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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Apr 27 12:02 AM

Apr 27th, 2016: Moonlight

During the 19th century men invented the Dynamo, and being men, they kept developing bigger and better ones... more power, grunt-grunt-grunt. Scientist/inventors from around the world kept claiming mine’s bigger ‘n yours, with national pride and adulation, only to be topped a short time later. When asked, ‘What are we going to do with all this power?’, the reply was, ‘Not my job’. There were industrial applications but what society really needed was light at night.
Sir Humphry Davy had discovered the carbon arc light back in 1802 but the arc lamp was too intense to be endured at close range, making them unsuitable for indoor use. Even outdoors at streetlight height, these lamps required shielding to reduce the glare which meant that much of their light was wasted.

But they wanted light, so the world said love the one you’re with.

The city of San Jose, California, tried to solve the problem in 1881 by putting arc lights atop a 237-foot tall tower. A total of 6 arc lights were installed boasting a total light output of 24,000 candlepower. Soon other cities followed suit using these “moonlight towers” to augment their gas streetlights. But the king of the world was Detroit, Michigan, who replaced all their street lighting with 122 towers, at a height of 100 to 180 feet, lighting 21 square miles. Everyone jumped on the band wagon, so by 1884 there were already more than 90,000 arc lamps lighting American cities, 235,000 in 1890, half a million in 1900 and 1.2 million by 1910.
But in 1920 Edison changed the game with his incandescent light bulb. So the moonlight towers declined, were torn down, blown down, use for war scrap, until they were pretty much extinct… after all, they couldn’t run and hide like those pesky animals.

Except Austin Texas.

Bonus picture, Library of Congress power plant in 1920, with Edison’s bulbs.


Clodfobble  Wednesday Apr 27 12:15 PM

I had no idea why they called it the Moontower Comedy Festival. Neato.

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Apr 27 01:01 PM

Ya din't know this be Toad's edumacational site, did ja.

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