Also, our utility occasionally used open-type Wheeler fixtures with the mercury lamp mounted horizontally, in a self contained 100 watt fixture having a rounded, pointed end reflector. These made for great, in-plain-sight mercury lamp viewing!

Probably on account of the abundance of open-type mercury fixtures, mercury lamps themselves became my favorite type of street lighting lamp to look at. Through the 1960s I accumulated a fair assortment of these lamps. Phosphored ones were far more common than the clears; although I acquired a few from a small municipal utility that used a few here and there. In the supermarket parking lot where my late mother worked were globe type fixtures, four per pole on long pipe arms, with an occasional clear mercury that definitely stood out from the rest. The crisp blue and sometimes bluish-green color from a clear mercury lamp is unique. What a pleasure it was to go to the supermarket at night!

I always loved the BT clear-ended mercury lamp design and was rather disappointed in 1966 when General Electric introduced the "E" (elliptical or rounded-end) design that still is produced to this day. However Sylvania and Westinghouse continued to manufacture the good old BT shape for many years thereafter, to my satisfaction! Probably my most unusual mercury lamp captured in my earlier years was a mogul base 100-watt mercury that was of the PS-25 design (identical to the size of a household three-way, mogul based lamp). It was completely phosphor coated and was among the first 100-watt mercury lamps made commercially available, circa the late 1950s. Unfortunately the one I had got lost through the years and I never had the opportunity to obtain another since. These were used in self-contained Wheeler heads with porcelain enameled "half-moon" reflectors, usually with the photocontrol mounted separately. I remember seeing very few of these fixtures and PS-25 mercury lamps in service in my younger years.


On account of the abundant variety of street lighting fixtures and the presence of some really neat looking open wire telephone, telegraph and electric distribution pole line architecture in our area, I continually entertained myself by looking up at this fascinating construction. During my grade school and junior high years I supplemented this affliction by drawing sequences of individual poles, equipped with all the "goodies" outfitted upon them. I've always had a vivid imagination about admired things. My drawings were a very private pastime since I knew my classmates and others would never understand my bizarre hobby. I usually carried around a fully stocked notebook between classes and my artwork usually was assembled with individual pages that were removable. They were arranged so that they resembled a continuous pole line with open wire circuits spanning the poles, usually with a streetlight of some sort on most poles. As a pole got changed out, I would construct the changeover by drawing an equivalent, modernized pole and replaced the old with the new by inserting the new pole page. Such lines got to be well over 50 pages long and my drawing certainly proved to be very entertaining during boring classes and during study periods. My grades at school were most important and I did very well with my classes through the years despite my own distraction. While looking so busy with my pencil and paper I was continuously on guard to make certain nobody noticed what all my concentrated paperwork was all about, which proved to be successful.

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