The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE ELECTROLIERS OF THE MANUFACTURES BUILDING - Not only were there thirty-one acres to be lighted in the colossal building of the Exposition, but the unusual height of the hall was to be added to the difficulties of the problem of illumination. When we usually look at a candelabra or gasolier, we see a number of lights, and though the general effect may be one of splendor, the points of light are small; but here one lustre was made of arc lamps, and a double circle of these powerful candles extended around a periphery of one hundred and eighty feet, or sixty feet across. This vast apparatus hung on a steel shaft, seventy feet below the roof and one hundred and forty feet above the floor. The shaft was fastened to a bridge crossing the middle of the circle, and down the shaft was a ladder and around the double circle a wide foot path with railing. Seventy-six arc lamps hung on these circles in pairs, the pairs balancing each other over insulated pulleys. In the day-time the men who served as cleaners passed entirely around these circles, replenishing the carbon candles. There were four electroliers like this one, and a central fixture to which no less than one hundred lamps were hung, the diameter of the outer circles being over seventy-five feet. The summer and autumn passed; these five electroliers were kept in condition by visits down the ladders from the roof, and no accident marred their history. In this way, and in this way alone, it was believed could the electrical engineers deal with the difficulties of shadows from the cupolas, pavilions and exhibits that varied the great scene. Yet with all this light, it cannot be maintained that the great building was ever sufficiently illuminated.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998