Cleveland, Ohio, USA - 1879 - Cleveland became the world's first city to be lighted electrically in 1879 when Charles Brush successfully demonstrated arc lights on the streets.
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...At five minutes before eight o'clock there was a flicker in the lamp nearest the Telegraph Supply Company's headquarters and immediately the twelve lights beamed forth from their various stations. The lamp posts are much higher than the gas posts, making the electric lamps like beacon lights.
Thousands of people gathered to witness the scene and as the light shot around and through the Park a shout was raised. Presently the Grays Band struck up in the Pavilion and soon afterward a section of artillery on the lake shore began firing a salute in honor of the occasion.
The light varied some in intensity at intervals, when shining brightest being so dazzling as to be painful to the eyes to look long at a lamp. In color it is of a purplish hue, not unlike moonlight, and by contrast making the gaslights in the store windows look a reddish yellow. Some people had raised their expectations too high and were disappointed because it was not as light as day but most people seemed struck with admiration, both by the novelty and brilliancy of the scene...
April 30, 1879
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