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Incandescent Globes

The invention of the tungsten filament bulb in 1907 changed the face of electric lighting. The bulbs were brighter and cast a pure, diffused white light. Bulbs were encased in frosted or opalescent globes and were mounted either alone or, more commonly, in clusters atop decorative, Beaux-Arts style posts. These bright white lights lined Main Streets and gave way to the term "Great White Way." This style of street light was often worked into urban plans, civic building designs and bridges. They generally date from the 1910s to 1920s.

Incandescent Globes

Incandescent Globes: Image courtesy of Alfred Holden. Other images courtesy of American City, 1911.

Incandescent, City Beautiful lights had their heyday at the same time that the automobile gained widespread popularity. The following images depict the use of incandescent globes on busy thoroughfares and bridges.

White Way

White Way: Image courtesy of American City, 1911.

Bridge Lighting

Bridge Lighting: Image courtesy of American City, 1911.

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