30 July, 2009

Let There Be Light - SkyWatch Friday


I liked this shot as it captured both the natural and very beautiful sky light and, the soft glow of a gaslight fixture. So wish I could have cleaned the glass on the light fixture.

In the early 20th century, most cities in the United States and Europe had gaslit streets. However, gas lighting for streets soon gave way to electric lighting. Small incandescent electric lamps began to replace gas lights in homes in the late 19th century, although the transition took decades to complete. Gas lighting has not disappeared completely from cities.

Cities that retain gas lighting now often find that it provides a pleasing nostalgic effect. Similarly, gas lighting is also seeing a resurgence in the luxury home market for those in search of historical accuracy.

The largest gas lighting network in Europe is probably that of Berlin with about 44,000 lamps. Quite a few streets in central London, the Royal Parks and the exterior of Buckingham Palace remain gaslit as well as almost the entire Covent Garden area. The Park Estate in Nottingham retains much of its original character, including the original gas lighting network.

In the United States, Cincinnati, Ohio still uses gaslight in many of its residential neighborhoods, as do parts of the famed French Quarter in New Orleans and of Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood.

South Orange, New Jersey has adopted the gaslight as the symbol of the town, and uses them on nearly all streets. Several other towns in New Jersey also retain gas lighting: Glen Ridge, Palmyra, Riverton, and some parts of Orange. The Village of Riverside, Illinois, still uses its original gas street lights that are an original feature of the Frederick Law Olmsted (a distant relative of Gaelyn at GEOGYPSY) planned community. Do click through to read more about him and Riverside, Illinois. Thanks for letting me know this Gaelyn...it should have clicked you might be related but, I did not think to ask.

The most popular gas lighting fixtures today are made from copper, a sustainable and durable metal that ages and patinas to protect itself from the elements. Gas Lights today are also used with electronic ignition systems that allow the lights to be controlled from an ordinary light switch. With energy conservation a pressing issue today, these systems can also allow gas lights to be placed on a timer or photocell so that they are not running continuously, only when needed. Today gas lights are widely used for creating ambiance and to accentuate a property's design.
(taken from Gas Lighting)

Do stop by and visit SKYWATCH FRIDAY. This meme is hosted by: Klaus Sandy Ivar Wren Fishing Guy Louise who do a fab job. We had over 300 participants last week. Come on and join in the summer fun!

65 comments:

James said...

I took a very similar picture this week and also thought about how it would look nicer if cleaned.

Beautiful picture and very good post.

Daryl said...

What a perfect light! And sky.

chrome3d said...

Very illuminating and lovingly presented post in many ways.

Gaelyn said...

Looks like a view from back in time. I just kept thinking about hand lighting them all. LOL!

My ancestor, F.W. Olmsted did a lovely job with the planning of Riverside. I had cousins that lived there when growing up.

Thanks for the great post and capture. Have a great weekend Erin.

Denise said...

Wonderful post Erin, so very interesting and what a splendid photo, I love it! Have a great weekend.

Tranquility said...

I think the smudged glass adds a little something to the effect of the image! Very pretty!

Pearl Maple said...

Sweet photo for sky watch friday, gas lights do add a pretty touch to street lighting like candles do to a dinner table. Thanks for sharing with us all in sky watch friday.

RuneE said...

This is the kind of picture I like to shoot myself and here you had in addition much information that was new to me. Thank you for sharing!

earthtoholly said...

A beautiful pic, as usual, Erin. I kinda like the filmy glass...a testament to the years and years of lighting the way for many. I love its antiquey look and of course it reminds me of the movie...

Sylvia K said...

Love the gaslight! Marvelous shot against the sky! Marvelous! Always enjoy the information that you include. Great post!

Have a lovely weekend!

Sylvia

Diane AZ said...

Marvelous picture and information. I think the glass looks charming just the way it is!

Ebie said...

Clean or not, I saw the beauty! Have a great weekend Erin.

Barb said...

Erin - I'm glad you didn't have a step ladder - I like the smoky effect! This is a great pic - the juxtaposition of the daylight/blue sky and the gas light which signals us to think of dusk.

Photo Cache said...

Looks like the gas lamp is lit in the day time.

Dan said...

Who cares if its a bit dusty, beautiful shot I say! I like strong colours myself and this was just perfect.

J Bar said...

Good one.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Carver said...

Beautifully dreamy shot and also very interesting post!

Danton said...

Very artistic way of presenting another view of the sky with more than enough info, too. Thanks and have a good weekend now.

alicesg said...

Very beautiful photo of the lamp. It looked like a painting. Have a nice weekend.

napaboaniya said...

The light from the lamp glows beautifully against the sky :)

Arija said...

