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Elder pith

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Hi all, I imagine the title may raise some eyebrows, but I have a box of Elder Pith bundles for which I would like to find a loving home. A quick Google tells me they are used by watchmakers, so a REME Instrument Tech would seem a likely user. As there doesn't appear to be a section for instruments specifically, I hope here is as good as anywhere to post.

 

The box is labelled: Z1 X4 0535 although the X4 is unclear and could be incorrect; does anyone know?

 

As it's too good a chance to miss, I have to say, if anyone wants to take the pith, please let me know.

 

Steve.

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VAOS Section Z1 Wireless sets & associated stores. Can't think that it is VAOS Section X4 as that is nuclear lamps. Perhaps X4 is the quantity?

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VAOS Section Z1 Wireless sets & associated stores. Can't think that it is VAOS Section X4 as that is nuclear lamps. Perhaps X4 is the quantity?

 

Hello again Clive, another bit of a mystery. The quantity on the label is 1 (bundle), and the bundle consists of about a dozen sticks.

 

As I said, the X4 is unclear and could be XA or X6. Are either one a possibility?

 

Steve.

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Steve XA & X6 make no sense. The dominant Section is the first one Z1, subsections Z1/ZA are not uncommon but my VAOS Z1 is not early enough to pick up 0535.

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I believe it could be used for holding specimens when working with a microscope.

 

That's interesting Richard. I'll have to have a longer Google and see what else is possible. The box was acquired in Woolwich when the MAGs closed down and the workshop on the Ha Ha Road site was abandoned, so it could have been used by Med & Dent, Electronics, Vehicles or Weapons staff. A lot of useful kit was binned, including boxes of radio valves, which would probably be worth a few bob now!

 

Anyway, if anyone actually has a use for such stuff, no charge, I will even cover the postage, as it will be minimal, so any pith-takers?

 

Steve.

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Clive, after reading Richard's posting I found several references to using the pith to make thin sections for putting under a microscope, plus various cleaning processes for delicate tools etc. Together with fishing floats and pin-cushions it is versatile stuff, so an end-user could be anyone.

 

As for the number, I'm still not entirely happy with it but believe Z1 XA 0535 is probably it.

 

Steve.

Edited by Ex-boy
missing apostrophe!

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Steve I can't do anything with that number I'm afraid. I have two discs of part numbers & sometimes bits of a part number can be picked out. But they only run on XP & the old PC is packed away in storage for now. But Z1 seems strange for this item, without knowing its intended application I can't think what the most likely VAOS Section would otherwise be.

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Sounds like elder pith is used in repairs of instruments, clocks, etc. Just found the following link, look at post #10 :

http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15340

 

There is so much information on the web that it is hard to know where to start, so thanks for another fascinating link. My comment on radio valves seems even more relevant in light of the vintage radio forum.

 

I suppose at the end of the day the part number is immaterial as long as the item is identified and someone has a use for it.

 

Thanks to both you and Clive for your time and efforts.

 

Steve.

Edited by Ex-boy

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There is so much information on the web that it is hard to know where to start, so thanks for another fascinating link. My comment on radio valves seems even more relevant in light of the vintage radio forum.

 

I suppose at the end of the day the part number is immaterial as long as the item is identified and someone has a use for it.

 

Thanks to both you and Clive for your time and efforts.

 

Steve.

 

Section X was "Searchlights, generating sets and general electric light stores", originally, so the elder pith may well have been used in the servicing/maintenance of artillery instruments, etc. (Though Z1 is radio, so might have been for the instrument mechanics use.)

 

I think they merged Section X into another area at some point.

 

Chris.

