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The 1st experimental street lighting, Paris, 1844

The 1st experimental street lighting, Paris, 1844

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

First street lighting. Engraving of the first ever street lighting, in the Place de la Concorde, Paris, France. The lighting was arranged by the French physicist Leon Foucault (1819-1868), using a carbon arc lamp. This lamp consisted of pair of carbon rods through which a massive voltage was applied. The high voltage caused a spark to arc across the two rods. It also caused the carbon to vaporize and this caused a continuous bright glow. The engraving shows the bright light illuminating the Luxor Obelisk. This was bought back from Egypt by Napoleon in 1799. It was placed in the Place de la Concorde to mark the spot where Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were executed.

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