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A D VER TISEMENTS.

YEHITT & SONS,

KING STREET, COVENT GARDEN, 137, REGENT STREET, LONDON W. AND

,

Electrical Engineers

The The The The The

The Duke of Fife. Earl Rosebery. Earl Cadogan.

Lord Hindlip. BaroiKA.^de Rothschild. L^op^ra^'de Rothschild, Esq.

John Pender.

Sir

Andrew

Sir

Henry Thompson. Lennox Brown.

Dr.

^

^^ ^

Sir Sir

Club.

voy Hotel. Public sington.

The Royal The Royal

Coll.

&

Ken-

of Surgeons. of Physicians. Sons' Picture

Galleries.

Henry James, Q.C. M.P. Edward Harland. Sydney Waterlow, M.P.

Messrs.

Maclean's

Picture

Galleries.

Cyril Flower, Esq., M.P.

A. Brassey, Esq.

C. &c.,

Libraries,

Coll.

Messrs. Tooth

Dr. Douglas Powell. Sir

Stoek Exchange.

Reform

iiic

The

Clarke.

to

Junior Carlton Club. Naval & Military Club. Union Bank of London. Messrs. Coutts's Bank. The Chapel Royal, Savoy. St. Mary Abbott's Church. The Royal English Opera House ymarket Theatre.

Lord Dysart. Viscount Emlyn, M.P. Lord Randolph' CbiiPchilL Lord Windsor, Lord Burton.

Sir

and Contractors

&c. ,

Combe, Esq. &c.

VERITTS SWITCHES WERE SELECTED BY THE ADMIRALTY FOR THE ROYAL YACHTS. VERITY'S

Patent RELIABLE Safety Fuses are r commended by leadmg Fire Insurance Companies. The only block in which it is impossible to fix a fuse of larger size than the circuit is intended to protect.

VKHITY'S,

y-

TELEPHONE

2648.

KING

ST.,

COVENT GARDEN

4-

'C™Ter, LONDON."

i37,

REGENT ST, LONDON W.

~=^


AD VERTISEMENTS.

FARADAY & SON'S ARTISTIC 3

FITTINGS

RERNERS STREET OXFORD STREET W.

\J

MANUFACTURERS OF— The Dpag'on and Dolphin Brackets, Cairene and Moresque Pendants,

Spanish and Venetian Church Lamps,

Embossed

Shells

and Adjustable

Reflectors.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.


DBCOBATIVE

ELEOTBIOITY BY

Mrs.

J.

GORDON.

E. H.

WITH

A CHAPTEE ON FIRE RISKS BY J. E.

H.

GORDON,

B.A.,

M. Inst.

C. E.,

DIUECTOK OF AND CONSULTING ENGINEER TO THE METROPOLITAN ELECTRIC SUPPLY COMPANY.

ILLUSTRATED BY HERBEBT FELL.

i

LONDON:

t

.

/

^

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON, LIMITED,

FETTEE LANE, FLEET STREET, 1891. [Ml rights

reserved,]

E.G.


TH 7725

LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET AND CHARING CKOSS.

Limited


——

WORKS BY

J.

E.

H.

GORDON,

School Electricity. numerous

B.A., M.INST.C.E.,

Large crown 8vo.

&C.

cloth, with

Illustrations, 5s.

" Has a thoroughly practical aim, and seems well suited for conveying to classes such a knowledge of the science as shall l)e useful. The princip il electrical appliances and methods are discussed, with good notes

many clearly marked definitions."— Saturday Review. " Mr. Gordon, while not making any large demand on the reasoning powers of his readers, contrives, by dint of clear description, well-chosen illustrations, and general vigour of style, to impart a great deal of information in a most agreeable manner." Athenceam. here and there on theory, and

A

Physical Treatise on Electricity and Mag-

Third Edition. 2 vols., 8vo., 700 pages, with 72 Fullpage Plates and 313 Illustrations in the Text, £2 2s. This Kdition has been Re-arranged, Revised, and greatly Enlarged, both in Text and Plates, to bring it up to the present date. "At once takes its place among the books with which every investigator and every teacher who goes beyond the merest rudiments must needs equip himself. ... Is prodigal of ]>eautifully executed diagrams and drawings made to scale." Times.

netism.

A

Practical Treatise on Electric Lighting*. Demy 8vo.,

with 24 Full-page Plates, and numerous Illustrations in the

Text, 18«. '•

Without doubt

has yet appeared."

London: St.

the most valuable Electrician.

it is

work on

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, &

electric lighting tliat

CO., LmiietZ,

Dunstan's House, Fetter Lane, E.G., and all Bookseller!;.


PREFACE.

Part of

this

book has already appeared in the

February number of the "Fortnightly Review." I it,

have the

editor's

and have added

kind permission to reproduce to it

many

practical details,

such as I sincerely hope will be of some slight

anyone wishing to

assistance to

install

the electric

light in their house.

The drawings have been made by Mr. from

1,

fittings

which are in actual practical

Queen's Gate Gardens, London, S.W.

March

2,

1891.

use.

Fell


——

CONTENTS. CHAPTER ,

PAGE

I.— The Installation

H.—Fire

Risks.

III.

Hall and

IV.

—DINING-ROOM

By

J.

1

....

E. H. Gordon

Staircase

17

29

44

v.—Library

63

Boudoir

73

Dra wing-Room

87

VI. VII.

VIII.— Bed-Rooms IX.

115

School-Room and Nursery

126

X.

Servants' Departments, Cupboards, etc.

.

.

133

XI.

Lighting of Shops, Concert-Halls, etc.

.

.

142

Some Personal Experiences

.

.

153

XII.

APPENDIX

.

.

.

.

173


.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

Switches

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.11

Fuses

22

Small Beaten-Iron Pendant

Branch

for

Holding Pendant

Lamp

.

.

.

.32

......85 34

........ ........

Keversed Church Cairo

.

Lamp

.

.

.

.

.

Pompeian Lamp

Adapted Candle Bracket

.

.,

.

Dining-Eoom Pendant and Standards Dragon Pendant Sideboard Design .

.

Standard Reading

Lamp

.

.

.

.

.

.

,

.

.

.

.

.

.

Writing-Table Pendant

Armchair with

Lamp

64 65

.

.

.

.

.

Newspaper Table with Lamp Pendant Cupid with Handkerchief Shade Bracket with Cupid and Suspended Lamp and Shade .

Carton-Pierre Girandole.

Large Stork Standard Venetian Glass Standard

38

.39 .53 .56 .59

...... .

37

.

.

.66 .68

...

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Writing-Table with Stork and Suspended Light

.

74 79

.81 .91 .93 .

94

Ceiling-lights without Shade beneath

....95 .104 .

.

Drawing-room Ceiling-lights

,

.

Summer Fireplace with Electric Lights Cairo Window with Imitation Sun-light ,

.

.

.

99

,109


Vlll

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS,

PAGE


DECOEATIVE ELECTRICITY. CHAPTER

I.

The Installation. As

business and pleasure become year

more itself

closely

more

becomes

events, the fort

crowded into our of

and what were

of our

ancestors

the

become

the overstrained nerves of the

and

as life

excitement

importance of rest and

increases,

luxuries

full

lives,

by year

and

home comsuperfluous

necessities

to

men and women

of to-day.

In our English climate and with our English habits so large a proportion of our lives

by

artificial

light, that the

is

passed

nature of that light

B


;

DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY,

becomes an all-important

factor

in

matters of

comfort and discomfort, rest and fatigue.

The the

object of this book

new

is

how

to consider

far

illuminant, electricity, can aid us in our

hours of work, and conduce to the comfort and peace of our hours of rest and recreation. electric

lighting, as in other matters, there is a

right and a

wrong way

is

—

it is

of doing things, and in

work

the present rage for cost

In

to be

no wonder that much

unsuccessful, both artistically

when every plumber and enterprising than " electrical

his

engineer "

cheap at any

electric lighting

and mechanically, a

gas-fitter,

fellows,

and

calls

little

more

himself an

competes, in

happy

confidence in the ignorance of the public, with firms

who have

reputations to lose and

who have

given years of attention to the subject. Electrical firms

have had to be patient

for

many

a weary day, while the public were making up their

minds whether

and now

it

is

to adopt the

light or not

the public's turn to be patient, for


THE INSTALLATION.

demand

the

at present is greater

than the skilled

supply. It

more

is

put

satisfactory to

by one

in

the

of

have the installation

who

firms

first-rate

thoroughly understand their business, than to be

and put in cheaper and

in haste

inferior

work;

without care in the instalment, electricity

as,

is

apt to be a fickle illuminant.

When,

what

decided

due consideration,

after

firm

to

been

has

it

employ, an hour

is

ap-

pointed for a foreman to arrive to take orders,

and

make an

to

estimate

for

the

work that

is

to be done.

The young book,

electrician arrives

and with

the

longing to his firm. part of fire

his

catalogue

with his noteof

He knows

work thoroughly

well,

insurance rules by heart, and

be depended upon for the business

;

fittings

the

be-

practical

and has the is

entirely to

scientific details of his

but of the requirements of a gentle-

man's house, and the best arrangement of lights B 2


:

DECORATIVE ELEGTRICITT.

in a lady's boudoir, he

other hand for often

we cannot

On

knows nothing.

the

help being sorry for him,

the master and mistress, having

sent

him before previously

discussing their plans,

not only do not know their

own minds, but seldom

for

agree between themselves as to what they want.

The master wishes

to get all the light possible,

have the light as becoming

and the mistress

to

and pleasant

possible.

to

reconcile

as

It

rather difficult

is

two wishes, and

these

much

after

discussion the master testily exclaims

"

My

expense

The

dear, if

what

you

the good of going to

will tie the light

electrician,

" patient

is

during

inattention,"

up

all this,

sucking

in bags

all this

" ?

stands by with

his

pencil,

and

only wishing that he could get his orders and go to the

two or three other houses that

have directed him

When

his firm

to visit before dinner-time.

plans are discussed

with him,

it

will

generally be found that his ideas are limited to brass and copper pendants and wall-brackets with


THE INSTALLATION.

cut-glass globes,

and he has a

superstitious dis-

trust of all novelties in electrical decorations. It is best to

make a rough map of

the rooms,

with crosses to indicate where the lights are to be placed, before the electrician

arrives

this

;

will

save time and form a basis upon which to work. It

must be

realized that alterations

the progress of the work, that principal

made during

to say after the

is

mains have been run, frequently involve

an amount of expense and trouble entirely

dis-

When

the

proportionate to their importance. circuits

have been arranged, a comparatively small

alteration of lights

may

possibly

mean an

entire

rearrangement of the wires and switches. It should also

be noted that the

rules do not permit the

on any

electric

fire

insurance

Supply Companies to turn

current to the

house, until the

whole of the installation work in the house

is

completed and thus a small alteration in one room often

vexatiously delays

the

whole of the rest of the house.

lighting

No

of

the

one in any


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

6

case

should

attempt to have

while they are inhabiting

it,

the house wired

for various practical

reasons.

If the house is about to be decorated at the

same time

as the

electric

light

wooden casing containing the let into

is

installed, the

electric wires

can be

the walls and papered over, but in the

servants' departments all casings should be on the surface,

and have the wooden covers

or otherwise cheaply ornamented.

or one

flush

with

the

either fluted

A

flat

appears

wall,

cover, to

the

ordinary servant to be expressly intended for the reception

of

nails

for

pictures

and Christmas

decorations.

A

rule should be made, that if ever a nail

found in the casing, the

electric current

is

to the

servants' departments should instantly be cut off till

the electrician has examined the place.

day or two's return

to paraffin

A

lamps and tallow

candles teaches carefulness. If the house decorations are already finished.


THE INSTALLATION.

the installation

is

not such a simple matter

with a careful, responsible firm

can

it

;

still

but

be

thoroughly well accomplished.

In the case of a decorated house the master should himself go into the details of the proposed wiring, that he

may

understand

how

it

to be done,

is

and that no unsightly casings, roughly painted or covered with wall-paper, should run up the walls or across the ceilings, and in such a house the firm

employed should be made responsible

damage done

any

for

to ceilings, walls, or cornices.

It is

wonderful what an experienced electrical work-

man can

" threadling,"

accomplish,

as

it

technically called, the wires round cornices

is

and

carved wood-work, and between ceilings, so that

when

the installation

is

finished

even an experienced eye

it is

impossible for

to detect the path of the

electric wires to the lamps.

In undecorated houses the estimate should be

made

inclusive.

should not be

The left to

plastering and

making good

the decorator, but the

work


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY,

should be completed by the electricians prevents

This

selves.

makes them more unexpected

bill in

*'

and saves a

heavy

the end.

we may

noted that what

It should be

undoubtedly

friction,

careful,

tnem-

plumber-electrician's " estimate

is

never inclusive,

as he, like the jerry builder, lives entirely extras,

on

his

by sending

trusts to obtain orders

low estimate, which

a

in

and he

a

call

cannot pay, and to

recoup himself by charging for things which were omitted from

by

and

estimate

his is

the specification

much lower than

therefore

whom

estimate " have an actual

The large

the words

;

his

first

that of the

"inclusive

and binding meaning.

" plumber-electrician " will also send in a

account for alterations made

progress of the work as

his intention,

inexperience

customer's

respoijsible firm to

by

—

alterations

during the

which as often

not be jesuitically suggests himself

to

the

bewildered master of the house.

The

estimate

should

include

all

the

wiring,


THE INSTALLATION.

switches,

fuses,

and

sockets, but

not the lamp-

holders nor the lamps.

These can be decided upon during the progress of the work, and a separate estimate

them and back

stairs,

basement,

last, as

consideration, till

etc.

fittings

these require

should be

left

much more

to the

time and

and no one should decide on them

they have visited

all

the best shops which

design and manufacture them, so that variety be obtained.

The

practical

reason for not

cluding the holders and lamps, in price

for

for the fittings in the servants' rooms,

The ornamental very

made out

and quality

much more than

;

is

may in-

that these vary

some lamp-holders costing

others,

and ground-glass lamps

are often required at the last instead of plain ones. All these changes

may

give rise to extras and to

unpleasant discussions over the

always be avoided,

A certain

bills,

which should

if possible.

proportion of the switches should be

placed just inside the door of each room.

If there


DECOBATIVE ELECTBICITY.

10

are a number, they should be mounted on a small

wooden

block.

In the drawing-room the switches for the larger

and decorative

ceiling inside

a

little

should be placed

lights

wooden

the

cupboard,

panel

ornamented with Japanese work, a photograph,

any other decoration

piece of brocade, or

the room.

A

plain

and clumsy by the

The

to suit

wooden cupboard looks heavy

side of the door.

mistress can

keep the key of

board herself and only unlock

it

this cup-

when

the de-

corative lights are required.

I consider that a

great

wasted

deal

of

electricity

is

by people

turning on the light to show their friends.

Lamp-holders should always be so arranged that the lamps themselves are vertical, that

should point straight

up

or straight

down

;

is

they

if

they

are fixed horizontally or at an angle the carbon strained is

by

its

own

weight, the

life

diminished, and so the annual cost

There are a great number of

is

of the lamp is

increased.

different kinds of


—

THE INSTALLATION.

11

switches in the market, but the most convenient for

the

general

can

light

finger,

use

shown

that

is

turned

be

and the handle can

the dark.

It

looking at the light

is

on

be,

go

1,

as

a

easily be found

in

or

off

has the further advantage that on

we

it

on or

can see at a glance whether

off.

ON Fig.

people

which have

Fig.

with

OFF.

Mauy

in

who

cost

1.

Switches.

feel a

pang

money, however

to great trouble

at

wasting things

useless they

may

and expense, and produce

an unsatisfactory result in their endeavour to utilize existing gas-fittings.

The

actual cost of adapting these in accordance

with the

fire

insurance rules

is

often at least as


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

12

much

fittings

;

of entirely

that

as

and

it is

in

what they

A

simple

sell

the old gas fittings

will fetch.

double-pole switch

— that

one that cuts

is

both the positive and negative wire fixed,

so

as

electric light

electric

most cases better to face the

matter boldly at once, and for

new

to

—should

be able to entirely cut

company's supply, should

found desirable to do

it

off

off

be the

ever be

so.

