1906 photo of the same type of GE arc lamp just posted

By Mike Spadafora; posted December 21, 2010

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This is what they looked like in service in 1906

I recently found this interesting account of the operation of street arc lamps in a local newspaper published in Bristol, Ct.... John McCusker's life story

John writes:

"Wooding Street was another street that was closed and when the sand at the bottom got mixed with the snow you could sometimes make the turn on to Steward Street and go right to Farmington Avenue, so we really had wonderful places to enjoy the long winters we had."

"At night the streetlights turned on, and since they were carbon arc-lights they made a bright flash and a crackling noise until the electrodes adjusted the right gap. They would eventually wear down and the electric man would come with a long pole and bring the globe down to where he could work on it. He would remove the carbon electrodes, big black things like the lead in pencils and the diameter of a C flashlight battery, throw them in the gutter, install new ones and hoist the globe back up the pole.

As soon as he left we would go and gather the electrodes and they were terrific for marking out hop scotch squares on the sidewalk. Thank goodness we had stopped playing hop scotch by the time they replaced the lights with electric lamps"