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kind pieces are worth close to a million dollars.
A Tiffany lamp that was $200 $300 when new is now worth more than $50,000, and some one of a Ferragamo Belt Yellow
I Versace Belts Red learned all of this at a program at the Amherst Town Library sponsored by the Amherst Village Questers. The speaker was Chris Allen, of Chris Allen Antique Lighting in Harvard, Mass., who spoke on "Early Electric Lighting in America." He had a selection of slides of various kinds of lights and Hermes Belts Black
"By 1879, there was street lighting in Philadelphia, and by 1882, in New York City homes," Allen said.
Chicago's Columbian Exposition in 1893 was the general public's first look at the potential of electric lighting. Westinghouse provided the lights.
When I think about what I learned about history in school, I like to think I learned it right, or at least remember it correctly.
there were candles and kerosene lamps. With both, the light is dim and labor intensive, and there is a constant risk of fire. Candles were expensive, and fumes from the kerosene later proved to cause respiratory problems.
Amherst library program tells tale of electric lights
The man who developed the metal filament, the sockets, and fuses and connections that wiring requires was George Westinghouse, who also devised and advocated alternating current.
"Electricity was not quickly adopted," Allen said, "because of superstitions and the unreliability of the power source, but almost every East Coast city had power by the 1890s."
Among the makers of elaborate lighting fixtures were Tiffany and Steuben, with various styles of stained and leaded glass shades.
"By the 1920s, electricity was the dominant form of lighting," Allen said.
"It was brighter and cheaper and provided direct light," Allen said. "It also extended the workday."
Gas lighting was prominent in larger towns in the 1850s.
Like most people, I associate Thomas Edison with electric light. Edison did have a lot to with it, but he was far from the first. He did patent the first potential incandescent light bulb in 1880, but its bamboo filament lasted about 14 hours.
Sometimes I get a delightful correction and learn a lot.
Allen's Antique Lighting dates to 1979. It has one of the largest collections of authentic gas and electric fixtures of all kinds from 1840 through about 1910. It has provided lights for several movies, including 2012's "Lincoln."
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The first electric lights were frequently combined with an existing gas fixture, especially in the chandeliers. But by 1910, Allen said, "Almost all of the parts had become less and less Victorian."
Those who later became General Electric brought power into homes. They standardized the light bulb, and made it cheap, widely available and sturdy enough to be shipped across country.
Electricity reached small New England towns in the 1920s, but not into the remotest areas until after World War II, when government loans were available to suppliers.
a number of fixtures from his collection, dating from the 1880s through the early 1900s.
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