Not much can be said about putting solid values on
Delco-Light Plants. There are only
a handful of serious, die-hard Delco-Light collectors scattered around the
country. If one lives close to you
or really, really wants what you have you are in luck. Online prices mean nothing. Jockeys and dealers who pay too much
end up hauling these back and forth to antique power shows for years hoping to
get at least a percentage of their investment back out it. Like barn kittens most
people that have one just want to make sure that they find a good home. Here are some general observations.
32 volt D.C. Delco Fans are highly collectible. Fans, especially those with brass blades, are pretty cool to just have sitting around. They are relatively light, easy to ship and appeal to antique collectors. Expect to pay way too much for a 32 volt Delco fan if you really want one.
32 volt Delco Radios
are moderately collectible.
Virtually any old wooden case radio can be cleaned up to make a nice
display piece. Therefore they
also appeal to a wider audience including radio collectors. Prices for 32-volt D.C. Delco radios fall right in line with
radios of the same era that are in similar condition. Getting them working again can be an expensive proposition.
Delco-Light Literature/Advertising material is moderately collectible. Delco-Light advertising in the 1930’s was visually striking and has universal appeal to collectors even if they don’t know what a Delco-Light Plant is. Some of these items have been reproduced in order to service the needs of collectors so be aware that reproduction service manuals and re-cast Delco-Light salesman lamps are out there.
Glass Jar Batteries
are somewhat collectible. Although very fragile they are by no means rare but make for an interesting
conversation piece. Original
batteries with the cells and acid intact are all but impossible to ship
anywhere. BEWARE OF CAUSTIC HYDROCHLORIC ACID IN WET CELLS!
Accessories are somewhat collectible.
You can often see old appliances that are piled high on a shelf at an
antique store. 32-volt D.C.
kitchen appliances are often thrown in the pile along with everything
else - people usually don't know that they are special. Expect to pay the going rate
for a vintage appliance with the knowledge that it is most certainly burned out
from a fatal encounter with 110 volts A.C. Antique 32 volt D.C. motors and power stands are very sought after and usually demand a premium.
Engine-Generators are not very collectible. They are extremely heavy and not very well understood but they are a tinkerers dream come true. Even in 2013 these 90-year-old machines are still being sold as scrap for the copper in the generator windings. They are worth saving but never expect even a small percentage of profit or return on dealing or restoring them.
Shallow and Deep Well Pumps are not very collectible. Pumps are usually found rusted to bits in a basement, languishing in a grove or hiding in an iron pile. Seals and repair parts are hard to find.