I am so glad that old fashioned lampposts are being used again with their golden glow of light.
The transition periods of the day are my favourites, where there is enough light to have muted colour in the landscape, but the lights are turned on and not showing too brightly. Nicely captured.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Great picture and interesting history lesson.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Great photo and very interesting facts too Erin.

Sue said...

Great photo! I love your beach/ocean photos, too. Thanks for your comment on my SkyWatch post!

Lew said...

They do provide a softer, and a more nostalgic, light! Beautiful sky watch!

Regina said...

Beautiful!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Very classic subject choice. And such a beautiful photo, too.

Hugs for you,
~Lisa

magiceye said...

lovely!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is a fantastic shot !! Thanks for sharing the beauty..Lovely..Unseen Rajasthan

Reader Wil said...

Well Erin, that's interesting! I didn't know that gas light was still used. I learn a lot from blogging! Thanks.

Rob Inukshuk said...

It's a great shot and I happen to like that the lamp is au natural, not cleaned. Great capture.

MedaM said...

What a beautiful sky watch photo. I so much like that gas lamp and its soft glow light. It looks so special, romantic …nostalgic…

Pam said...

A very lovely photo and commentary on the gas lighting of days gone by and of today...
We had a gas light when we lived in NJ, and I always enjoyed the soft flickering glow illuminating from it. It was more than just a lamp, it provided a peaceful eternal light...
Have a delightful weekend and thanks for stopping by :D

Pagan Sphinx said...

Excellent photo and a great write-up on gas lights. I love them.

Have a great weekend.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Erin: Cool shot and maybe cleaning the lamp would have taken something away from the shot.

Melusine said...

Interesting image and a beautiful gaslight :)

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

I so enjoy your marvelous photos, especially with the accompanying text. Now I want to drive to Cincinnati to see the gas lamps. Actually, I know where some are in Greensboro. The ones that burn eternally do seem indulgent and wasteful. However, at dusk, they are magical!

Gattina said...

How interesting I didn't know that about Berlin and London.
I love these street lights they look so romantic and not as ugly as the new once !

Larry D said...

Wonderful photo and post!

Mike said...

Nice angle and I love the glow :)

Light and Voices said...

I received illumination this week from you blog in two ways: story plus light. Great job!
Joyce M

Small City Scenes said...

Neat shot. I've seen the light! MB

Alexander said...

Nice lamp. It was well capture with the sky as the backdrop. Our natural lighting element. haha...

Have a wonderful weekend.

Alexander
Alex's World! - http://www.kakinan.com/alex

Bradley Myers said...

Great sky watch post, thanks for stopping by.

fourwindsphotojournal said...

A nice shot, and information, too!
I would have thought the glass was frosted if you hadn't mentioned it.

Baron's Life said...

Superb visual beauty...thanks for the history as well.

George said...

I didn't realize that there were so many cities that still had gas lighting. Gas lighting certainly creates a softer atmosphere than most other lighting.

Sharon said...

Wow, your photographs are amazing! I love this shot and all the others that follow!

Annie said...

You always have a very interesting story to go with your photos! Thank you!

And thanks for your visit to my gum tree skywatch.

SandyCarlson said...

That's a wonderful photo. Thanks for the history, too. Your blog is always a delight.

FA said...

Awesome shot. I read in one of your comments about "eternal" light. I guess this is one of those.

San Diego, California has an area called "Old Town" that still maintains their gas lights. They do lend a special charm to the ambience.

Thanks for visiting MonasteryDailyPhoto.

Stephany said...

Great shot! This is one of my favorite types of photos. The info about the gas lighting is very interesting.

Tanya said...

Beautiful Erin! And who knew so much about gas lighting, interesting!

Tanya said...

oh and I love your knew banner photo :)

Kirigalpoththa said...

Very nice!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Neat photo, Erin, and wonderful words. I had no idea some U.S. cities use gas light.

diane said...

Lovely shot and interesting info. i didn't even know that gas lights were still used.

Sally in WA said...

Beautiful picture!

Linnea W said...

Looks like it's suspended in those lovely soft skies! Thanks for your visit to my SWF post...hi from sunny California...

Dewdrop said...

What a beautiful and wonderful angle.

Wolynski said...

I'm always impressed by how much research you do with your beautiful photos.

Bird said...

This is a lovely picture - and the post is so informative. Covent Garden is lit by gaslight? Really? And I hadn't noticed! Now I have to go and check it out...

Gill - That British Woman said...

What a lovely photo, very original..

Gill in Canada

Susie of Arabia said...

Thanks for all the interesting background on gaslighting! I love little lessons like this!

The Tile Lady said...

Oh, no...the frostiness of the gaslight's glass just adds to the beauty of this shot! Great photo!
Marie