Rus Articles Journal

When began to light lamps?

Now any city is inconceivable without street lighting in the evening - any lane is lit with light of lamps and advertizing. In antiquity the large cities were lit with fires and torches, but it were certain streets and the areas, and generally on holidays. And here systematic lighting and lamps appeared much later.

The first attempts of street lighting were made by the mayor of London Henry Barton. In 1417 he disposed to hang out lamps in winter time, however they gave not enough light as were with usual candles and oil inside. In century in Paris all inhabitants obliged to leave for the night the lamp in a window, trying to fight thus against darkness of streets - it is a question not only conveniences, but also safety!

But only in the seventeenth century the first streets of Paris became light at any time at Louis XIV - “The King - the Sun“. He issued the decree on foundation of municipal service of lamplighters. It is interesting that the church right there called lamplighters servants of a devil. It occurred for two reasons. In - the first, God created nights dark, and lamplighters break his will, therefore, serve the Devil. And in - the second, there is also more prosy reason: lamps refueled alcohol, and, naturally, lamplighters stole it, sold and drank, and their profession up to the nineteenth century was associated with incessant drinking that too a sin.

The first lamps on the Russian land appeared at the suggestion of Peter I. That was keen on the European culture and quite often brought foreign innovations home, lamps were the same “foreign gift“ also. In 1706 in St. Petersburg lamps were lit. They were hung up on the main streets on facades of houses. There was it not just like that, and in honor of a victory of the Russian army over Swedes near Kalish. But it was the single action - the lantern service was created later.

One decade later Peter I returned to a question of lighting. He seriously intended to make the European capital of St. Petersburg, and regular lighting of streets was just necessary. In 1718 64 lamplighters came to work. In their duty entered not only to light lamps, but also to serve them - to change oil, matches, to watch that reflectors were correctly directed. But you should not forget about the well-known white nights. Lamps of St. Petersburg were lit only from August to April. Was considered that in the rest of the time light-and without lamps.

In 1770 lamplighters there were about one hundred therefore, at last, the uniform service of lamplighters was created. What is interesting, over time she was subordinated to police. Therefore her workers had a salary, comparable with a quite good salary of policemen and the status of police officers. To get in lamplighters it was difficult.

Nevertheless, despite prestigiousness of the profession, lamplighters did not avoid also theft at work. The St. Petersburg lamps refueled oil which workers merged from tanks. Therefore the authorities tried to transfer lamps to alcohol. The failure decision worked out beforehand not for long - lamps ceased to burn, and lamplighters - to dry out.

Over time there were kerosene lamps, then gas. Lamplighters served both those, and others. And in 1873 there was the first electric lamp and the profession of the lamplighter began to disappear, let and not at once. The inventor could not introduce the child in production, the first dozen of electric lamps was delivered only in 1879.

On the eve of World War I less than a third of lamps were electric. However gradually they became more and more. They joined the uniform panel and did not demand such careful leaving. Gradually with extinction of kerosene and gas lamps streets were left also by the lamplighters serving to the cities more than three centuries.