If real luxury and comfort are desired, a pair of electric wires should

be placed round each of the

sitting-rooms at the top of the skirting-board, and sockets, sometimes

upon them be

moved

called

shoes, should

at intervals, so that

to

any standard can

any part of the room or house, and

to facilitate this, all the plugs

and sockets

house should be interchangeable.

summer

be fixed

most

people

need

in the

In winter and

quite

a

arrangement of their sitting-rooms, and

different it

is

not

easy to say beforehand exactly where the lights will be required.


TEE INSTALLATION,

This

circuit

should

never

iS

be

by

controlled

switches placed at the door, but should be arranged so that

any portable standard can be attached

and each standard should have

standards.

The wooden

room have generally and the

it,

a separate key-socket

placed at the neck of the lamp.

have the key-switches placed

to

not safe to

It is

at the bases of the

casings in

a decorated

to be put outside the paper,

least noticeable place for

top of the skirting-board,

when

them

is

at the

the wood- work

all

can be painted the same colour. Sockets should generally be placed just above

the skirting-board, as the wires can

along the floor to the standards. placed higher

on the wall the

then run

If they

electric wire

are is

inconvenient and unsightly.

Pendant

flexible lights should

sockets placed

never have key-

on the necks of the hanging lamps.

Switches should not be placed so high that the lighter has to

mount on a

chair, sofa, or stool to

turn them on.

Economy

gained in the burning

is


BECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY,

14

by the

multiplicity of switches,

and

also

by the

proper arrangement of them in the room.

Two

have indicated at the end of each chapter

I

where the

switches control three lights in a pendant.

I

recommend the switches

room of which

Downstairs

is

to be placed in

it treats.

the electric meter, on which

is

recorded monthly the number of electric units

burnt in the house.

The master can himself

calculate

and check

each month the expense of his electric light

where the servants are not

to

be trusted,

be well to have a separate meter for

it

all

;

and

might their

rooms, back-stairs and basement.

A 8(i.,

unit of electricity costs in

and

will supply

thirty-two hours

;

cent,

cost per

thus the electricity costs about hoiir.

lamp per hour

more than gas

facilities for

7Jc?. to

an eight-candle lamp for

a farthing per lamp per

The

London

;

is

about 20 per

but owing to the far greater

switching off the electric light

when


THE INSTALLATION.

it is

not wanted,

burning, the

15

when gas would have

cost

lamp per year

per

ordinary care practically

be

to

is

left

with

than gas.

less

In calculating the expenses of the electric light, they should not be compared with the former gas bills

only, but with

candles,

matches.

the

and a small amount added If this

is

and wax

gas, paraffin,

for tapers

done, I feel sure from

experience that the electric light

pare most favourably with the former

without

illumination,

taking

my own

will

bills

and

com-

bills for

account the

into

saving to health and decorations. It

is

very easy to economize when

installation

take to do

is

carried out; but

so.

The

initial

it

is

first

the

a great mis-

expense

is

small in

comparison to the daily comfort of well-arranged

and

well-distributed

nomy it

lights,

eco-

in the quantity of electricity used (which

must be remembered

result

and eventually

is

paid for by meter) will

from being able to

corner of the room in which

light

the

we wish

to

particular sit,

instead


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

16

of illuminating the whole room from the centre or walls upon every occasion.

We

must divide our

classes, the practical

electric

lights

and the decorative.

into

two

I shall

try in the following pages to give some hints as to the

arrangement and the economical burning

of the practical lights, and also some suggestions as to

what we must aim

avoid, if

we wish

houses successfully.

to

at,

and what we must

electrically

decorate

our


(

17

)

CHAPTER

II.

Fire Risks of Electric Lighting.

By

A

J. E.

H. Gordon, M.Inst.C.E.

GREAT deal of unnecessary alarm has been

caused by the occurrence of occasional electrically lighted houses,

That

se

brings a specially

fire.

this is not the case is obvious

remembered that the Fire Insurance

when

Offices,

are the best possible judges on this point,

extra charge

in

and many persons have

believed that electric light per increased risk of

fires

it

is

who

make no

whatever for insuring

electrically

many

cases give

lighted houses, and, in fact, in certain reductions. Electric light being a defects of

it

new

are very properly

thing, any possible

much more keenly


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY,

18

looked

at,

and

excite

mucli more newspaper

much more description

interest

than

and

corre-

sponding defects in older methods of illumination. In the early days of railways the same thing occurred.

The

smallest accident on the railway

was universally described and commented upon, while the most serious coaching accident hardly attracted

The

any

notice.

of electrical journals have

editors

threatened to publish weekly

lists

often

of gas fires in

the same large type and with the same head-lines as those under

which the daily papers

publish accounts of electric

at present

fires.

Electric light, like every other mechanical aid to civilisation, is

dangerous when improperly used.

Similarly, the risk of travelling

but

if

we jump

by railway is

small,

in or out of trains in motion, put

our heads out of the windows when passing through bridges, &c.,

but

we

we shall probably suffer from accidents,

should hardly be entitled on account of

such accidents to state that railways were unsafe.


FIRE RISKS OF ELECTRIC LIGHTING.

A

perhaps closer form of the analogy

19

may

be

found in reading the accounts of recent terrible railway

accidents

in

where

America,

whole

bridges have collapsed with, the weight of trains,

and

terrible loss of life

where cheap and

has ensued, in fact cases

work has given way and

inefficient

has caused damage.

When is

electric light is

properly installed, there

absolutely no risk whatever from

with

it

;

but

if

certain obvious

fire

and well-known

precautions are neglected, the houses

they are so neglected

will

almost certainly, be set on It

would not be

connected

not

which

in

probably,

but

fire.

fitting in this

book

to

go into

the technical and scientific details of the matter,

but

it

will be sufficient to say that the leading fire

insurance offices have compiled a code of rules to

be followed by the contractors and their work-

men who

put up the installation.

Copies of these rules are in every contractor's hands, and until they have received a certificate c 2


— DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY,

20

from a qualified inspector that these rules have been followed the insurance

oflSces refuse to insure

the buildings, and the supply companies refuse to

supply current.

An

absolute safeguard against electric

for persons without technical

paying

knowledge

the

fire

before

is,

insist

on seeing

insurance

company,

for their installation, to

the certificates of

fire- risk

and of the supply company, which are granted to

the

wiring contractors in due course

after

inspection.

The way on

in

fire is as

which

follows

electricity

can set a building

:

Electric light itself

is

produced by the heating

to a white heat of filaments of carbon enclosed in

glass globes

and interposed

current to these filaments

is

in the circuit.

The

conveyed through the

house by means of copper wires, and a certain infinitesimal

proportion

of

current

is

always

wasted in these wires, causing a proportionate, but practically imperceptible rise of temperature.

If,


FIRE RISKS OF ELECTRIC LIGHTING.

21

however, the wires are made much too small for their work, the current

which would travel with

perfect safety through a larger wire will increase

the temperature of the smaller wire sometimes to a dangerous degree.

The most common form of what If

the

known

technically

is

positive

and

accident, however,

is

" short-circuit."

as a

negative

wires

are

not

properly protected and separated from each other,

they

may come

accidentally

of the

then, instead

small

which would pass through

into

contact,

and

quantity of current the filament

of the

lamp, an excessively large quantity passes through the short-circuit thus created, will in a

and

if

not cut oif

few seconds heat the conducting wires

to whiteness

and

The formation against in the

provided that

set the

fire.

of this short-circuit

fire

all

house on

is

provided

insurance rules, where

it

is

wires shall be insulated so that

they shall pass certain specified

tests,

that they shall be laid in grooved

and further

wooden

casing.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

22

a separate groove being provided for the positive

and negative

wires.

In spite of circuit

a

may

all

precautions, however, a

sometimes occur.

picture-nail

is

driven

accidentally connects the

Fia.

As

into

two

short-

for instance, if

the

wires.

casing

and

In this case,

2.窶認uses.

in a properly erected installation, absolute safety

given by what is

is

known

as the " fuse," Fig.

2.

is

It

provided in the insurance companies' rules that

at the

commencement

wires, that

is

of every pair

to say at every point

of branch

where branch

wires leave the main circuity and also at certain points in the

main

circuit itself, " fuses " shall be


FIRE RISKS OF ELEQTRIO LiaHTING.

23

These " fuses " consist of short lengths of

provided.

lead or tin, or other suitable metal of such a size that

they will melt when the current exceeds

proper

its

amount, and before it reaches an amount that would

As

heat the wire.

damaged

soon as the " fuse " melts the

and the only inconve-

circuit is cut off,

nience that occurs

is

the extinction of a few lamps.

For instance, in a

circuit carrying four

upon

it

that

would not commence

it

until

a

the

wire

would

be

of

a

size

to heat dangerously

equal

current at least

such

lamps

to

that

of

ten

lamps passes, but the fuse would be of such a size that it

would melt with the current of

six or

seven lamps, and thus a dangerous temperature could never be attained.

The

three most

contractors

are

:

common First,

often to omit one of

tricks of unscrupulous

omit these

to

them

;

that

is

fuses,

to say, to

or

put a

fuse only in one wire.

Second, to provide wire current

it

has to carry, and.

too

small

for

the


24

DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

,

Third, to provide a cheap and inferior insulation to the wire. fire

This latter point

insurance inspector or other expert should

always be consulted.

be noticed that he

It will

have a certain portion

will in inspecting a house

of the casing uncovered that he

£8

or

£9 per

mile,

wire for about £2.

1

O5.

it

may

see the wire.

for house-work

While wire of good quality cost

one in which a

is

is

may

possible to obtain

per mile, which nobody

except an expert could distinguish from good wire,

and thus great temptation

is

put in the

way

of a

poor or struggling contractor.

The public have only themselves rule if they get

to

thank as a

bad work in their houses,

for

it

happens again and again that tenders are invited,

and the lowest

is

accepted,

regardless of the

reputation of the firm tendering. will

secure the

work

at

prices,

after the inevitable

damage caused by bad work has that if

small firm

absurdly low

and are not worth attacking

I again repeat

A

work

occurred. is

done to the


FIRE RISKS OF ELECTRIC LIGHTING.

satisfaction of

25

an inspector of a responsible Fire

Insurance Office, that the risk of

fire is

absolutely

nil.

Some very

sensational stories

from America as even

if

to risk of

have been cabled These

life.

stories,

they were true, need not alarm English-

men, as under the wise regulations of the Board of Trade no high-pressure current

any house-wire

at

or into

all,

is

admitted into

any place where the

wires are accessible to others than the servants of the supply company. It will

be noted in America that

many

accidents

have occurred to linesmen, lamp-trimmers, and other employes.

In cases of repairs to wires employed on highpressure habit in

out-of-door

America

to

lines,

A

to turn

on

appears to be the

inform the linesman that no

current will be turned on

and

it

at that

Tlntil

a certain hour,

hour punctually.

workman owning

a defective watch, there-

fore, does so at the risk of his life.

A typical

case


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY,

26

occurred in America a few months ago.

It

was

arranged to stop the current in a certain high-

4 p.m.

workman climbed up

a high

At

pressure circuit until

4,40

p.m. a

pole, and^

having

scraped off the insulation with his knife, cut the

wire with a pair of pliers for the purpose of

making a killed.

and was of course immediately

joint,

It

is

needless

to

add how

much

the

accoimts of even this unfortunate and deplorable accident were exaggerated.

The

practice at all properly

central stations

is

to

have brass

managed English tallies

hung upon

the switchboard, under the switches controlling

each repair

On

circuit.

any

sponding to

a linesman being sent out to

particular it

is

the switch corre-

cable

switched

off,

and the linesman

takes the tally with him, and the switch

is

on no

account allowed to be put on again until the

has returned and replaced the

This system

is

man

tally.

analogous to the

staff

system

used in running railway trains on a single track.


FIRE RISKS OF ELECTRIC LIGHTING.

I heard a tragic history the other

poor girl

On

who had been

27

day of " a

by the current."

killed

asking particulars I was told that

it

was " a

housemaid at Arlington Street," but the narrator

was not quite sure when the accident had occurred. Further inquiry showed

me

that

was a developed

it

account of the death of the gardener

who was

un-

fortunately killed at Hatfield some ten years ago.

Another sensational account was telegraphed from America of an unfortunate negro boy, who it,

and was

immediately killed and burnt to a cinder.

Further

went under an

electric

car

to

oil

inquiry showed that at the time of the accident the car was entirely disconnected from the circuits

and had no

electricity in it at

gone underneath gearing.

witli a paraffin

The boy had lamp

to oil the

The lamp had been upset over

clothes and he

On

it

all.

had been burnt

the other

hand a

in Kensington, recently

his

to death as reported.

relative of mine, resident

had a portion of

his stables

blown up by a gas explosion, which smashed in the


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

28

windows of two

carriages,

knocked down the

coachman, broke the windows, blew down the doors,

and destroyed part of the

staircase,

and did

a considerable amount of damage.

This accident

was not mentioned

daily papers,

nor was

it

ton News."

in the

London

even reported in the

local

'^

Kensing-


29

(

)

CHAPTER

III.

The Hall and Staircase. In the country with a pretty-shaped lighting

should

be

and

delightfully

London,

halls

inviting,

and we have usually

much how

to

staircases are

hall, electric

easy,

but

in

not as a rule

to consider not so

enhance their beauties as

how

to

conceal their defects.

We

generally find central pendants in them,

but these are undoubtedly a mistake space

is

when

the

limited.

Bright centre lights foreshorten distances, and

enhance

the

feeling

of

narrowness,

which

cleverly arranged lamps placed so as to lighten

the sides and corners should help to dissipate.


'

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

30

Much might be

said

look that meets us as

where the greeting

we

to

the bare, dismal

London house,

enter a

to our boots, in the

found

on the door-mat,

object

our

eye

as

falls

is

till

drawing-room, though sometimes, is

more

we if

enterprising, the passages

vases, not considered

halls are

all

the china

art"

good enough

grasses, serge curtains

the

the mistress

accumulated with stands

rooms, are

pampas

reach

and

turned into a boudoir annex, where

and old

salve

only welcoming

the

upon

'

for the

of dusty

and other

'^

high

atrocities.

Electric light will allow us prettier

decorations

and lighter

— as nowhere does the draught mingling

with smoke and dirt from gas so injure the walls

and

ceilings as in the hall

To begin with

An

and passages.

the front door.

eight-candle lamp can be placed behind the

number on

the glass, but this

small house, vestibule.

if

a light

It is

is

is

hung

not necessary in a

in the centre of the

an economy not to keep

this latter


BALL AND STAIRCASE.

31

always burning, but to make a rule that the

answer the

servants light

it

as they

When there

is

a conservatory or fernery, a very

bell.

pretty combination of plants and lights

of

coloured

and other

night-light

effects,

to

china

trivialities.

Beaten iron lends tion,

may be warned

reader

themselves, but the

flowers

be

Lights should be hung in the ferns

arranged.

beware

may

itself

and seems more in

well to staircase decora-

its

place here than in the

living-rooms.

Each

of the decorative

separate switch,

should have a

lights

and they need only be used when

required.

The

daily lighting of hall

controlled

when

by one switch, and

the installation

is first

and I

put

staircase can be

would suggest that in,

a switch should

be arranged in the hall to turn on the lights, and another placed on the bedroom floor to extinguish

them.

The saving

in the light

when the master and


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

32

mistress spend the evening out,

repay

the.

would very soon

extra expense of this wiring arrange-

am

sure

does not exist

who

ment; and as the

man

I

can carry a bed-candle up-

without spilling the

stairs

grease,

the saving of the

carpets

may

also be

taken

into consideration.

Wooden

arches

make

de-

lightful homesfortheelectric light,

which can be either

hung from

the centre of the

arch or placed behind one of the pillars. ful,

Fig.

3.— Small BeatenIron Pendant.

