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fluorescents in blackpool


Alistair Bell collected and restored these pictures of Blackpool from the 1950s. These show the new post-war street lighting systems installed by the Harry Carpenter who was the town's public lighting engineer.

Carpenter was a progressive and enthusiastic lighting engineer and was president of the APLE for two consecutive years. Not only was he responsible for the town's lighting and its famous illuminations, but he was often experimenting and pushing the bounds of lighting. For this, he joined forces with Siemens (who were based in nearby Preston) to make trial lanterns - the Siemens Carpenter lantern is based on one of his designs.


GEC Clearside 8256
© Blackpool Borough Council

The Z8256 took two 40W fluorescent tubes - one parallel with the lantern canopy and the other angled so it was parallel with the bowl's base.

The optical system consisted of two perspex refractor plates glued to the perspex bowl and a white over reflector.

And it has a pleasing daytime appearance - or so the catalogue says.

They're mounted on Stanton 10K columns and brackets.

GEC Clearmain Z8387 AB "Three Eighty"
© Blackpool Borough Council

The Three Eighty was the latest of a line of Group-A fluorescents, named after the number and wattage of the bulbs carried.

The bulbs were arranged in a similar style to the Z8256, with two bulbs parallel to the canopy and one bulb parallel to the sloping bowls base.

They're mounted on Stanton 8K/1 columns and brackets.

GEC Clearmain ???
© Blackpool Borough Council 1964 (Layton Hill)

I haven't been able to identify these lanterns. I assume they're GEC but I'm not sure which type.

They're mounted on Stanton 8K/1 columns and brackets.

(An alternative view is shown below taken in 1967).

REVO Junior Sol-e-tern
© Blackpool Borough Council

The Sol-e-tern was remodeled by REVO in the 1960s, styled along the same lines as their sodium Sol'D'Or range.

They're mounted on Stanton 10 columns with REVO supplied brackets.

Siemens Carpenter
© Blackpool Borough Council 1959 Albert Road

Blackpool-Carpenter Lanterns.

"This installation consists of 50 Carpenter fluorescent lanterns in Adelaide Street, Albert Road (shown left), Palatine Road, and Regent Road. The lanterns take their name from H. Carpenter, M.I.E.E., F.I.E.S., the town's Illuminations and Public Lighting Officer who is past president of the Association of Public Lighting Engineers. Mr. Carpenter has taken a particular interest in the development of the lantern as did the managing director of Siemens Edison Swan Ltd., Dr. J. N. Aldington, a Lancashire man.

Carpenter lanterns are unusual in the size of lamp which is 3 ft. in length. In the present case there are four such lamps each of 30 watt rating, giving a total consumption including gear losses of 160 watts.

A trial installation of six lanterns in Palatine Road, was of great assistance in determining the suitability of the lantern. Various mounting heights were used and although a height of 16 ft 6 in. was originally envisaged, it was found that 20 ft. mounting gave best results, the illumination diversity factor being 10 at a lantern spacing of 120 ft. Carpenter lanterns at Blackpool are thus designed to meet a special need between Group A and Group B lighting.

The 50 lanterns supplied are erected in busy central residential areas having a large proportion of boarding houses. Blackpool may soon have fluorescent lighting in all principal streets in the Town centre, such lighting being the most practical, aesthetic and economical in the view of the Public Lighting Officer. The Carpenter lantern is included in Design Index of the Council of Industrial Design.

Public Lighting, No. 104 Vol 24, p40
March Issue, 1959

They're mounted on Stanton 6 columns.

GEC Clearmain ???
© Alistair Bell

Not strictly in Blackpool, this photograph was taken up the road in Fleetwood. The large GEC Clearmains can be seen on Stanton 8K/1 columns and brackets, but it's the lights up the road which are of more interest; the same lanterns are mounted on Concrete Utilites columns with curved brackets.

Apparently this was the favoured combination in Fleetwood!