Paint It Black

Dec 20, 1996

RAY: This summer when I was on vacation I had an occasion to go to a yard sale. It was some old house. They had a barn and lots of old junk there and they were about to throw it all out and then...

TOM: They said, "Hey, Ray would like this."

RAY: So I received a personal invitation. But I found one interesting item. It was a headlight and half of it was painted black.

TOM: The front of it?

RAY: Yes, the front of it. Yea, the part that the light comes out of it. What is called the lens. I could not find a mate. It was the only one there. The only thing I noticed was that it was old and that it was a 6 volt headlight, which means it was at least 45 years old.

TOM: Can I have it?

RAY: And the question is why was the headlight painted half black?

TOM: I know the answer to that ... they ran out of paint.

RAY: The hint is where I was. I was on vacation on Cape Cod. The other hint is you wouldn't be likely to find one of these in say Chicago.

TOM: What about Cleveland or one of those other Ohio cities...

RAY: You wouldn't find a similar one in Dayton, etc..

RAY: Here's the answer: Because it was during World War II, and areas which were along the coast had to paint half of their car headlights black so that cars driving at night could not be detected by enemy planes.

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