Tuesday, November 28, 2023

One Streetlight for Many Blocks

Way before electricity, city officials saw the benefit to lighting up the street so that people could find their way around. When electricity was in its infancy, some towns took the easy way- instead of replacing hundreds of gas lamps, why not just built one tower, or a few, for big cities, and make it very tall? As far as electrical use worked, they were primitive, but they worked. Eventually, cheaper, safer, and more efficient electric streetlights were developed, and these "moonlight towers" were replaced. Except in Austin, Texas. Austin decided to keep the towers as part of the city's personality, although they have been rebuilt and restored. Tom Scott gives us a rundown on the towers, how they worked, and what they look like today.  

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