I think

with a

wonder-

ingenuity,

little

how much can be done .,,

,

-p

with even a London

in hall.

a hanging centre light dangling at

the end of a long straight string object,

It is

especially

when a

glass

is

a very ugly

shade

is

placed


—

HALL AND STAIRCASE,

33

over the lamp, and the little

hard light pours

its

unsympathetic rays down

upon

us

owing

to the construction

of

however,

if,

;

house

the

a

centre

a necessity, the

light

is

least

objectionable

pen-

dant to be found at present

is

held

a glass cone. Fig.

3,

by a pierced iron and

holder,

from

a

wire

cord

suspended

black

electric

ornamented

with bosses. Later I shall say more

about these wire

cords,

which are such an important and often such a

very ugly part of lighting.

In

electric

all

cases

Small BeatenIron Pendant.

Fig. 4.


—

;

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

84

the colour of them should be most carefully chosen

with due regard to the surrounding decorations

and as they cannot be dispensed with, we must do

Fig. 6.

our

best

to

Branch for holding Pendant.

make them help us

instead

of

hindering us in our work. If centre lighting

is

decided against, any of

these pendants can be suspended from a beaten-

iron or copper bracket, Fig. 5.

I


—

"

HALL AND STAIRCASE.

The lamps

on

35

the

upstairs landings should

be shaded from below, as

the light

reflected

from the ceiling gains in

distribution

and

pleasantness, Fig. 4.

Outside the drawing-

room door

is

a beautiful

place for a decorative h'ght.

of

The

'*

Dweller

Threshold

the

should be chosen with consideration and great care.

One

of

an

most

I

have seen

old

Yenetian

beautiful is

the

hand - pierced

lamp (Fig.

church-

6) turned

Upside down,

with

a

Fig.

6.

Eeversed Church Lamp. J) 2


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

36

lamp

and a narrow

inside

coloured silk fastened round

by

and

trouble to keep clean,

housemaid

the

Fig. 7 six

This

it.

removed and replaced that

easily little

of laburnum-

frill

is

gives

it

so

is

but

can be renewed

every month,

if

necessary.

a copy of an old Cairo lamp.

Three or

electric lights

amount of on the

it

silk

light

vv^all,

can be placed inside, and the

by switches

regulated

so that one

turned on as required

or

the

;

more soft

placed

lights can be silk hides

the

lamps that are not in use and softens the light of those that are.

If there

is

a decorated ceiling, a

sheet of ground glass should be placed above the

lamps, to prevent them

casting shadows of the

suspending rods upon the

ceiling.

In Arabian lamps the form of the carbon in the

lamp shining through the coloured like

a

luminous

Arabic

letter

giass

and

is

looks

very

effective.

Where electric

there are good coloured-glass windows,

lamps

hung

outside

enable

them

to


HALL AND STAIBCASE.

Fig.

7.

Cairo Lamp.

37


— DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

38

give their owners pleasure by night as well as

by day the

;

but

windows

it

is

not worth illuminating them

if

mixed with

consist of old bottle ends

robin-redbreasts and

a certain starlike

which

flower

must

be exceedingly rare, as there never

was

anything seen like

it

in nature.

is

Fig. 8

a happy combination of the modern light

with antique grace of form.

The lamp

made

in a special

is

spiral shape, to imi-

tate the flame of the

lamp.

oil Fig. 8.

^Pompeian Lamp.

Bronze supporting electric form, are

lamps

made

exceedingly effective

in in

figures

this

spiral

alcoves and


— HALL AND STAIBGASR

39

corners of the stairs and landing, but are only suitable for houses

where economy

is

not the

first

consideration.

On

the upper landings very simple lights are

Fig.

9.

Adapted Candle Bracket.

the cleanest and best.

A

wall-bracket for this of an old

part of the house can be

made out

candle-bracket, Fig. 9, the

branches for candles

being taken away from below and an arm made to


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

40 •

1

——

spring from the back,

When

lamp.

from

reflection

on

enough

holding a ground-glass'

this has a small looking-glass, the it is

When economy lights

jla

an aid is

to illumination.

necessary,

it is

well to burn

every alternate landing, which

are

lamp and switch

for ordinary use, but a

should be placed on every landing.

On

the

back

stairs

generally sufficient, but to

a

light is

it

at

the

as well

top

is

here also

have a simple brass bracket and lamp

at

every

stage.

Modern I

bright brass-work should

have seen a great deal of

light,

it

be avoided.

used with electric

but never with success.

Old brass lamps

are beautiful, and so are good copies of them.

Modern French "old lamps," with machine-made brass-work

common The itself

and

their glaring

round

dabs

of

coloured glass, are also to be avoided.

colour of copper

is

delightful,

well to staircase decoration.

and lends

There

is

a

lamentable want of good and simple designs for


HALL AND STAIRCASE.

hall

and

staircase electric lighting

;

41

those to be

found at present are ungraceful and too heavy for the

after to be

light

lamps that they support, so that

an exhaustive hunt through

all

the designs

found at present, nothing seems

left to

the

slender purse but the simple string and pendant.

A very handsome

staircase light for large halls

has been contrived by the introducing of a white lion's

head into the cornice

;

the light hangs from

the lion's mouth.

The

vestibule light need not always be kept

burning

;

it

who answers

may

be turned on by the servant

the door,

with the front-door

rung the

light

or

bell, so

connected after dark that

when

the bell

is

would be mechanically switched

on.

First impressions are important,

dear old gentleman

who

told

and

me he

''

I

knew

a

had quite

given up calling on a lady, because her butler

never looked glad to see him."

I think he

would

have been pleased at the cheerful greeting of


42

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

light given

by the house

in instant response to his

ring.

An

electric cigar-lighter

front door,

should hang near the

which will save the daily hunt

for

matches, and consequent irritation to the master

of the house and his friends. Electricity

may

also

afford

by which, from a controlling switch

devised,

light

''

faint

can be suddenly illuminated, so that

the enterprising burglar comes a-burgling

may

We

in the

passage, hall, and

master's bedroom, the whole staircase

at

an ingenious burglar-alarm has been

night, as

when

us protection

"

be shed on his nefarious practices.

owe

to electricity the

and sickly odour of

banishment of that

paraffin that haunts our

staircases, after the daily procession of the

to the drawing-room,

lamps

and a probable and certainly

most desirable development of

electric

power may

arise in the use of mechanical ventilation, the fan

of the current.

ventilator

We may

being worked by the electric

hope then

to

be spared that


HALL AND STAIRCASE.

43

odour of dinner past or future which so often distresses us, especially

scent of cigars

and

when mingled with

cigarettes.

Hall and

Staircase. Switches

Lamp

.... ....

over door

Vestibule

liglit

the

Near front

By

to

he placed

door.

inner door, or half- way

between

and front

stairs

door.

Near front door.

Cigar-ligbter

Decorative stair lights

.

A separate

.

switch, placed near

to each.

^ T Every-day lighting _

*;

and

,

.

Pin hall

oi

c

stairs

I

[

Back

stairs daily lighting

One

in front hall, to turn on. _

.

I

-,

-,.

^One on bedroom landing,

.

.

.

.

to

,

extinguish.

One switch

at the bottom, to

control one light at the top.

Lights on landings below

.

Separate switch near each.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

44

CHAPTER

IV.

The Dining-Room. In the dining-room the to

light

the

first

dinner-table

consideration

artistically

is

how

and com-

fortably.

problem, because what

is

cosy and comfortable for the quiet family meal

is

It is rather a difficult

not suitable for a lengthened table.

A suspended sided, covered

light wire frame,

with

the pleasantest to either

silk sit

and edged with a

beneath.

two or three lamps.

a fairly large

size, so

round or eight-

It

frill is

This can contain should be

that the light

made of

may

not be

concentrated.

The wire frame should be hang from the

ceiling with

light,

and should

a counterweight, so


DINING-ROOM.

that

With there

may

it

be

this the

table

no glare

is

raised or

45

lowered at pleasure.

brightly illuminated, and

is

in the eyes.

Too dark a red should not be used shade, as

it

is

I

this

heavy-looking and swallows up the

light, so that the face of one's

be seen.

for

neighbour cannot

have found a reddish pink the most

satisfactory; but

whatever colour

is

chosen, great

care should be taken as to the reflection thrown

from

it

and through

bearing in mind dining-table

proper

it

on the dining-table, always

that

in

the

dining-room the

the most important feature.

is

combination

of

white

cloth,

The

coloured

shade, flowers, silver^ and electric light requires

meditation.

Great taste

is

displayed,

and often the most

beautiful effects have been obtained with candles,

shades and flowers, but I believe that with time

and experience

more

electric light will

produce even

satisfactory results.

Some yellows have

quite a painful

efi'ect

when


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

46

combined with shade of

silk,

light behind

electric

In choosing the

light.

a pattern should

be seen with a

first

The consistency of the

it.

material should

silk or

be studied, and as a rule

also

bright thin silks are to be preferred even

have

colour of this particular shade

should take

A

its

they

The

be used in double thicknesses.

to

room.

if

important, and

is

tone from the decorations of the

true laburnum shade, orange or flame

colour, Indian, pomegranate,

and

all

the brighter

tones of red, pale blue, green, coral, and Sevres pinks,

or

and even a

less

effective

faint copper colour, are all for

the

dining-table

Canary and lemon yellows,

Another problem it is

it is

is

differ so

when

much

every one has

is,

to

it is

in shape

its

own

A

fringe,

not satisfactory.

hang the

always in the centre of the small and

pendant.

pinks, claret,

fierce

and very dark reds should be avoided.

however handsome,

more

light so that

table,

extended.

both when

Dining-rooms

and design that almost

difficulties to

encounter and


DINING-ROOM.

When

surmount.

the centre of the table varies,

centre frame

hook placed

it

the position of the hanging-

possible to alter

is

47

by passing the

electric wires over a

in the ceiling.

All these distances must be carefully measured

and calculated when the installed

;

electric

light

is

first

and care should be taken that the

pulleys are so arranged that in case of an evening

party being given and the table removed from the centre, the

frame can be pushed up high enough

When

to clear the heads of the guests.

hangs high, a thin

the light

veil of silk, or folds of gauze,

should be placed below and fastened to the sides of the

frame, so as

to hide

the shape

If this small detail has been effect

may

it

is

forgotten, a

good

moment with

With

sensitive eye&

best to have a thin veil of white or palest

coloured silk always

hung beneath

soften the rather fierce reflection cloth.

glare*

last

be produced at the

crinkled white tissue-paper.

and

the lamps, to

from the

table-


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

48

I

every case to study the I

how important

cannot say too often

was once

is

it

in

reflections.

at a dinner-party,

where the

lights

had been most carefully arranged and softened with due regard to the table-cloth and decorations, but the reflection from the bright surfaces of the various

little

silver

ornaments with which the

was covered was most

table

separate piece formed a

little

irritating, as

each

reflector focussing

the light into our eyes.

A light silk and prettiest

lace-covered wire frame

dinner-table

is

the

pendant made at present,

but I do not despair of soon finding beautiful glass-

work and

or faintly-tinted china in the place of

this will be

much more

be simply washed

when

silk,

it

can

much

too

economical, as

dirty.

The china shades made

at present are

heavily mounted, and most of the electric light dinner-table pendants look like old gas pendants

adapted for the electric realise the necessity of

light.

Not

till

designers

avoiding this heavy second-


DINING-ROOM,

band

look,

shall

we have

49

and

light

dainty

pendants.

The height

of the centre pendant should

carefully arranged

dinner, to avoid

at

least

be

ten minutes before

any swinging motion.

This pendant, whatever

it

makes a good

is,

Now

centre for the extended table.

method of lighting the ends.

It

is

as to the possible to

have two smaller pendants drawn down from the ceiling, but these look

ugly when unlighted, and

even when lighted have rather a effect

to

,

besides the exact position of

vary according to the

fear

it

billiard-table

them

is dif&cult

size of the table

;

so I

must be candidly confessed that the only

satisfactory

way

out of the difficulty at present

is

standards on the table, and these involve a small hole in the table and in the cloth. I

am

grieved to think of the feelings of

dear old-fashioned people

who

love their

and adore their old family linen not be distressed, as after

all-

;

all

mahogany

but they must

only a very small

E


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

50

hole is

is

required,

and we may remind them that

it

only in the larger damask cloths used for the

extended table that

The plugs

it

would be required at

for the dining-table standards should

be made as small as possible drilled

where the

and the

all.

electric

slit

;

the hole should be

comes in the dining-table,

wire passed along beneath the

cloth to its place, then a

slit,

three-quarters of an

inch long, must be carefully cut, and button-hole stitched in

the damask.

An

old under-cloth

is

generally kept for use with the extended dinnertable, so the slit in this

The

need not

distress

electric wires should pass

anyone.

under the

floor,

and just below the dinner-table a small socket block should be fixed, arranged to take four, eight plugs, according to the required.

This block

the carpet, and a carpet above

When laid,

is let

number of

six,

or

lights

into the boards, below

small trapdoor

made

in the

it.

the extra lights are required, the cloth

the tiny plug passed through,

first

the

slit

is

in


DINING-ROOM.

the

51

damask and under-cloth, and

in the table

the floor

is

;

the cover from the

tlien

the hole

wooden block

in

removed, and the plug inserted in the

same manner

as in the wall-socket.

simpler than

it

It is all

much

sounds, and the results with care-

fully chosen standards are delightful.

In case of the table being moved to one side or across the end of the room for a supper-party, a second block should be fixed beneath the edge of the carpet, to which the plugs can be attached.

With

a narrow table, and a small party of say

fourteen people, two standards are enough

;

the

shades of these should match that of the centre

pendant in colour and design. Beautiful dining-table

out of old candlesticks. female figure that

standards can be

We

made

unearthed a silver

we had put away

for

many

years, as being too fragile to support the three

heavy candlesticks that she was asked

We

cut

electric

off

the

candle-holders,

lamp and shade; and

she,

to carry.

substituted

an

with the wellE 2


;

DECORATIVE ELECTEICITY.

known Mercury, have now

the honour of lighting

See Fig. 10.

our guests at their dinner.

These the lamp

Where to

silver figures is

fixed to

have no sham candles, but

them by a

slight silver rod.

this is possible, I think it is to be preferred

sham candles

;

but sometimes these cannot be

when they

avoided, and

are

made very

thin and

coated with real wax, which can be renewed dirty,

when

they are effective on the dinner-table

;

so

search your family plate-chests and cupboards for all

the old silver and china candlesticks, or spend

some happy days hunting

for

good specimens

in

the preserves of the sales and old curiosity shops.

But

it

is

not everyone that possesses stores of

old treasures, nor

money, time, and inclination for

that most fascinating pursuit, curiosity hunting

and

for these

we must think of other

arrangements.

Graceful electric-light standards can be tall

made with

shapes of Venetian glass, and these are spe-

cially

almost

suitable all

for

dinner-table

decorations.

In

the artistic glass-shops, designs can be


DINING-ROOM.

53


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

54

found, that with a

little taste

and ingenuity can be

converted into the most delicate electric-light

holders,

or

the

and

fairy-like

convenient

little

lamps may be lowered as water-spirits into the vases,

and flowers arranged above. designs

glasses,

In

that have a

should be chosen

broad base and narrow top.

charming

look

plants

lights beneath their leaves

and lemon

lamp hung

Now

trees,

;

may

Electric lights

be nestled in the plants themselves; strawberry

these

all

so do

growing

with

little

dwarf orange

the fruit scooped out and the

inside the

empty

rind.

having considered the dinner-table,

let

us

turn our attention to the lighting of the rest of the room.

Three or four ceiling lights are useful

in case of a large evening, or supper-party

;

but

I

do not recommend their being used for a dinnerparty, as they interfere with the light being concentrated

When 1

upon the

charm of the

table itself.

the pictures are really good, the whole

ighting of the room should be the reflection from


DININQ-ROOM.

them

;

the

55

lamp-holders in

electric

this

case

should be as simple as possible, so as not to distract attention

look well

side

by a

The smoke structive

to

of

oil,

gas,

paintings

filled

by

But

silver gilt or bronze reflector.

;

and candles so

which posterity will thank

illuminated

they might

lamp should be hidden from the

is

very de-

here again

we may

point out another most invaluable

Cabinets

;

designed as part of the frame.

if

in every case the

room

from the paintings

economy, for

us.

with silver and old china can be

electric

lamps hidden within.

