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Dublin Collection

On Dublin's south side, Archbishop Ryan Park (Merrion Square) is an enclosed park in the elegent Georgian area of the city. A selection of the city's older street lighting columns, brackets and lanterns can be found scattered throughout the park. I only had limited time, and I'm not sure if I saw all the lamp posts, but here's a representative example.

This shot shows how the street lights are distributed around the park.

BTH Parish on BLEECO Brighton "C" bracket with BLEECO RB 136 gear box on cast iron column.

Several of these lamp posts are dotted around the park, two positioned at park entrances. It quickly becomes clear that Dublin's immediate street lighting history was with BTH and BLEECO.

Unfortunately most of the BTH Parish lanterns have lost their enamel over-reflectors.

BTH Parishes on double arm bracket on cast iron column.

Old pictures of Dublin suggest this street light was one positioned on O'Connell Street bridge. The column is tiny, probably standing between three and four meters high.

Both BTH Parish lanterns have lost their enamel over-reflectors.

Open refractor Group-A lantern on cast iron bracket and column

Given the lineage of the other lanterns in the park, I'd suggest this is a BLEECO lantern. The shape of the door in the column is also suggestive of BLEECO.

Open reflector Group-B lantern on cast iron bracket, A C Ford fuse box and cast iron column

I'm not able to identify this lantern or bracket at the moment. The fuse box is very distinctive though, and of course, had A C Ford cast onto the door. Another of these lanterns and brackets could be found further up the path.

Enclosed Group-A lantern on ornate cast iron bracket and cast iron column

Again, I'm unable to identify either lantern, bracket or column, but the lantern is very representative of designs from the 1920s-1930s. Additionally it's quite similar to many US lanterns from that period. I believe this could be a Holophane lantern, which would explain why it looks American. Or was it a fraternal gift from the US with strong Irish connections? Thanks to Pete Rivet for the idea.

BLEECO Open Type Conical lantern on BLEECO Brighton "C" bracket with BLEECO RB 136 fuse box on cast iron column.

The provenance of the top half of this lantern is clear. The cast iron column remains a mystery, but I suspect most were cast locally in Dublin's various foundries.

Copper open refractor lantern on ornate Irish bracket on cast iron column.

There are several of these lanterns on these ornate brackets scattered around the park. Additionally I saw several of these brackets around Dublin itself, but they were probably modern replicas, as I discovered a local lighting firm were selling them in their yard (picture below)

Modern reproduction lantern and bracket.

The canopy of the modern reproduction bracket looks like it was modelled on the bulky BTH lantern.

I was especially pleased discovering these brackets, because they've given me the definitive way to deal with the Irish bracket in my collection (picture below)

Irish bracket and retrofitted Holophane Duo Dome from my collection. Needs restoring!

Open reflector Group-B lantern on BLEECO Brighton "C" bracket with BLEECO RB 136 fuse box on cast iron column

Back to Dublin, this example had an open refractor lantern. Again, identification is difficult, but I'd put money on it being a BLEECO.

Holophane Dublin lantern on cast-iron ornate bracket on cast iron column

Unfortunately, this particular combination probably never stood on Dublin's streets.

The column and bracket is still popular around the city, and they're gradually coming back as modern reproductions are being installed.

These Holophane Dublin Lanterns were installed in Dublin in 1938 by Mr F. X. Algar who was then head of the Lighting Section of the Irish Electricity Supply Board. (The lantern's name suggest it was custom designed for the city). Originally 1500W GLS (converted to 700W MBF/U in 1963), these lanterns originally lit O'Connell street mounted on superb double armed art-deco concrete columns (which were made in France by Sofrapel). The O'Connell installation was removed in 1973, whilst other examples managed to hang on into the 1980s and 1990s. Now only a handful remain, clustered around Dublin College.

This one hasn't survived well with its dimpled diffusing glass broken. Inside, the original refractor ring can still be seen.

When installed, they were cited as the best lighting in Dublin at that point. Twenty years later, Waldram was still holding them up as an excellent example of wide carriageway lighting.

They should install one of the last remain concrete examples in the park. That would certainly complete the collection.

See also: Dublin Street Lighting.

Also spotted in Dublin were these two BTH Urban Enclosed lanterns near the docks, opposite The Point concert venue.