Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PEOPLE'S GAS. Electric Lights and Decorative Panels

In 1893 Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse introduced Alternating Current to Chicago and the World by using it to power Chicago's Columbian Exposition. Just 17 years later Peirce Anderson (an electrical engineer himself) used lighting as a design element of the new People's Gas Light and Coke Building.

Today, we take lighting for granted as a component of a building's design. In 1910 it would have been remarkable. But what could have been better advertising for People's Gas Light and Coke than a building on Michigan Avenue that lit the night -- especially when viewed from a horse-drawn carriage. The world was about to be a very new place.

Take a look at the Encyclopedia of Chicago for a "take" on electric lighting in 1908.

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