The pate of Sevres or Nankin gains enormously by

this

form of lighting.

The

electric light is the

only illuminant except the sun by which possible to

appreciate the dark blues of

it

is

Crown

Derby, and Worcester chinas.

For

walls, brackets,

and pendants, heavy brass-

work designs of dragons, dolphins and are to be recommended, Fig. 11. artistic

griffins

There are many

models to be found in modern work, that


—

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

56

have the additional merit of being inexpensive.

They should always be

fixed

with

the

lamp

hanging downwards, not put crawling up the wall

Fig. 11.

like

Dragon Pendant.

poor overladen insects carrying

luminous

eggs.

Simple and well-drawn brackets of beaten

iron,

copper or dull-coloured brass can be hung from

I


DINING-ROOM.

57

the wall, holding convolvulus-shaped glass shades.

The long narrow shape should always be adopted, as the other shapes^

though pretty in themselves,

do not shade the light

sufficiently.

Glass shades are clean and suitable

dining-room

;

for

the

there are beautiful ones to be found

of flame-colour, orange, amber, celadon and soft red,

pink,

and one

in

and another

delicately

white, the

edges tipped with

called aurora, because

from orange

it

shaded

to pink.

All these glasses should have a slight pattern

engraved upon them, and the edges should not be straight, but crinkled like the petals of a flower,

but they require careful choosing

;

there are a

few pretty ones and very many ugly ones. glass shades should be avoided

tempting

when

agreeable

when

seen

by

lighted.

;

these are most

daylight, but are

decided upon.

dis-

Every shade should be

seen with the electric light by night before finally

Opal

When two

lights

it

is

come

from one pendant, they should not hang on the


DECORATIVE ELECTIUCITY.

68

same all

In the dining-room

level.

the brackets

A

and

it is

best to have

side-lights pendant.

bright light in the centre of a back dining-

room greatly

foreshortens the rooms.

In the sideboard the electric lamps should possible be

worked

into the design

;

if it is old

if

oak,

by a branch of bronze or beaten iron springing naturally from the carvings

;

or

if it is

Chippendale,

a delightful design can be carried out to the brass-work at the back

by adding

two or more stems,

garnished with leaves or tendrils bending over

and holding the flower-like

glass shade

with those of the

You

electric lamps,

of a

rest of the

and shaded by a

tone to harmonize

room, Fig. 12.

will rejoice the heart of

your butler by

giving him a good reflected light over the carving table.

An

electrical cigar-lighter,

mounted

ivory, or china, should be placed

in silver,

on the table at

dessert.

These branches and glass shades are not expen-


DININO-ROOM.

sive,

59

but in small houses where every shilling

is

of consequence, a pleasant light can be had and

a good

effect

produced by the cheapest form of

white china shade, with crinkled paper or a hand-

FlG. 12.

kerchief thrown

over

the handkerchief

ornamental

SiDEBOAKD DESIGN.

the

points

of

might each have a glass

or

it

;

four

bead sewn to them, to keep them

in their place.

A

piece of silk cut like a star-


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

60

each point ending in a large bead,

fish,

is

very

graceful.

One

sixteen-candle light over the dining-table,

and one eight-candle light by the door (only used

if

necessary) would be light enough for the

small dining-room of a cottage or

Most of the dining-rooms,

and

to be

electric light

ladies, " I

my

house, as

dine by

it

;

"

found at present in

very glaring and disagreeable,

is

fully justifies the

by

remark

I so often hear

never will have the it

villa.

gives

and

I

me

am

made

electric light in

a headache whenever I

not surprised

if

they have

been accustomed to a light similar to that by

which we a

short

seating

ate our dinner

time

ago.

and

tried

to

converse

There was a round table

ten guests, and ten lamps with lemon-

yellow shades were hung just above their eyes, so that the light

was focussed

into the eyes

and

face

of everyone sitting at table, like a horrid detective little

bulFs-eye,

showing up every wrinkle and

line in the face.

I


!

DINING-ROOM.

No

01

one over the age of eighteen should be asked

to sit beneath such a light

Though

I feel

sure that their lighting must

have been most unsatisfactory,

I

descriptions of ancient banquets

delight in the

and

feasts

;

the

sparkle, glow,

and colour must have been en-

trancing, and

Dumas' account of Fouquefs and

other

fifteenth-century entertainments enable us

to realize the value of decorative accessories.

By

the

artistic

gourmet of both, dinner and

conversation are enjoyed with keener relish by a bright though softened light; acidity of our

appreciated

modern good

and the pleasing

talkers

is

the better

by our minds, when our bodies are

comfortably seated, and our senses attuned by

harmonious surroundings.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

62

DININQ-KOOM. Switches

The

to

he ^placed

ceiling lights

Just

Side lights

Picture lights.

Centre pendant

inside

door

on wood

panel, or inside small orna.

mental cupboard.

Dinner-table standards

China or plate cupboard

Within the cupboard.

Sideboard lights

On

.

wall Close to sideboard, or

on sideboard Carving-table

On

itself.

wall above carving- table.

I


63

(

)

CHAPTER

Y.

The Library. The

in

electric lights

servants of our hooks

this

room should he the

and the lamps and

;

shades should he as simple as possible fussy, smart, or

place here, or

more

copper

lights can he fixed

reflectors,

as a library

;

as

when

the

room

the

is

not used

not pleas-

13, should be placed

most

comfortable

Sockets can be put in round

moved about

is

Standards with pendant

lamps and shades, as Fig.

standards

Three

on the ceiling with

a brightly lighted ceiling

near

out of

but should not be lighted except

ant in a reading-room.

tables

is

and has a common appearance.

upon such occasions

the

anything

;

even very ornamental,

their

as

on

seats.

the wall, and the

required

;

or if the


—

DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

64

positions

the most

of

comfortable

ascertained, the wires can be brought

are

chairs

up through

tiny holes in the carpet.

A small hanging light writing-table, as

it

leaves

Fig. 13.

A

leaf

is

to

be preferred for the

more room

for papers.

Standard Lamp.

and twisted vine-tendril (Fig. 14)

inexpensive, pretty, and suitable design.

is

an

It is

convenient to have one or more lights with a long wire

hung on

the wall

;

they should be provided

with a convenient handle, and shell

reflector, so


—

LIBRARY,

65

that tliey can be carried about to search for books

on the

shelves.

wire, so that

it

The length required

may

Fig. 14.

for this

reach comfortably to the end

Wkiting-Table Pendant.

of the bookcase and to the topmost shelves, should

be measured before-hand.

Many

libraries contain statues or bronzes set in

F


—

DECOEATIVE ELECTRICITY,

66

niches and alcoves

among

the books.

These are

best lighted by hidden electric lamps.

I recently

saw a

effect

statue so illuminated,

superb, for the

and the

was

beautiful figure seemed alive, so

Fig. 15.

Arm-Chair with Lamp.

radiant was she with the glow of the soft reflected light.

A delightful nook for reading

may

be contrived

with a high-backed chair, Fig. 15, and an light

placed behind

the

electric

projecting ear and

so


LIBBARY,

arranged

mechanically

(with

67

a

ball-and-socket

joint) that the angle can be altered at will.

A

funnel-shaped shade should be placed on this lamp, so that the light is

may

be focussed on the book that

held in the hand or propped on the book-rest.

The switch chair

itself,

for this

lamp should be

fixed

on the

so that the light can be extinguished

in case the reader wishes

to meditate

he has perused, or take a refreshing

on what

little

sleep

that might be detected if the light were brighter.

The newspaper and magazine an important spot

in

our

table is always

modern households,

where the news and opinions of the hour are considered to be of such vital importance.

A

convenient form can be made with a light

three-shelved table. Fig. 16, on which the daily

papers and the magazines can be attractively played.

Across the top of this table a light

wooden handle electric light,

dis-

lamp

is

is

fixed,

and from

this a

shaded

suspended, and, like the chair-

arranged to be altered to any angle. F 2


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

68

This table

is

so light that

and placed beside any and plug attached

to

seat,

the

it

can be lifted about

and the

lamp

flexible

fixed

wire

into the

nearest socket.

Fig.

16.— Light Table with Lamp.

I believe that

lines

would be

chairs

an

gentlemen at their

and

untold clubs,

tables

on the above

comfort

to

elderly

judging from the way

one hears them grumble at the

electric light

;

that


!

LIBRARY.

unless they have

is,

69

been on the

electric

light

â‚Źommittee themselves, when they always think

it

perfect

Green and orange paper shades are pleasant

for

reading; but

when many

room green

preferable, as in the semi-darkness

is

people

use the

same

of a library any shade of yellow makes an unpleasantly bright spot.

For students with the microscope, the illuminant

a real aid

is

assured " that painfully

it

;

indeed I have been

only those

is

and wearily

to

new

who have

trace the

tried

wriggles of

microscopic animalculae that can fully appreciate the steadiness and coolness of the electric light." I

would

specimens,

suggest

gems,

to

coins,

collectors intaglios,

of

scientific

and

other

precious objects, that they should have a bracket fixed at the side of the cabinet containing them,

and the

electric

lamp mounted on a ball-and-

socket joint, so that

drawers themselves.

it

will dip straight into the


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

70

When

the

h'brary

is

by the sons

inhabited

and younger members of the family, pendants with counterweights are hardly

flexible wires are

" colley-shangles "

that

best, as standards safe,

with

during the constant

must

inevitably

take

place.

A

billiard-table

requires extravagant lighting

and

to be successful,

I gather

from good authority

that six green shades, containing each three eight-

candle lamps, in are

what

is

to be

all

eighteen eight-candle lamps^

recommended.

Switches at the door must control these lights^ so

that a less

number can be burnt when the

younger members of the family are

An

practising.

electrical cigar-lighter should

the wall near the

be hung on

fire.

The small back downstairs-room of a London house often serves as library, den, and smoking-

room

for

the master, and candidly

confessed that as a rule

Drawing-room,

it is

boudoir,

a dingy

and

it

little

must be hole.

bedrooms,

are


LIBEART,

71

thought out with care, but anything

good enough family and

for the

considered

abode of the father of the

Indeed

bread-winner.

its

is

if it

were

not for his old leather armchair, and his cherished pipes,

he would probably

writer on the art of furnishing " from attic

One

to cellar " advises " little

"

rebel.

room

Edwin "

dinner

is

for

" to

annex even

Her poor

herself.

this

neglected

to write in the dining-room after the

cleared

is

Angelina

away

;

and his smoking

is

to be

kindly but firmly discouraged.

This

can be

little

den, which

is

chiefly used after dark,

much brightened with

electric decoration,

and a pendant and a standard covered with red give

silk will

it

a bright and cosy look

when

its

master returns.

But

after all,

it

will

most likely be found that

the master does not "quite fancy"

arrangements venience

women

;

is,

made

for

his

all

little

comfort and con-

so the best suggestion I can

that

the

make

they should discover with

to

dis-


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

72

cretion

and sympathy what

men-kind really

their

do want, and then try to give

them, even

it

if it

involves the electrician coming several times to alter the fittings.

The Library. Switches

_ ? Bow-window .

*

,

.

1

light

Eeading standards Eeading

chair

*

*

*

.

.

.

.

and

.

.

table

[

On

to he

placed

board just inside door.

)

Key switches on them.

On

chair or table, or within

very easy reach.

lights Collector's cabinet

.

.

.

On

the

lamp

itself,

or on

cabinet.

Light for statue or bronze Portable

search-lights

book-shelves

.

for

Inside door, or near the statue.

On

the wall near where they

hang.


(

73

)

CHAPTER VL The Boudoir.

The

decorative lighting of the mistress's private

boudoir and sitting-rooms depends on whether

they are work-rooms or play-rooms, or a happy

combination of both. If the mistress

is

a sternly domesticated

woman,

pendant reflected lights should be used, so as to leave the tables free for work, whenever she

may

wish to cut out Tommy's pinafore or Mary's frock.

But

I question greatly, if she

better left

mother

to both

would not make a

Tommy

and Mary

if

she

the cutting-out to their nurse, and spent the

time thus gained in furnishing and bracing her

mind, so that when her children are older, and


—

74

DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

come ler

to her for guidance,

judgment

had some she

have

will

and

training,

may

some

possess

knowledge of her own to dehcate

help her in her

and

difficult

but

;

all

Eudyard

Mr.

as

this,

task

Kippling would say, " belongs to another story."

In the sitting-room in

which we

live, there

should be two kinds of light

;

a faint

shaded light to read,

talk,

and

think by, and a brighter light to '*

play " by.

With

a brisrht

light meditation Fig. 17.

Pe^'dant Cupid.


THE BOUDOIR.

will not be fertile,

75.

and with a dim

light play will

not be vigorous.

A pendant

should hang from the ceiling, under

which a steady table used for cutting-out, pasting, or

any other

useful occupation can stand.

A counter-

weight and shade would look very clumsy in the boudoir, so

we must

to the height

A

we

carefully decide before-hand as

require the light above the table.

flying Cupid in Italian carved wood-work,

holding an electric lamp, Fig. 17, makes a very pretty pendant for the boudoir this

is

the best shade for

;

a rather large lace handkerchief,

square spotted net edged with

with

A

silk,

of

any pale

lace,

or a

and lined

colour.

large wire frame should be placed beneath,

to hold out the silk

the table.

White

and

distribute the light over

birds

substituted for the Cupid.

or

grey gulls can be

A

pretty pendant can

be made with a light wire frame, covered with the

petals

of

artificial

flowers

foundation of the same colour.

sewn on a

silk


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

76

The Cupid,

hung by a

soft

bird, or

pendant frame should be

silk scarf

from the

ceiling,

besides looking well, serves to hide the

wire of the electric lamp.

work

hanging

The wire should be of

A

the same colour as the scarf. pleasant to

which

by, as anyone

pendant light

knows who has

experienced the annoyance of a heavy right in the middle of the table.

Two

oil

lamp

or three

lights can be placed inside the wire frame,

one or more used as required

is

and

or if this arrange-

;

ment makes the pendant look heavy, a

sixteen-

candle lamp can be used for ordinary lighting

and a thirty-two candle lamp substituted upon special occasions. It is astonishing

how people

shrink from chang-

ing the candle power of their yet

and

does not give a tenth part of the trouble

it

that

electric lights,

cleaning and lighting a paraffin lamp re-

quires.

On

each^side of the

reading-lamp can

[^be

fire,

a socket for a'standard

fixed.

•]

AVhere

J

there

are


TEE BOUDOm,

many

children,

standard lights should be avoided,

unless they are on tables

likely only the plug it

close to the wall,

as.

over the wires, and though very

feet trip

little

77

may happen

comes out of the

socket,.

that bruises and tears ensue, or

a favourite standard be dragged from the table

and broken.

But

there

if

standard,

with an

it is

elastic

is

a long wire attached to

safest to coil

band over

conveniently placed

little

it

it,

up

and

hook

;

the^

in the daytime, to

hang

or better

it

on a

still,

to

keep the standards in a cupboard or downstairs,

and not

to fix the plugs into the sockets

till

the

children have gone to bed.

Over the writing-table another pendant should ;

here also standards take up valuable

It

can hang out from the side of the

be fixed room. desk,

or

be suspended from the ceiling in the

same manner silk,

as the other light.

powdered with

bright shade to

flowers,

work by.

Very

thin white

makes a pleasant

Glass or china vases.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

78

would make suitable standards

for the

boudoir.

But a heavy base should always be contrived with a piece of lead, or some shot placed in the bottom

of the vase. I

for

had some

my

factory

little

Cupids made into standards

boudoir, but I did ;

their toes, fingers,

not find them

and wing- tips were

where carved

too fragile.

In

wood Cupids

are used, they should be

their" natural •gilded or

The

all cases

colour,

and not

spoilt

Italian

kept in

by being

whitewashed.

dinner-table standards can be used in the

boudoir, as

when

a dinner-party

is

given reading-

lamps are not generally required in the private sitting-room. in

Chapter

reading-lights,

They

satis-

III.

The

make

and are

ladies'

silver figures described

beautiful less

fragile

should have two sets of shades

and

steady

than glass. if

used for

both purposes.

