-pronged, basinet fitting. Inside the bulb is a frame which supports the arc tube (small glass tube in centre of bulb). The filament runs across above the arc tube. Used as part of set up for collecting moths on Mount Taranaki and other areas.

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Peter Peckham was a prolific bug collector throughout the Taranaki region and beyond during the second half of the 1900s. He worked closely with other local collectors such as Ken Fox. This light bulb was a part of his moth collecting set up. He would set out a white sheet over the ground and the place this bulb above it, attached to a portable generator for power. The moths are attracted to the light and so land on the sheet. This allowed Peter to pick up and choose which ones to take home and collect. The mercury vapour bulbs are hotter, brighter and produce a broader spectrum of light than ordinary bulbs, making them more attractive to nocturnal insects.
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