The Beacon is made with a Vietnam War cluster bomblet. Six spring-loaded stabilizing fins are nickel-plated for a durable, bright shine. These support the highly-polished shell, which holds a standard light socket and a rotary switch. Included is a “squirrel cage” 30W bulb* (on the left in the first photo), which gives off a candle-like glow. Base is 5 5/8″ tall (9″ with bulb), and approximately 7″ across; cloth-covered power cord is 6′ long with a vintage-style plug.
Cluster bombs were hollow cylinders, with compartments packed with these explosive bomblets. At a certain altitude the casing of the cluster bomb would split, and the bomblets would spring open and fall towards the target. Unfortunately, bomblets sometimes failed to detonate on impact, leading to civilian deaths for years after the end of conflict. 105 countries, including the United States, have agreed to ban their use. The bomblet used in this lamp was a practice dummy, and never contained explosive material.