An

enticing cosy corner can be made, with an

old spring mattress tufted and nicely covered with


THE BOUDOIR.

79

velvet or brocade, and a heap of big soft pillows

placed on

If this divan is placed in the corner

it.

of the room, a three-shelved corner bracket should

be fixed just above

it,

arm made

to

and an

from

spring

of

shelf

top

the

bracket,

this

holding a lamp and

handkerchief shade,

where

Tommy and

his

mother can have

a

most

com-

fortable

nest

in

which

to

study " Struwwel-Peter,"

any

other

nurserv sic.

or

A

claslittle

— ^^^^^^

Brackkt wjth Cupid.

carved cherub with wings, Fig. 18,

can be made to -his

^^^' ^^'

outstretched

sit

on the top

hand a pink

shelf,

electric

holding from wire cord, and


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

80

a handkerchief shade h'ned with the same pink.

On

the outside of this shade, two or three pink

butterflies

made

might be placed

to look as if

so that

;

Cupid may be

he was busily fishing

for

them.

Key-sockets should never be fixed on flexible

pendant

lights,

however carefully they are

as,

turned on, the motion of doing so must set the

pendant lamp swinging I called

few seconds.

on a friend a short time ago, to inspect

A

her electric lights.

hung above

went

sofa,

and her smart

brocade with which is

lamp

light she

little

French

through the tightly-strained

crack

of this obviously

pretty shaded pink

To turn on the

the sofa.

sprang on the heels

for a

it

to

was covered.

have

all

The moral

the switches placed

within easy reach on the wall.

Extra bright obtained

the

boudoir are best

brackets.

These brackets

in

lights

by pendant

are usually fixed on each side of the fireplace, but this is a mistake, as the light then shines directly

in the eyes of

any one

sitting facing

the

fire,.


—

BOUDOIR.

81

and on the back of any book or paper held by them.

pendant

Delicate

of

designs

brackets can

be

made

in

carton-

pierre, the leaves

and

bending over

stalks

and the flower made of an

lamp

electric

with soft white

silk

covered with lace.

Talc

should

be

placed inside the silk to

save

scorching.

The luminous in

flowers

pendants

these

look like part of the

design itself and are

most harmonious, quality

many

in

a

which

Fig. 19.

Carton-Pierre Bracket.

of the electroliers are wanting at present,

the electric lamps appearing as if they had been

G


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

82

hung on

stuck on or

A

an after-thought.

as

three- shelved table with lights as described in the

library

would be very

useful in this room, to hold

paper books,

papers, fashion journals, children's

and other light

articles

;

and

cupboard containing old sures

for a

there

is

a large

and other

letters

and memories of the

described

if

past, a light

trea-

such as

cabinet would be

collector's

a

great comfort, and on a foggy London afternoon

some happy hours could be spent in sorting and arranging

Many French

contents.

its

boudoirs style,

and

old, or

XY- and Empire

brackets.

I

have

decorated

in

the

rooms nothing could

for those

be more suitable than Louis

now

are

good copies of old

designs

lately seen

for

candle-

some most beautiful

adaptations of these with small lamps fixed at the

top of sham candles.

The shades

made of wood veneer

as

thin

for these

as

paper.

were

The

shades were on the room side only, and the light

was

reflected

from

tne

walls.

These French


BOVDOIM.

adaptations are

XY. and Empire

it

is

French

in

beautiful

rooms, but I think

83

decorated

a mistake to put Louis

designs into rooms

to

we may

they are not adapted, however tempted be by the intrinsic beauty of the model

The shades

which

itself.

for electric lights require as I

have

already pointed out great consideration and care.

As

a rule

lamp and candle shades do not adapt

well for the electric light.

Electric light shades

should be designed by some one effect

silks are

they have to that

advise

used; this can

cheap

try the

of the shades on the electric lamps themselves.

Bright thin

I

who can

lace

has

Soft white silk

be

used

rather

be

best for shades, even if in

good

cleaned

always

double

a

thicknesses.

should

lace

several

times,

be

and

tawdry appearance.

powdered with flowers gives a

pleasant light to read or write by.

Talc placed

round the top of the shade prevents scorching

and in no cases should the be ever

silk,

lace,

;

or paper

Another

placed touching the lamps.

G

2


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

84

difficult

problem

order the exact size of wire

is to

frame required, and

it

will be found that almost

each

lamp and shade needs a separate-shaped

wire,

some narrow, some wide, some

and

tight,

fitting

from below

To have

above. all

and some with large wide bases

the light more.

disperse

fitting close

these points

the

Some

wires

to

require

lamp and some

from

electric decorations successful,

must be carefully attended

to.

Soft thin silk, crepe \de chine ^ and good imitation lace, all chifibn

make

successful shades.

Ordinary

has been a disappointment to me; but

a substance called, I believe, " Arachne gauze," is

perfect

for

draping

The simpler a shade elaborate

ones

is

not

are

electric

in

lamps

softly.

design the better; generally

effective,

Euches are dusty and common-looking, unless used as a slight heading to lace

always be avoided

;

;

fringes should

combinations of beads are

sometimes successful.

In London,

silks

and

laces require

renewing so


;

BOUDOIB.

become rather a serious expense.

often that they I

think for this

reason

should

always

second

The

best can descend

be second

be recommended

have

very

a

but

best,

;

in for

three

sets

and

bright

London

for

fogs.

due course of time to the third paper

is

to

dirty fine shades, even in a fog,

dreary

and

Pretty paper shades can be strips of paper,

or

visitors,

common one

weather; and a

and

sitting-rooms,

the best for parties

:

summer,

for

best to have these

two

be

of shades for each lamp the

it is

shades only in the

delicate

there

85

forlorn

appearance.

made with narrow

two or three rows being fastened

one over the other to make a thick bushy fringe. In London electric wire

cords

covered with

light-coloured silk should not be used, as

they so

soon get soiled.

The manufacture of

electric light shades is

an

industry very suitable for ladies to take up and

develop

;

as shades will be always

more

successful

made one by

one,

and with

and more

artistic


86

DECOliA 7 1 VE ELECTRICITY.

personal care and attention devoted to each, than

when made factory,

in

numbers

large

to

sample in a

even by the best workmen.

The

Boudoir. Switches should he placed

Central

pendant and bow-

windov pendant

.

Writing-table pendant

.

.

Just inside door.

On

.

table,

or on

wall

near

table. .

Key

Cosy corner hanging light

.

On

Pendants on walls

.

Close

Eeading standards

.

.

.

.

sockets.

wall behind cushions. to

the

vourite seat.

mistress's

fa-


87

(

)

CHAPTER YIL The Drawing-Room.

Although much we must

we

beautiful

confess that

much

see at present in

work has been done, of the electric lighting

drawing-rooms

is

not con-

ducive to comfort and repose, and hinders instead

by

of aiding conversation,

The engineers have to the house,

how

and

it

unsympathetic glare

supplied the electric current

becomes necessary to consider

to arrange, clothe

so that the light

its

and decorate the lamps

from them may be a source of

pleasure to us and not of irritation.

So

far the artists

engineers, liers

have not kept pace with the

and most of the pendants and

electro-

found at present are singularly wanting in

imagination and grace.

They

are too heavy and


DECORATIVE ELECTBICITY.

88

clumsy for the light lamps they support

;

the lines

and curves are ungraceful, and the lamps are often so placed that they shed their light directly

in our eyes, instead of reflecting

that should be illuminated

So

far,

much

it

from the objects

by them.

designers of electric light fittings are too

the slaves of precedent, derived from their

experiences with gas, candles^

oil,

and other

relics

of the Middle Ages, forgetting that the shapes of

the holders of

all

these lights are determined

by

the necessity of leaving a clear space above them

and

for the escape of hot

foul air,

and

also

by

the condition that they must be within reach of

the taper or match used for lighting them.

Not these

till

two

appreciate

the

they realize fully their freedom from

new

limitations

properly

will

the

designers begin to

artistic

possibilities

of

illuminant, and give us original designs

of flying figures, birds, and carved Cupids, delicate

chain work, faintly tinted glass, and china powdered

with flowers.


DRAWINQ-ROOM.

I

of

89

do not propose to give an exhaustive account

my

the designs that I have in

all

only hope to indicate what Mr. George

I shall

Meredith

calls,

of the

idea "

mind's eye.

" the first tadpole wriggle of scientific use

of the

an

imagination

required to produce good and artistic results. G-rac3,

simplicity,

and

beauty

of

form and

colour are to be sought before anything. rations

should be the measure of the owner's

and imagination, and not of

taste

Every pendant, chosen

we

after

and shade should be

bracket,

seeing the

his purse.

behind

light

should take into consideration

electric light differs effect

upon

that the

Deco-

colours,

same

glass

and

it,

how much

from other illuminants in

and

and

the its

also the different shades silk will

show with

trans-

mitted or reflected light respectively. I

would furthermore suggest

glasses,

that

brackets,

and pendants should never be

decided upon

till

finally

they have been seen in the places

they are intended to occupy.

If they do not look


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

90

home, they should be at once discarded, however

at

beautiful they

People

and

may

be in themselves.

who have old family

side pendants can

electric light

cut-glass chandeliers

have them adapted

and they are very

;

for tlie

effective if the

shades of the electric lamps are well designed and carried out.

Cut-glass chandeliers should never

be used with unshaded lights.

most

glaring

recently old

glass

think

painful

saw a most

made

the

I

the

electric

eyes.

I

an

lamp shades

three tones

in

of yellow.

they would look well with soft white

lace shades, for balls or

when

to

successful adaptation of

chandelier,

of which were I

and

They become then

a flood of light

have seen an

Adams chandelier

is

evening entertainments,

required.

effective design consisting of

turned upside down, the electric

lamps being underneath the

little

cut-glass drops,

which break up the rays of light into many Celadon and

an

colours.

other shades of pale green,

skilfully chosen, are

more

effective

with

if

electric


—

DRAWING-ROOM.

pÂŤ

light

than

with

other

illuminants.

91

Venetian

glass chandeliers, with different coloured flower-

FiG. 20.

Large Stork Standard.

shaped shades of the exact

tints of the glass itself,

are soft and pleasant to the eyes.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

92

For drawing-room standards, cranes, holding the light

either

enough

tall

bronze storks cr

down from

(Fig. 20) are very convenient.

be

tall

to

their beaks

The bronzes can on the

stand

floor,

holding the light at the proper height, or small ones can be mounted on old oak

They

stools.

should in either case be furnished with castors, so that they can be

any

chair.

moved about

the loom near

A most delightful retreat in cold foggy

weather can be made in front of the

fire

with

a comfortable armchair and one of these large

cranes standing by it

to cut off the

it,

and a screen placed behind

draught from the window or door.

China and glass vases can with a be made into beautiful (Fig. 21).

narrow

ingenuity

light standards

Designs that are broad at the base and

at the top should for practical reasons be

preferred.

same

electric

little

The shades should be chosen

of the

tint as the glass or china, or if the vase is

of a dark colour, of a paler tone of the same.

Many of the

dealers will offer to adapt the vases,


— VEAWING'ROOM.

and bronzes

glasses,

them home, and have a trician

skilled

sending

will assure purchasers that they elec-

the

No

credence

be

should

for electricity before

on

mises.

93

pre-

given

to

this statement, but the

things should be pur-

chased as they stand,

and should be sent

for

adaptation to a regular electrical firm. It

necessary,

is

though brilliantly lighting

our

guest-

rooms, so that dresses

and jewels may look effective, to

Fig. 21.

remember

that the electric light by itself

Venetian-glass Standard.

is

a hard light, and

that ceiling lighting alone, without side-lights, i&

very unbecoming.


— DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

94

Fig. 22

IS

a bronze stork adapted for a writingtable.

He

searching

is

supposed to be

for

who

frog in

bronze

the

squats

happy

se-

above

curity the Hght.

However large the recep-

tion-rooms

FiG. 22.

able,

and every

are,

they

should

look

comfort-

Writing-Table.

effort

should

be used to

get


—

DliAWING-BOOM.

Fig

23.

Summek Fireplace with Electric Lights.

95


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY,

96

**

rid of that

that haunts the

best-parlour look "

drawing-room when the mistress

of

the house

makes the boudoir her principal sitting-room.

when

In summer-time,

we

dismal look, and

the fireplace has such a

are forced to stick in one of

those dreadful bazaar-made ornaments, or spend

some guineas

in

hot-house flowers

look

banking up the chasm with

— which,

out of place

in

my

to

of the

front

following electrical decoration

commended

A front

is

—the

be re-

to

:

large Benares brass tray should be stood in

of the grate, and a fern, palm,

these

plants

or brass

lamps, with reflectors, light from these will

again

coals,

much

dogs placed on each side of the

hind

mind, always

with

light,

impression of a

Here

T

may

fire

dogs two

Be-

electric

The

the brass tray

glow

and give one without

fireplace.

be hidden.

should

make

or brass

its

the

pleasant

heat, Fig. 23.

point out the advantage of extra

sockets round the drawing-room, for Mr.

Gordon


BRA WINO-R contrived

electrical

this

97

OM.

decoration,

with

two

standards from the bedrooms, at the last

moment

before an evening party in summer, 'when

we were

lamenting the heavy, dismal look of the

fireplace.

Similarly,

we have

and when a lanterns,

sockets near all the windows,

ball or " at

with

electric

home

" is given,

lights

inside,

Japanese

are

on the balcony, and beneath the awnings

Both these

electrical

in case of a ball,

hung

outside.

decorations are invaluable

and the glowing

fireplace cheers

the inevitable mournfulness of the

first

quarter of

an hour.

With time and

many most

experience_, I

have no doubt

delightful electrical decorations will be

developed, but novelty should not be too eagerly

sought after for

its

own

sake.

Too many bright-coloured

lights in

strings have a Cremorne-like effect,

Qgg with a

light

in

it,

groups or

and an ostrich

though novel, gives an

unpleasant idea of the liveliness of the unhatched chick

inside

!

but after

all,

even unsuccessful

H


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

attempts after novelty are better than the con-

and

tinual imitation of gas-brackets

of which I

we

see so

greatly

candlesticks,

much. the

dislike

look

cheerless

windows on a foggy afternoon, and spirits in the

we

contrived a

raise our

window

little

with Cairo lattice-work, and

It is filled in

outside in the balcony, a powerful electric

hung

the

the cosy corner seat in the drawing-

just over

room.

winter

to

of

lamp

is

in a lantern like that used in front of shop-

windows, with a dark side to the painted white

above the desolate,

seat,

we

through the

and

if

the afternoon

lattice,

making

lamp of

used, books can be read better to

a

is

is

and

switch just

dreary and

switch on the light, which gleams

If a

lace-work.

There

inside.

street,

look like wooden

it

suflScient

by

it,

candle-power

but as a rule

it

is is

have some lamps, with reading-shades,

hung from the cosy corner

at an angle convenient

for reading.

This

outside

light

is

well

worth

the

few


DEAWINO-BOOM.

99

IC!Ci>>CiO'5<?

Fig. 24.

Imitation Sunlight.

H 2

if


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

100

worth of

shillings'

electricity that it uses

the winter months.

little feast

burn

is

five o clock tea quite a

in the cosy corner.

It is of

when

window-light

this outside

room

cheer the spirits on a

It will

foggy afternoon, and make

illuminated.

during

It

no use

to

the whole

must be kept as the

cheerer of dull, wet, and foggy winter afternoons. I

have suggested the use of outside windowon the

lights

hall

and

and our own

staircase,

little

window-light has given us so much pleasure that I

do not see

why

window-lighting could not be

Imagine a beauti-

carried out on a large scale. fully-decorated

windows

altered,

with

filled

room

the

shapes

and the windows

richly-coloured

curtains, hideous blinds.

with

glass,

curtain-poles,

the

of

themselves

no

heavy

nor aggravating

Behold, as soon as the daylight fades,

turn a switch, and the room

is

flooded with a

we

new

daylight of our own. It

sounds like a dream of Haroun-al-Raschid,

but I do not see

why

the

dream should not be


i

DBA WING-R OOM. Houses in London

realised.

