This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
With the series-lamp mechanism, the carbons are together when the lamp is first started and the current, flowing in the series coil, separates the electrodes, striking the arc.
When the arc is too long, the resistance is increased and the current lowered so that the pull of the solenoid is weakened and the carbons feed together. This type of lamp can be used only on constantpotential systems.
Fig. 35shows a diagram of the connection of such a lamp. This diagram is illustrative of the connection of one of the lamps manufactured by the Western Electric Company, for use on a direct-current, constant-potential system. The symbols + and - refer to the terminals of the lamp, and the lamp must be so connected that the current flows from the top carbon to the bottom one. R is a series resistance, adjustable for different voltages by means of the shunt G. F and D are the controlling solenoids connected in series with the arc. B and C are the positive and negative carbons respectively, while A is the switch for turning the current on and off. H is the plunger of the solenoids and I the carbon clutch, this being what is known as a carbon-feed lamp. The carbons are together when A is first closed, the current is excessive, and the plunger is drawn up into the solenoids, lifting the carbon B until the resistance of the arc lowers the current to such a value that the pull of the solenoid just counterbalances the weight of the plunger and carbon. G must be so adjusted that this point is reached when the arc is at its normal length.
Fig. 35. Series Mechanism for D. C. Arc Lamp.