Street Light Technical Information
Willis Lamm

Patents from 1894 through 1899

Patents are an effective way to understand the development of street lighting in the United States. In this section I have posted patents as I located them. (Early patents are difficult to locate as they were not cross-indexed.)

All patents are listed in order of their filing dates. Click on the patent number or thumbnail to view the entire patent.

Around 1890 electric street lighting started to dominate. Most street light circuits were high tension series, allowing many lamps to be controlled from a single point. Much of the developments involved devices that would keep the circuit alive if an arc lamp failed or incandescent lamp burned out. Many of these lamps were isolated by autotransformers, however a failed lamp could affect the efficiency of the circuit. Other devices were designed to help protect lineman servicing lamps and changing lamp bulbs.

Meanwhile inventors were still designing improvements to natural gas, acetylene and oil burning streetlamps that were still commonly used where electricity was not readily available.

Patent No. 0520232

Filing date: January 2, 1894
Patent date: May 22, 1894
Title: Electric-Arc-Lighting System
Inventor: Thomas Spencer
Claims: Arc light with more stabilized feeding system.

Patent No. 520996

Filing date: January 9, 1894
Patent date: June 5, 1894
Title: Electric-Arc Lamp
Inventor: Louis B. Marks and Clarence Ransom
Claims: 110 volt Arc lamp.

Patent No. 519849

Filing date: February 12, 1894
Patent date: May 15, 1894
Title: Alternating Current Arc Lighting System
Inventor: Thomas Spencer
Claims: Arc lamp designed to operate on alternating current.

Patent No. 521434

Filing date: March 31, 1894
Patent date: June 12, 1894
Title: Duplex Electric-Arc Lamp
Inventor: George F. Edens and John B. Brewer
Claims: Trip mechanism where one carbon set is consumed first, then the other set engages.

Patent No. 559066

Filing date: April 29, 1895
Patent date: April 29, 1896
Title: Mast-Arm for Electric Lamps
Inventor: Joseph J. Schickluna
Claims: Mast bracket arm with internal luminaire lowering device.

Patent No. 563922

Filing date: February 19, 1896
Patent date: July 14, 1896
Title: Electric-Lamp Stand
Inventor: Wilmer D. Gridley
Claims: Stand for lamps for outdoor illumination that cam also accomodate flower pots.

Patent No. 611766

Filing date: March 4, 1898
Patent date: October 4, 1898
Title: Device for Suspending Arc Lamps
Inventor: Joseph Borka
Claims: Adjustable bracket arm system for suspending arc lamps.

Patent No. 627239

Filing date: March 31, 1898
Patent date: June 20, 1899
Title: Street-Lamp
Inventor: Daniel J. Prendergast
Assignee: Pennsylvania Globe Gas Light Company
Claims: Improved street lamp powered by an oil reservoir.

Patent No. 0636327

Filing date: May 20, 1899, 1899
Patent date: November 7, 1899
Title: Means of Supporting and Bracing Yard-Arms for Arc-Lamps and such
Inventor: Herbert C. Wirt
Claims: Double guy supported long bracket arm for arc lamps.

Patent No. 634932

Filing date: July 12, 1899, 1899
Patent date: October 17, 1900
Title: Lightning Arrestor for Electric Circuits
Inventor: Herbert C. Wirt
Assignee: General Electric Company
Claims: Lightning arrestor for electric circuits including series lighting circuits.

Patent No. 663768

Filing date: November 27, 1899
Patent date: December 11, 1900
Title: Vapor Burning Lamp
Inventor: Gustav A. Loeben
Claims: Improvements in oil burning streetlamps where among other things the oil is heated by the lamp flame itself.

Continue to 1900 - 1909

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Please note: This index is a work in progress. If you notice an error or are aware of something that is missing, please feel free to Email me.


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