101

streets

would not

be spoilt by having some of their street-views obscured, and the saving in our

handsome

"

'^

expensive and

window-curtains and blinds would go

at least half-way towards the cost of the coloured

windows, the art of designing which seems reviving so greatly.

It

would

in

any

be

to

case be

necessary to add a few ceiling and bracket lights

Light must be distributed to avoid dark

as well.

and unbecoming shadows. Tapestry makes a good

hanging light,

;

it

is

drawing-room

apt to look heavy with insufficient

but with the electric light

trouble

wall-

and expense of putting

Dull gold softens electric

it

v/orth the

up.

light,

perfect back-ground to people has, moreover, the

it is w^ell

and

is

also a

and ornaments

;

it

charm of not wearying the

eye, like the yellow-and-white

and

floral

French

papers, which the need of lightness has introduced to such

an extent.

In this grey and chilly climate of ours we long


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

102

for

colour,

and we may perhaps in the future

electricity for sparing us these fussy

thank

French

modern

papers and restoring to us a more

floral

harmonious

background, which, while

and dignified

in itself, will give full value to

beautiful

every

scrap of beautiful colour in the room.

For the drawing-room

whatever

I believe that,

the illuminant used, the light of the future will be

a reflected that the soft

light.

What we have

room should be

scious of the source from

This can

only be

reflected lights

;

but

which

it is

is,

be

uncon-

proceeds.

it

by the

attained

when

at

warm,

flooded with a

and that we should

radiance,

aim

to

use

of

remembered that

powerful electric lamps can be placed within a

few

inches

of

the

most beautifully

decorated

and

ceilings without risk of injury to them, direct

rays intercepted by silk

semi-opaque substance,

what

opportunities

efiective illumination

it

will

electricity *

or

their

any other

be seen at once affords

for

of our drawing-rooms.

the It


DBA WING-E makes

it

ceilings

possible

any

which

use

to

103

OM,

decorations

combustion

on

the

would

light

destroy in a few months.

Light like sympathy should be unobtrusive to be

pleasant,

and

soft

reflected

rays

more

fall

kindly than direct light on tired eyes and on the faces

and figures of those who have passed the

" half-way house of life."

Most of the light we receive from the sun reflected,

is

and now that we have such a powerful

illuminant as electricity, surely

we may

take some

hints from Nature herself.

As we

learn as

successes, I will

much by our describe

failures as

by our

for the benefit of

my

readers the history of the reflected ceiling lights in our

We

own drawing-room. had four 100-candle lamps placed under

a cone-shaped at

reflector, see Fig. 25.

which these mirrors

most carefully calculated.

was hung up beneath the

The angles

reflected the light

were

The whole apparatus ceiling.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

104

The

walls are a dull gold and the ceiling gold

The

Japanese brocades in panels.

light reflected

from them was most successful and pleasant, the gold just tinging the white light a that

so

it

apparatus

was almost

itself

Fig. 25.

And now

like

was most

soft yellow,

sunshine;

hideous.

Ceiling Lights with Shade Removed.

began tribulation

First

!

up a board beneath the mirrors, and tried it;

but the

we hung to drape

but the edges of the board refused to be

draped, and stuck out through

hard and uncompromising

all

the folds with

stiffness.

Oriental wood-work, and pierced iron, brought

down

the ceiling on our heads.


DBAWING-ROOM.

My magic

105

imagination longed for a winged eagle or a

we

but failing to find either of these,

roc,

hung up various kinds

of poultry

room

the

till

looked like a provision-shop.

Some one suggested an

Never

owl.

I

shall

forget the cold dead eye of that owl, as he

hung

dangling helplessly and seeming to reproach us for placing him, the bird of night,

glaring lights

fierce

and we had made acanthus

graceful

hammered out

We

rejoiced

and

said,

We tion

;

like

all

for us a beautiful design of leaves,

when we saw

were

which

be

to

artificers.

the beautiful drawing,

" This will be the end of our trouble."

then in

the birds,

copper by cunning

in

two weeks

waited

saw

we abandoned

so

;

beneath those

the the

on

coming

front

old

hall

kettles

broken down and rolled naturally

in

a

happy

in

one

mass

and into

afternoon,

of

old

I

metal

preserving-pans plates,

concluded were on their

Gordon's laboratory;

expecta-

which

way

to

I

Mr.

but on remonstrating at


!

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

106

their being left in the front hall, I

were the new drawing-room

they

that

lights,

had been

that

see before they

Those

was informed

my

were

centre

me

the hall for

left in

to

erected.

graceful springing acanthus leaves

Half an hour

later

they came and hung the

And now my

" thing " up.

drawing-room was

turned from a poulterer's into an old ironmonger's shop. I

went

upstairs, sadly

resolving to abandon

electrical decorative reflectors

and content myself

with a simple glass chandelier, and in a virtuous

and domestic frame of mind

Hans Andersen

We read

sat

down

to the children.

the story of the

Swan

Princes carrying

their little sister over the seas to their

my

home

;

and

thoughts wandering from the story to

unsuccessful

scheme

by

to read

for

drawing-room,

I

sketched

out

my a

shading the lights by a sheet carried

flying swans, as in the story

Next m.orning

we were

I started early

reading.

and came back


DBA WING-B with a carriage soft-coloured electrician to

A

of

full

OM.

storks

1

and a heap of

Having telegraphed

silks.

meet me, we started

long square of pinkish red

across beneath the lights,

07

to

the

afresh. silk

was draped

and each corner

finished

and held in the beak of a flying

with a

gilt ball,

stork.

Directly under the lamps a larger stork

was

holding in his beak a small Arabian

fixed,

glass bottle, with a sixteen-candle

every-day use, and

when

the screen

The

to

lamp

inside (for

avoid a dark patch under

the large lamps were hghted).

was lined with a layer of white

silk

tissue

paper, to soften the light, and to keep the upper surface clean.

The

silk

below the

was suspended about

inches

ceiling, so as to allow the light to fall

upon the

directly

fifteen

ceiling

and upon the upper

portions of the walls.

Now thing

all

this

was

infinitely better

we had attempted

imagined

a

rush

of

birds

before

;

bearing

than anybut the

I

had light


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

108

and

along,

The centre

alas

stork

!

these

is

dignified,

birds

will

not

rush.

and looks well with

his bottle of light, but the four corner ones are

the

most aggravating fowls, as they will not

make up

their

minds which way they

face each other as in a quadrille.

waiting

till

will fly, but

We

are only

the fogs of winter are over

to

try

some further improvements.

An

artist

has suggested sunset tints

yellow and orange

flame-

ol'

silk,

and herons, or darker

birds, instead of storks, as

by daylight white birds

look rather spotty against the golden ceiling, and it is

one of the principal

difficulties

lighting, to design fittings

of decorative

which are beautiful

both by day and night.

The same scheme be successful

of lighting would, I

if carried

out in white.

am

The

sure,

ceiling

in this case should be raised carton-pierre, or

good

Tynecastle tapestry tinted a soft parchment white,

and the screen below the silk of the

lights should be of

same tone as the

ceiling.

white


DRAWING-ROOM.

109


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

110

If there

is

a

window guarded by heavy

that seem to need

vase

or

bottle

relief,

can

be

curtains

a large ornamental glass

hung with inside

(Fig.

it

Wonderfully light

is

lamp

the

27). little

absorbed by

these glasses if carefully chosen,

and the

rays will look like the

imprisoned

genii

of

the "Arabian Nights,"

and

will

the

delight

imagination

well

as

as the eye.

People with small

drawing-rooms make a Fig. 27.

Pendant Arabian

great

mistake

in

buying a " handsome

Glass Yase.

i

>,

.

centre electrolier. I lately

saw a small room lighted with such a one,

the lamps being placed on

it

at right angles

;

the


BBAWING-ROOM.

room being

small,

it

was impossible

Ill

to escape

from

the lights. Fig. 28 represents a graceful and inexpensive

wall bracket.

Fig. 28.

If

central

attained

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Liois

and Sceoll Wire Design.

lighting

is

desired,

by a small copper centre

large lamp above and a small

it

could

be

flower, with

lamp beneath.

a


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

112

Any

of the simple designs given in the fore-

going chapters are suitable for small drawingrooms.

In decorative matters true, that people

make

it is

a strange

with slender purses generally

small rooms look

much more

and

electric fittings

appearance

when

artistic

and

Expensive electro-

harmonious than rich people. liers

but

fact,

have a specially parvenue

stuck into

a small

many rooms

spoilt

drawing-

room.

have seen

I

simple

and

tasteful,

though

that were

perhaps

a

trifle

worn, by the introduction of smart new brass

and

cut-glass

electroliers,

the

alien

appearance

of which almost makes the owner's friends wish

and

for the return of the familiar shade

paraffin

lamp.

For

electrical, as

is difficult to fail

for all

other decorations,

give general directions, as they

in application to particular cases

:

it

may

what looks

beautiful in one room, will look a decided failure


DRAWING-BOOM.

and the

in another, differ

which

greatly,

trade,

and

tastes

for

113

and habits of people

an excellent thing for

is

development

the

of

variety

in

design.

So the best thing

for the master

and duly studying

after reading

and

mistress,

and

this book,

seeing all the electrical decorations in their friends'

houses and in the shops, so that they

something

to

judge from,

may have

to order just

is

they like and admire themselves, and

much by what

guided too

I,

what

not

be

or other people like

and admire.

The Drawing-Koom. Switches should he placed

pendant

Centre lights,

or

chandelier,

In small locked cupboard, near

reflected

ornamental

and

all

door,

decora-

tive occasional lights.

One

or

two

lights for daily 1^

use

'

j

Wall pendants Outside window light

.

Standards, or bronze storks

..

â&#x20AC;˘,

bwitcn outside cupboard, near ^ door.

.

Near window.

.

On

the storks and standards

themelsves.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

114

All

pendant

reading

and

writing lights.

Extra

fireplace

Near the place where they are used.

light

Japanese lantern, &c.

and

Need no switch,

as they are

nsed so seldom that they

can simply be lighted by putting the' plugs into the sockets.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 115

(

CHAPTER

^

YIII.

The Bedroom. WhEiN^ Tennyson wrote "

The slumbrous

And moves

light

is

rich

and warm,

not on the rounded curl,"

he described an ideally-lighted bedroom.

The

whole lighting of a bedroom should be

warm

and

soft rather

Electricity

than

solves

brilliant.

the

between conscience and

long-standing inclination, as

struggle enables

it

ns safely to read in bed.

A hinged bracket lamp (Fig.

29) should project

from the wall over the bed, and the light should be shaded from above with paper.

the

new

silk, lace,

or crinkled

This lamp should be provided with one of switches

made

to rest in three positions, I

2


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

116

namely light

on,

off,

position

is

and

invaluable in case

The switch could be made with a

Fig. 29.

This

half-light.*

of

half-

illness.

flexible

wire

Bed and Keading-Lamp.

to lie

beneath the pillow, but personal experience

leads

me

*

to advise that

This light

resistance only,

The

first

is

it

should be fastened just

arranged with a second lamp, used as a

and enclosed in a brass box under the bed.

position of the switch breaks the circuit iu the

usual way, the second puts the

two lamps

in series

and

gives half-light, the third position short-circuits the resist-

ance lamp and gives full light.

J.

E. H.

it.


I

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

BEDROOM,

117

above the pillow on the back of the bed, when

it

can always be found in the same place.

The shade of nightly

on which so much

comfort deshould

pends,

this bed-light,

have

a thin veil of gauze or silk

beneath the

lamp, as a powerful reflected light

top of the head

pleasant.

on the is

not

The

bracket holding this

lamp should have least

two

joints,

at

so

can be moved

that

it

into

any position

re-

quired, or fold back Fig. 30.

against the

Bed-Room Standard.

wall.

Pendant counterweight shades are often used bed-lights, but personally I find the bracket

comfortable.

for

more


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

118

Near

wash-stand

the

another

bracket-light

should be fixed either across the corner or to one side.

In case of real

illness this is

light screen can be placed

and

all

and

this light will

medicines,

etc.,

most

useful, as a

round the wash-stand,

prepared behind the screen,

most likely make a pleasanter

all-night light than the one above the bed, which,

however, can be turned to half-light when the patient requires food.

There should be two

sockets,

one on each side

of the fireplace, and one reading standard (Fig. 30).

Bed-room

standards

should

be made of

simple design and very heavy at the base.

When

a light

is

usual to carry the standard and place

but this is

is

in

it

seems

on a

table,

required near the sofa, it

some cases rather clumsy, and the cord

apt to trip up people walking about the room.

If the sofa

much

is

signify

;

only used occasionally,

but

if,

as

is

it

sometimes the

does not case, the

mistress retires daily for rest, I strongly advise


BEDROOM.

119

that either a socket or a pendant

reading-light

should be fixed at the head of the sofa or against

and the wire brought up

the bottom of the bed,

through a tiny hole in the carpet.

The

toilet-table

should never have a lamp in

front of the glass, or

Madam

of the lamp instead of her therefore, to

hang or

In a large room toilet-lights

glass, fitted

light

own

fix it at it

hair

one

it

;

is best,

side.

preferable to have two

is

(Fig. 31), one on each

side of the

with counterweights, so that they can

be drawn up and

Each

will see the reflection

down and

placed at any level.

should have a switch, as

it

is

often

unnecessary to burn both. Pretty combinations of lace and silk can be

evolved for these lights, but for London bed-

rooms I prefer crinkled paper, that can always be kept fresh and clean, and renewed every week necessary.

Butterfly yellow, if

rest of the

decorations,

shades.

A

is

it

suits

if

with the

satisfactory for

these

white china shade should be above


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 120

DECORA TIVK ELECIBICI TY.

{|jW

!l| I

|[) |

Fig. 31.

|

l

!

|lfj

i

i |

|

p|

|

P

...-

'

' '

I

^^ |

^

Toilet-Table Pendants.

the lamp, and the paper shade fastened over that

again with a

bow

of ribbon, as in Fig. 31.


BEDROOM.

A

I'll

light brass handle should be fitted beneath

these lamps to

draw them up and down.

Electrical hair curlers

ought

to reduce the Fire

Insurance.

Dress decorations can be carried out with tiny one-candle

electric

lamps,

from

fed

a

small

secondary battery concealed in the dress, but per-

haps as

now

dress

they are only suitable for fancy electric

since the theatres

ago,

when

lights

have

become common

have adopted them

electric

lights

balls,

;

but years

were quite new, we

derived a great deal of amusement and also some tribulation

from experiments on them.

Mr. Swan very kindly presented or four dainty

little

me

lamps each the

with three size

of a

large pea.

These looked

fairy-like inside the petals of real

flowers.

To

illustrate the necessity of well considering

the effect of the electric light, I will relate a tale of

misfortune that befell me.

little


;

DECORATIVE ELECTlilCITY.

122

One day when thought

I

was going

to a fancy ball, I

would have the tiny lamps arranged

I

The wires were

behind a diamond head-dress. carried

up

inside

my

hair,

dressed so as to hide them

were

;

which was

the three small lamps

fixed behind the three principal

ornaments

a tiny switch controlled the lights. on,

carefully

I

and seeing a look of horror on the

turned

face of

maid, rushed to the glass, to subside into a helpless laughter, for nothing

was

it

my

fit

of

to be seen but

the gold wire setting of the diamonds, which stood

out in a background of green light.

was too

It

were

cut,

feeling

and

much

late to re-dress I

my

hair, so the wires

went out without

like a

my

little

glow-worm who had

lights, lost its

glow.

In those days batteries were

Once the case was upset on the burnt a hole in the carpet. heated, old

and leaked, and once

lamps having worn

difficult to

floor

manage.

and the acids

Sometimes the battery I well

out, I

remember, the

had some new ones


BEDROOM.

given to

me

that were a

It heated,

battery.

123

wrong

resistance for the

and we had barely time

to

cast the battery into the bath before the gutta-

percha sides gave way, and the acids poured out, taking off

all

the paint.

So having

spoilt a dress,

a carpet, and a bath, I abandoned personal electric light

Now-a-days, with secondary

decorations.

batteries, the

matter

is

much

simpler.