(Google found this hit:

 

Vocabulary of Army Ordnance Stores, 1926-1934: Section S1 Ammunition for Medium, Heavy and Coast Defence Artillery (explosives) ; Section S2 Ammunition for Medium, Heavy and Coast Defence Artillery (non-explosives) and Empty Packages ; Section T1 Trench Warfare Ammunition, Demolition Explosives, Cordite in Bulk, Gunpowder, &c. (explosives) ; Section T2 Trench Warfare Ammunition, Demolition Explosives, Cordite in Bulk, Gunpowder, &c. (non-explosives) and Empty Packages ; Section U Miscellaneous Ammunition and Magazine Stores ; Section V1 Range-finding, Optical and Associate Stores ; Section V2 Surveying and Drawing Instruments and Watches ; Section V3 Cinematograph and Photograph Requisites ; Section W1 Field Works, Mining and Water Supply Stores ; Section W2 Electric Cables and Wires, Primary Cells and Miscellaneous Electrical Stores ; Section X Searchlights, Generating Sets and General Electric Light Stores ; Section Y Signal Stores Line and Visual ; Section Z Signal Stores Wireless Also Protable Secondary Batteries

 

)

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In 1943 Section X was split into:

 

X1 Searchlights, sound location & associated equipment

X2 Generating sets, general electric lighting

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Sounds like elder pith is used in repairs of instruments, clocks, etc. Just found the following link, look at post #10 :

http://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15340

 

Another thank you in order. Having visited the above forum I think I will be able to offload an old VCR which has cluttered up my garage for 30 years!

 

I may eventually get my car in there.

 

Regards,

 

Steve.

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Section X was "Searchlights, generating sets and general electric light stores", originally, so the elder pith may well have been used in the servicing/maintenance of artillery instruments, etc. (Though Z1 is radio, so might have been for the instrument mechanics use.)

 

I think they merged Section X into another area at some point.

 

Chris.

(Google found this hit:

 

Vocabulary of Army Ordnance Stores, 1926-1934: Section S1 Ammunition for Medium, Heavy and Coast Defence Artillery (explosives) ; Section S2 Ammunition for Medium, Heavy and Coast Defence Artillery (non-explosives) and Empty Packages ; Section T1 Trench Warfare Ammunition, Demolition Explosives, Cordite in Bulk, Gunpowder, &c. (explosives) ; Section T2 Trench Warfare Ammunition, Demolition Explosives, Cordite in Bulk, Gunpowder, &c. (non-explosives) and Empty Packages ; Section U Miscellaneous Ammunition and Magazine Stores ; Section V1 Range-finding, Optical and Associate Stores ; Section V2 Surveying and Drawing Instruments and Watches ; Section V3 Cinematograph and Photograph Requisites ; Section W1 Field Works, Mining and Water Supply Stores ; Section W2 Electric Cables and Wires, Primary Cells and Miscellaneous Electrical Stores ; Section X Searchlights, Generating Sets and General Electric Light Stores ; Section Y Signal Stores Line and Visual ; Section Z Signal Stores Wireless Also Protable Secondary Batteries

 

)

 

Well, there's no sign of any date on the packaging, but it would appear to be pretty old stock. Thanks again for your trouble.

 

Steve.

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Although X4 is now the DMC for nuclear lamps, I forgot this only happened because the previous X4 became obsolete.

 

The earlier allocation now makes sense X4 - Electrical indicating instruments, qualified by Z1 showing it was those instruments in wireless equipment.

 

So Steve your reading of the VAOS part number was correct & now makes sense :D

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Just trying to find a time zone for your item Steve.

 

I have a VAOS index dated 1953. I see Sections X3 and X4 had just been allocated but no VAOS for those Sections had yet been published. Items started to receive NATO codification from 1956.

 

So it looks as if those piths date from mid/late 1950s.

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Just trying to find a time zone for your item Steve.

 

I have a VAOS index dated 1953. I see Sections X3 and X4 had just been allocated but no VAOS for those Sections had yet been published. Items started to receive NATO codification from 1956.

 

So it looks as if those piths date from mid/late 1950s.

 

Great detective work as always. Thanks again for taking the time. I still have no takers for the bundle, so maybe someone on the Vintage Radio Forum would like them, once my membership there is confirmed and I can post stuff.

 

Steve.

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Steve a further use for pith that has not been mentioned. I can remember as a small boy buying joke "floating worms", probably from the Elisdon's catalogue, to be dropped into someone's drink. These were just a few inches of pith, they certainly floated but did not make very convincing worms.

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Steve a further use for pith that has not been mentioned. I can remember as a small boy buying joke "floating worms", probably from the Elisdon's catalogue, to be dropped into someone's drink. These were just a few inches of pith, they certainly floated but did not make very convincing worms.

 

 

Hence the term 'catching fish on the float':whistle:

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