In a gentleman's dressing-room, Fig. 32 represents a very convenient pendant ; the cords carrying

the counterweight go round four pulleys instead of two, and the

light can

considerable distance, and

by the

fire

be drawn out to a

hung upon hooks

or bed to read by, aud

fixed

by the looking-

glass to shave by, so that one electric light will do all

that

is

required.

I think that

for

mothers will agree with

and bed

that reading

mended

all

young

lights are not to be recom-

people's bedrooms.

glass centre pendant should be

of the room.

A

me

hung

A

pretty

in the middle

socket can be placed near the


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

124

bed and

fireplace,

and

in the case of illness, or

the room being used for visitors, a standard can

be brought from another room and fixed as required.

Fig. 32.

Multiple Pendant.*

If a child is put into a large room,

desired to economize the light,

out *

all

it is

and

it

is

best to take

the lamps except one.

The hooks would be placed mucli further apart than can

be shown in the drawing.


BEDROOM.

125

In small spare bedrooms one pendant near the looking-glass

is

enough, and two sockets, one near

the fireplace and one near the bed, so that one

standard can be used for either as required.

The Bed-Eoom. Switches should be placed

Pendant

toilet-light

2nd Pendant

.

.

toilet-light

.

Near

.

Near dressing-table.

.

Above

Key

Standards

Bed

reading-light

.

.

door.

sockets.

or

below pillow.

The Dressing-Eoom. Near

door.


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

126

CHAPTER

IX.

SCHOOL-EOOM AND NuRSERY. In these rooms onr endeavour should be

make

to

the electric light as safe as possible, and for this

reason there should be no standards with

long

cords trailing about, certain traps for

feet.

The

electric lights should

good pattern

is

shown

little

be made pendant, and a

in Fig. 33,

by which the

light can literally be tumbled about at

any

angle.

The top part of the shade should be white china with a

frill

light the

round, so that the upper part will

room as well

as reflect

down on

the

table.

This pendant, containing three lights controlled

by two switches, should be enough for any ordinarysized school-room

;

but I think

it

would be kind


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

SCHOOL-ROOM AND NURSERY.

to

provide

governess with

the

could

reading-standard,

that

after the children

had gone

to

bed,

127

a comfortable

brought

be

out

and placed on the

table near the fire in winter,

or

by the open window

She need not then

summer.

burn the centre

lights.

When much done,

it

in

practising

best

is

to

is

have a

piano light for evenings and

dark foggy days. winter

During the long months the

electric light in

the school-room undoubtedly

makes a vast

difference

the health of children.

in

The Fig. 33.

darkness itself,

is

trying enough of

School-Eoom

Pendant.

without the addition of the foul air produced

by gas and lamps.

Electric

light mingles with

half daylight better than other illuminants, and


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

128

when we

consider

by turning the experience

we

how

little

we

easily

obtain extra light

switch, I think after some

we

shall find that

use

it

a great deal

during the winter, and for slight fogs, when the days of gas and paraffin

content to do without

With

we

artificial

in

should have been

illumination.

the use of electric light our ideas as to

the amount of illumination necessary to comfort

expand, and certainly these two points ought to be

taken into account,

when we

receive out electric

lighting bills after the winter months' burning.

The nursery should have one lights over the centre table,

or two pendant

made with

counter-

weights.

A very

useful pin-searcher can

electric lamp, fixed at the

handle, and protected

be held close to the

room

;

case,

and carried

so that every needle

to view.

end of a long wooden

by a wire

floor

be made of an

which can

all

over the

and pin can be brought

Stray needles are often the cause of

serious mischief to children's bare feet

and knees.


SCHOOL-BOOM AND NURSERY,

This electric searcher (Fig. 34) house,

as, if

any small

object

is

is lost,

129

very useful in a the searcher can

be connected to any socket in the house, and carried

and

about,

under

in

if

the

all

and chairs

poked

;

sofas

so that,

the room,

treasure

the

is

sure

to be discovered.

The

lost

lamp-holder

made

be

<

should

so as to be

easily detached

the

wooden

then

it

from

handle,

can be thrust

into the back shelves

of

cupboards, raised Fig.

on a window-pole

the tops of wardrobes

and book-shelves, and

^UQ discoverer of cobwebs and

A

34.â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Searcher Light.

to is

ti

dust.

small installation for the doll's house

is

a

surprise for Christmas Day, with a tiny one-candle


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

130

lamp

in

each room

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

plaything for children

joy of playing with

this is a

;

fire

most fascinating

as they can

and none of

and on dark foggy afternoons, the grand

parties.

have

The switch

its

dollies

all

the

danger,

can have

for this should either

be locked up, or made so that the handle will take off,

so that the lighting can be turned

a special

on only as

treat.

Christmas trees can be lighted with electric lamps,

hung among

branches, with

the

more

safety than with tapers, to the dresses of the dolls

and the more

several times, but

consider

it

I have seen

fragile presents.

must candidly own that

nearly so effective as the

little

I

is

toy becomes quite

A cheap

placed inside. effective,

do not

candles

but magic lanterns work most brilliantly searcher lamp

it

if

;

the

35. 6c?.

and the children can

by themselves, and can

be allowed to play with

it

arrange long illustrated

stories.

In the case of Tableaux Vivants and theatricals, the safety of the electric light

is

a great recom-


SCHOOL-ROOM AND NURSERY.

131

mendation, and coloured glasses placed in front will

throw a lurid light on the goblin's cave, or

a moonlight radiance on the theatrical fire can be

fairies' glen.

made with an

A good

electric

lamp

covered with red gelatine paper, with one or two

among

real pieces of coal placed

it,

Fairiee can have electric lamps on their hair, or

on their wands, connected socket,

and

cleverly

if

show behind

;

managed

the wires will not

while the sudden lighting and ex-

tinguishing can produce

and magic

to the nearest standard

all

sorts

of lightning

effects.

Matches lying about in an electrically lighted house are inexcusable;

their proper place is

in

the housemaid's box.

The switches should be placed high nursery and school-room, and

strict

in

the

rules should

be made that the children do not meddle with them, as they will climb on chairs and footstools,

and

electric switches, as I

have found from personal

experience, are perfectly irresistible to

little

K

2

boys.


132

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

SCHOOL-EOOM AND NuRSERY. Switches should he placed

....

Two

switches near door.

Standard

Key

socket.

Nursery

Switch near door (high up).

Centre pendant

Electric searcher

....

Simply connected

when

required.

to

socket


133

(

)

CHAPTER

X.

Servants' Departments.

When

electric light is

being installed in the house,

the extra cost of having

ments

it

in the servants' depart-

not a serious consideration, as only the

is

plainest fittings will be used.

care

it

will be as

of having two

If

it is

burnt with

cheap as gas, and the annoyance

bills for electric light

and gas will

be spared. It is

necessary to impress on the servants the

need of invariably turning out the lights whenever they leave a room, even for a few minutes. If the switch

is

placed

handy

for

them near the

door, extinguishing the light on leaving the will soon

become mechanical, and an

conscious cerebration," as

is

room

act of " un-

sometimes proved to


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

134

US by the

turning out the h'ghts as

servants

they leave the room, and forgetting that in

we

are

it.

Servants^ as a rule, appreciate the electric light as

much

as

any one

miserly over

;

(after

if

it,

weeks' experience of

and they

it)

exceeds what

it

they are told that if

;

No

ness nor the

will be

the electric light

and the darkness

but the advantage of having a

separate meter for obvious.

it

should be, after careful calcu-

lation of the time of year, fogs,

of the basement

become quite

they have had a few

cut off from their departments bill

will

the servants' departments

science can feeling

compete with

among many

is

careless-

servants and

uneducated people that because they cannot see or smell electricity that

they burn Lately,

it

cannot matter

how

freely

it.

when

passing

down

a street near

my

house on a misty, but not a foggy morning, I noticed the front-door of a house open,

scullery-maid scrubbing an outer

and a small

hall,

10

ft.

by


SEE VANTS' DEPARTMENTS,

8

by the

ft.,

light of

135

two sixteen-candle lamps Most

that she had turned on for the purpose. likely later

in

that

that

house

electric

master

the

complained

was a very expensive

light

luxury.

In the early days of electric lighting, in 1886,

Mr. Gordon had lighted a very large offices

and the load during the

;

day was very heavy machinery, and a

between dark and 6 left,

p.m.,

and the bulk of the

been

extinguished.

and

busiest part of the

capacity of

the

anxiety was always

felt

for

little

station

the

the time

when

office lights

After

the clerks

should have

a few days

it

was

reported that the heavy load, instead of going

machinery at 6 p.m. was frequently on

off the

nine.

On

till

investigation being made, the engineer

in charge discovered that three

charwomen were

in the habit of turning on 1500 lights to clean out

the offices by.

the top floor that he

at

It is reported that

when he made

once switched

off

they were on

this discovery,

and

the whole of the


LECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

136

oflSces

at

the main.

I

have never heard what

became. of the charwomen.

In

estabh'shments

large

the hghting of the younger

rooms

maids'

be

should

controlled by a switch placed

housekeeper's

the

in

This switch she can

room. turn

bed-

at a given

off

hour,

and on dark mornings she can

turn

wake them

One

on

it

again to

up.

eight-candle light

enough

in

each

servant's

bedroom, and when are

Fig.

35.â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Maids' Working

Counterweight Pendant,

placed in the

two

small

each

ioininof ^

^

is

there

rooms adother,

Âť

they j

might be lighted by a lamp

wall between them, on the

same

principle as railway carriages.

The lady's-maid's room and

the

work-room should


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

SERVANTS' DEPARTMENTS.

137

Lave pendant lights with counterweights, and the lamps covered with white china shades (Fig. 35)*

The maid should hang a tissue

paper over

this, if

eyes and focus the light

Fig. 36.

piece of white crinkled

she wishes to save her

down on her needle-work.

Kitchen Grate with Light.

In the kitchen there should be

fixed,

according

to the size of the room, one, two, or three

lights with china shades.

pendant


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

138

In the scullery there should be one bracket over the sink a lamp

;

light,

with a

every larder should have

and a bracket and lamp should be fixed

;

over the refrigerator.

Near the kitchen range a two or

three-jointed

bracket (Fig. 36) should be fixed, and arranged to

work, with a ball-and-socket joint, so that the lamp can be dipped right into any saucepan there

is

no excuse

;

with this

for the least particle of grease

in the soup or gravy.

The pantry sink,

and

The

if

will

want a good bracket over the

large a ceiling pendant as well.

servants' hall should

have a pendant or two

over the dinner-table, and another counterweight, in the fire,

for the

with a

or near the

maids to work by.

I think the switches

two

bow window,

light,

lights, so

used, are to

which are made

to control

that either, but not both, can be

be recommended for the servants'

departments.

The switch

for the footmen's

bedroom should


SERVANTS' DEPARTMENTS,

139

be placed outside their room, so that the head servants can see

when they

their light can be controlled

are turned on

from the

;

or

butler's bed-

room. It

is

impossible to over-estimate

the

comfort of having electric lamps fixed in

daily all

the

principal cupboards, linen and housemaids' closets, coal

and

wine-cellars, bath-rooms, lavatories, &c.

The working sidering,

cost

owing

of

these

is

not worth con-

to the short total of hours that

each burns in the year.

The box-room and cistern-room

in

the

attic

should have a light in the centre of the ceiling, fixed

high up with a

Linen

lamp

tin reflector.

closets if large should

inside, or

have a pendant

be provided with "a searcher"

that can be put into each shelf

For the housemaid's is

closet a bracket

and lamp

best over the sink.

In the bath-room there should be a bracket

lamp over the bath.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

140

In

lavatories, a ceiling light

shaded from below.

Large hanging dress and cloak cupboards can have a small lamp inside them, or a searcher light can be used. Wine-cellars should be provided with a centre

pendant and

tin

reflector,

and

if large

with a

searcher lamp in a wire case, to put inside the bins. Coal-cellars should

have one

reflected light just

over the door, not on the ceiling.

The

boot-hole should have a light over boot-

cleaning bench. I have often heard people object to cupboard lights, for fear the

door should be shut upon them

and the light perhaps

left

and nights unobserved either

but this can be obviated

by placing the switch

so that on, or

;

burning for several days

any one passing can

see

when

by making a small round hole

the cupboard door and filling or

outside the cupboard,

talc,

through

so it.

that the

it

it is

turned

at the top of

with ground glass

light can be seen shining


SERVANTS' DEPARTMENTS.

141

All the lamps in the house should be wiped with a

damp

cloth once a

fortnight in summer.

supply

week

in winter,

and once a

Complaints that the electric

getting steadily worse, are often caused

is

by the gradual obscuring of the lamps by accumulated dust.

Servants' Departments. Switches should he placed

Bed-rooms.

Inside door.

la housekeeper's room

Controlling switch for maids'

rooms. Kitclien

.

Scullery

.

Inside door.

Pantry Servants' hall.

Under

Kitchen-range light

bracket.

Footmen's bedroom Wine-cellar

.

Coal-cellar â&#x20AC;˘

Box-room

Outside door.

.

Linen-closet

.

Housemaid's closet

Bath-rooms and lavatories

Inside door.


142

(

)

CHAPTER

XI.

Shops and Public Buildings.

An

examination of the window lighting of most

how much

of our principal shops, will show ns

the art of illumination needs developing, for the

lamps seem placed more with the intention of exhibiting

themselves

than the objects in the

window. Shop-owners

do

not

realise

the

superior

illuminating power of hidden lights.

Theatre managers, accustomed to the footlights,

and

have realised

effects

this in a greater degree,

consequently the electric lighting

London

theatres

is

of

artistically far in

of

our

advance of

that of shops and houses.

Some

progress in a right direction has un-

doubtedly been made during this winter

;

but


SHOPS AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

at

first

those

the

install

who were

electric

enterprising enough to

light

were naturally most

anxious to have the credit of

All honour be

it.

now

to

them

is

no longer a novelty, and every one

tomed it

for their spirit

;

143

but

that electricityis

accus-

to the sight of the little pear-shaped lamps,

would be well

for exhibitors to reconsider their

arrangements.

When we

enter a shop from the darkness out-

side, the large

naked pendant lamps dazzle and

annoy us and quite prevent our seeing the goods and when the arc

light

is

used, all this difficulty

;

is

increased.

A

jeweller's

shop

can

most

be

artistically

lighted with real scollop shells used as reflectors.

On

the street side

a

faint

pink

light

through them and gives a pleasanter

effect

can be obtained with a perfectly opaque In clubs most of the lighting

is

shines

than

reflector.

very hard and

ungenial, and I do not wonder at the frequenters'

constant grumbling at the electric light, that

is


!

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

144

unless, as I said before, they

were on the

lighting committee themselves, rally think

when they

gene-

beautiful

it

illumination

Successful

experience,

knowledge

electric

is

an

perception,

artistic

art

requiring

and

scientific

but the electric light committee of a

;

club generally consists of members, often of high scientific

attainments,

lighting,

who

on a

subject

but amateurs in

electric

themselves prepare a specification of which they have no practical

knowledge, and then accept the lowest tender for carrying

it

out.

members would be in the kitchen I

I

wonder what the

if

the same policy was followed

feelings of

and wine departments.

think that armchairs and tables furnished

with

electric

lamps,

as

might be a great comfort

shown

in

Chapter Y.,

to elderly

gentlemen at

their clubs.

All the church electric lighting at present

simply beyond comment. think

how and why

It

is

is

astounding to

the congregations endure

it.


SHOPS AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS,

The preacher

145

often has a powerful electric

lamp

placed on the pulpit, so that the glare of the light entirely

prevents the congregation

seeing

the

expression of his face.

Perhaps in the future some of the beautiful

windows may be

stained-glass

lights outside them, their

utilised

by placing

glow and colour would

then give as much pleasure by night as by day. devise

It is difficult to

for

church lighting

spotty lights

but I would suggest that

;

dotted

a satisfactory scheme

about should

and that a dim religious light devotion.

or

When

during

the

require to see

is

be

avoided,

conducive to

the

hymns

are

being sung

psalms,

when

the

congregation

their

books,

extra lights can be

switched on. It

must be remembered, however, that

a given quantity of illumination with

to obtain

artistically

shaded lights requires a greater number of lamps

and a greater hourly consumption of than with uncovered

lights.

electricity

Churches are often

L


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

146

money

short of funds, and further all

them

for such a purpose

spent by

must be withdrawn from

other pressing objects, while

money

similarly spent

on a shop or theatre may be regarded

as

an

in-

vestment, and can therefore be spent more freely.

In concert-halls surely something might be done to

make

the electric light more becoming.

trying and unbecoming

very youngest and studied

when

How

it

can be, to even the

prettiest

among women, can be

a lecture or concert

is

given at any

of our principal lecture-rooms and concert-halls.

Wherever there are large with reflectors over them, tent

to

look

their

dark

women must

worst.

most uncompromising causes

ceiling-lights alone,

to

Ceiling-lighting

accounts for the haggard and people at concerts.

A

is

a woman's age, and

under

shadows

be con-

the

eyes,

which

worn look of most

few side-lights mixed with

ceiling lights in a right

and judicious proportion

do away with these shadows.

Large public

halls

should

undoubtedly have


SHOPS AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

147

ceiling lights as well as side-lights, as the effect

more

cheerful,

and people hardly

how much more enjoyment

enough

realise

vivid and vigorous dancing and

with bright attractive lighting.

is

however, that

I imagine,

not to think of their looks

women

are supposed

when they

are listening

to sweet music, or to a scientific discourse. I

am aware

that the lighting of public halls

heavy expense already, and would most

is

to

make

it

And is

a

pleasant

likely involve a heavier outlay than

the owners of such places would care to undertake,

not only at

but continually for the extra

first,

quantity of electricity required to compensate the loss

of

light

treatment.

which

Then, on the other hand, the theatres

have been able 'to make theatres

by decorative

caused

is

lighted

by

it

pay, and most of the

electricity

are

exceedingly

pleasant.

The Savoy ground-glass

is

charming, with

pendants

theatre, lighting

it

dispersed

its

all

three-light

over

the

up in every corner, yet never L 2


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

148

making a bright

spot that catches the eye nn-

pleasantly.

The

G-arrick,

and red-shaded

and

others,

with

its

beautiful centre chandelier

side-lights, the

may

Gaiety, Criterion,

be studied with advantage by

people in search of ideas. Electricity has effects

in

scenes

opened quite a new field representing

for stage

banqueting-halls,

ball-rooms, etc.

In the opera at Vienna there

arrangement of

foot-lights,

is

an

effective

where there are three

times the necessary number of lamps, one third white, one third red, and one third blue.

By an

arrangement of switches and resistances any one

group of these can be lighted or extinguished instantly so that the colours can be changed

the strength of each or

all

of

;

or

them can be varied

slowly or rapidly, so that the colours can be mixed in

any desired proportion. In visiting

hospitals,

even of the best type,

I

am

often struck with the exceeding discomfort of the

I


SHOPS AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

149

lighting arrangements, the unshaded light shining

and glaring right

into the eyes of patients, the

gas flaring and winking, and seldom arranged so that the convalescent can read with comfort,

while to feverish and nervous cases

it

must be

most irritating and unendurable.

The

Some

lighting

artistic

of

hotels

needs

development.

and good specimens are

to be found,

but at present these are the exception, and most hotels

and refreshment-rooms are very crude in

their lighting arrangements, the proprietors not

having yet realized the advantages of shaded I

went

some friends

to see

were staying

an

in

They had switched

lights*

this winter,

electrically

who

lighted hotel.

off the electric light altogether,

and were reading with a shaded

paraffin lamp,

which they had asked the proprietor to procure for them,

me

I inquired the reason,

that they found

bright,

glaring,

electrolier.

it

and they told

impossible to read

by the

unshaded light of the central


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

150

The

little

standards with shades, that are used

on the small hotels, are

more enlightened

of some

tables

most agreeable and pleasant.

saw

I

one recently, with an enamel shade of lapis

lazuli

blue, that I greatly admired.

For reading, writing, shaded

standards

talking,

and dining by, form

pleasantest

are the

For dancing, playing, and

illumination.

of

society,

the large reflected lights described in Chapter VII.,

most

combined with a few

side-lights, are

recommended

these are not possible, then

.let

but

;

if

to be

the light throughout the hall or room be well

diffused

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;but

no lighting should be undertaken

without " reflection " in both senses of the word. It has

been stated that the

for the eyesight,

when an

it is

electric

unshaded

;

this I believe to

light,

light,

but this

but because

and because

it is

it

not the case

it

is

a powerful

is

concentrated in a

point most distressing to is

bad

be the case

used without a shade, not because

small, brilliant

eyes

and

electric light is

when

it

is

weak

diffused


SHOPS AND PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

and

151

with well-designed shades and

distributed

reflectors.

We

should never dream of putting powerful

unshaded

we

did

paraffin

so,

I

am

lamps

over the room

all

certain they

;

if

would be equally

distressing to the sight.

Shaded

work

or

know a years,

down upon

lights concentrated

are a powerful aid to friend

who

who had

weak

the book

sight,

and

I

used spectacles for some

has abandoned them since she has

provided herself with an electric reading-lamp.

In refreshment-bars unfortunate girls the

ill-designed

have bright

I

am

who have lighting

often sorry for the

to

work

them with

They

arrangements.

electric lights just

with white china

in

above their heads,

reflectors above,

and these hard,

trying lights reflect up again from the white

marble counter, and from

all

and cake-covers with which

wonder that these

the drinking-glasses it

is

covered.

No

girls complain, after a long,

dark winter, of injury to their sight

;

but

it is

not


DECOBATIVE ELECTRICITY.

152 *

Âť

.

the electric light that harms them, but the

which

it

arrange

it

is

arranged.

It

in

would be so easy to

otherwise, but at present this, like most

other evils in this world,

thought.

way

is

wrought by want of


(

153

CHAPTER

)

XII.

Some Personal Experiences.

The

public

who through long winter

and longer London and steady

by the

cool

light of their electric lamps, but

who

are most indignant

fogs, sit reading

if

by any chance

them, do not realize

fails

evenings,

how

it

flickers or

intense the struggle

has been for those pioneers of electric lighting

who have

toiled so

hard and incessantly to surprise

yet one more of Nature's secrets "

To wring from

;

and

iron those drops of golden light."

Perhaps no one but an

electric engineer's wife

can truly judge of what that struggle has been. In

all

other branches of science, the experiments

are carried

out in private, and generally

with


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

154

friendly assistance, and

when

the day's work

done, the experimenter can rest

till

on another day of

start refreshed

morning and toil.

development of the public distribution of for lighting purposes,

is

In the

electricity

from the very nature of the

problem involved, every experiment has had to be

made

in public,

and every

failure has

been immedi-

ately exposed to the criticism, not only of friends

but of an indifferent public, and of those who, for various

reasons

of their own, desired

failure.

Further, the work has been as continuous day and

night as

it

necessary for a public supply of

is

electricity to be.

Many an was four or

engineer's wife five years

had come back

late at

ago

knows how common

for their husbands,

it

who

night worn out and exhausted,

to be fetched again

by the message that there was

" something

at the

of us

tell

wrong

Works."

stories of difficulty

We

of

difficulties

that

all

and danger, of new

and untried machinery that had got right,

could

had

to

to

work

be overcome


SOME PERSONAL EXPEBIENCES.

155

and met by new inventions before the business-

men had bad

time to find out tbat they existed

of engineers deserted by their men, and

;.

doing

single-handed the work of a whole staff through-

out

a

winter's

were

cases

latter

than

engineers

though

night,

what they owe

of

workmen

life,

require

to

As

employ.

in their

be

will

these

and none know better

rare,

and courage, the nerve and

men

happily

skill

in

the

to

loyalty

of the work-

other conditions

always follow, but they

know how

sure that their chiefs

to lead.

The

pour their pleasure,

help

it

new

pioneers of a life

into

and home-life are cheerfully

on

its

way

;

and

involved, which, though

pay

for their share

less

or a

m

new

development.

its

all

it

is

science^

Health,

sacrificed to

engineers' wives can

of the entire absorption of

tell

no

faith,

mind and ideas

a price they readily

their husbands' ambition, is

a price and a very heavy one.

I trust I shall not

be considered egotistical

if I


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

156

write of some

personal experiences

perhaps obtain a

little

types of those of

same

;

public interest as

many

may

they

being

others working in the

field.

Our

early married

life

was spent

in the country,

where we owned a large laboratory and a small In those days

house attached.

and laboratory

assistant to

experimenting was

my

scarce,

I

was bottle-washer

husband, money for

and the makeshifts

adopted in the laboratory were sometimes more ingenious than conducive to the comfort of the rest

of the

Well do

house.

dismay on

finding one

kitchen crockery was

full

I

remember

morning that

till

we

we

tin-foil

me

with an

could have no more pastry

released her rolling-pin,"

covered with

the

of acids and villainous

compounds, and the cook informing injured air " that

all

my

which was then

and adjusted as one of the

principal conductors in an experiment that I well

knew would

last

We went over

many

weeks.

to Paris in order that

Mr. Gordon


â&#x20AC;&#x201D; SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES. might make some experiments I

in a

157

French

atelier*

thought that I spoke French with tolerable

fluency, but after

some attempts

to translate or

even give the sense of such phrases as plummer-block wants should

slip off the counter-shaft

core of the

my

shifting, for fear

dynamo is not

"

knew

:

"

sufficiently

My

The

the belt

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " The armaturelaminated "

vanity received a severe blow, as

sorrowfully remarked

"

:

my

husband

dear, I thought

you

French."

Mr. Gordon

himself plunged

into

scientific-

knew

debate with the happy reflection that he

a

language and a quarter, while the French inventor

knew but one that the

language, and with such energy

Frenchman frequently remarked

sieur votre

:

"

Mon-

mari parle Fran^ais avec beaucoup

de-

courage.'*

Walking

and from the

atelier,

the discussions-

were animated as to the future and

possibilities of

to

electric lighting,

afternoon,

and

I

well

remember one wet

when we were walking along and


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

158

discussing the

number of

revolutions per second

that could be forced out of high-speed machinery,

a French working man

in a

blouse

thrust

head beneath the umbrella, and remarked quite indescribable tone histoire

With

:

his in

a

" Mais quelle interessante

" !

the possible development of electric light-

ing our country laboratory became inadequate,

and we moved up

Then began

to a small

house in London.

the real struggle of our engineering

Mr. Gordon worked at a factory at Wharf

life.

Eoad. It

would take a long book, and

the scope of this chapter to

and

fears

Many and

tell

far

is

of

all

beyond

the hopes

and disappointments of those two years.

other engineers were, with great patience

courage,

They begun

striving

to

overcome

difficulties.

also could tell of all the trials of a career

in

the patent office

:

and many of

wives, like myself, have hated the look of

patent

agent's

envelope, with

its

their

the

well-known


SOME PERSONAL EXPEBIENCES.

coatents, stating so politely that a

ment

was

of fees

159

due.

There has been much

unnecessary litigation

by persons who forget

about

electric light patents

that

obtaining possession of a patent,

obtaining possession of the inventor,

a

barren

instal-

fresli

For

victory.

is

patent

the

without best

at

divorced

from the inventor's co-operation and assistance is

but

the

of

corpse

the

invention

without

its soul.

The records of scientific

the

patent

and

office

the

papers of 1880, contain an account of an

incandescent

lamp,

iridium

invented

by Mr.

-Gordon, and which in October had attained about

as

much

capable

perfection

of,

on a large

On

an

and arrangements scale

lamp was

iridium for its

manufacture

were nearly completed.

the night of

was read

as

November

24, 1880, a

paper

at the Society

of Telegraphic Engineers,

new lamp,

the invention of one Mr.

describing a

John Wilson Swan.

By

a curious coincidence, I


;

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

160

was dining that night with the

member

friends,

He

for Newcastle.

He

I

knew

When

hearing the lecture, he was admiration at the

time

only

new

I returned

be

filled

its

enthusiasm for his work, does the work so long as different,

is

from the

home

after

with enthusiastic

by those equally

shared

value.

a real worker in the

it

made

discovery, which could at

competent to understand

wife

of

common carbon

dinner-party, and Mr. Grordon came

To

me

at once that iridium glow-lamps were

things of the past.

that

next

to tell

described the filament

not from a costly metal, but from

and

began

sat

new glow-lamp by one

of the discovery of the his constituents.

and

field,

matters

it

it

with genuine

is

and she

done

;

little

who

but to the

perhaps

may be

allowed to drop a silent tear over the invention child that she has watched from

which she abandon pang.

on

sees

the

her

its

birth,

stronger-minded

road-side,

simply

and

husband

without

a


SOME PERSONAL EXPERII;NCES. There

no time

is

inventors to

Human

lessly if slowly, is

in our short span of life for

mourn over

their brains.

its

the still-born children of

progress moves on relent-

and no man can say

him who

a car of triumph to

from

summit

;

161

he who

but

closely in its track is lost

it

nay.

It

world

sees the

not press

will

and swallowed up in the

vague crowd behind.

Now,

Mr. Gordon's attention was turned to

all

dynamo-machines, and to the

manner of making and

perfecting of the

distributing the current to

the electric lamps. I

have often regretted that I

woman."

Observation in

that the sewing

woman

and vividly than her

The mechanical

of thought

woman,

in the

Well

I

feels less

not a " sewing

leads

me

to notice

anxiety less keenly

domesticated

sister.

action of the fingers relieves the

tension

mind of the

life

am

and

soothes

the

mind of

same manner as smoking calms the

sterner sex.

remember one

afternoon,

when

M

the


;

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

162

anxiety became simply, unendurable, driving to

Wharf Eoad with my

down

Almost

little girl.

as

soon as I entered the factory, the song of the high-speed machinery reached

my

ear

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

high,

strident tone.

The

rattle

and throb of the dynamo made the

ground shake beneath our

feet.

need to ask any questions, the scream

I did not

of the machine worked beyond

its

endurance, and

the pale faces of all engaged in the experiment told

own

its

But next day early

tale.

in the

afternoon I heard the quick slam of the front door,

which always

cried

successful

**

Mr. Gordon's

waiting, listening ear.

were

*' :

day" first

The whole machine has gone

they are taking

words were

:

it

up

in a shovel."

to

But

my

words

to bits his next

"It has worked for ten minutes, and

demonstrated success."

He

began at once

to

make

designs for a

and much larger machine, on the same principle,

but

better

constructed

new

electrical

mechanically.


SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.

163

This was put in hand within a fortnight, and

when completed entirely fulfilled even the inventor's anticipations,

On

and

is

work

at regular

to this day.

demon-

the success of this machine being

strated

arrangements were made to light Pad-

dington

station,

electric

supply station in England were put in

and the plans

for the first large

hand.

The Paddington Passenger-station known public

had

is

but a small portion of the district that

to be lighted,

offices

the

which comprised Praed

running from

Road; the station,

to the

Great Western

which

Street

Bishop's

to

Goods-

Hotel; the

larger than the Passenger-station

is

Locomotive-station

Royal Oak

also the large

stations,

;

Westbourne

and the

;

Park and

making

lines between,

a district of about a mile and a half in length.

The quantity generated for

of

the

had

to

be

supply of the arc and

in-

electricity

that

candescent lamps would be equal to the supply. of

30,000 of our modern glow-lamps.

M

2


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,

164

Engines and in all

were

boilers of nearly 2,000 horse-power

erected,

and three dynamos, weighing

forty-four tons each, were designed

built for

Eleven miles of iron troughing

the purpose.

were buried between the

lines,

and

500 miles of insulated wire were

The winter

and

of 1884-5

in this

some

laid.

was one of the wettest

seasons on record, and the loose earth excavated

from the trenches was converted into describable

workmen four

;

and in

this,

stood from

They

months.

warning

cry,

dawn

till

dark for some

Up

line " or

very trying to the nerves.

more

had

seldom

The monotonous **

in-

engineers, foremen, and

sixty seconds of undisturbed work,

passing trains.

mud

*'

owing

than to the

iteration of the

Down

line,"

was

Mr. Gordon personally

superintended every detail of the work and of the rules that were formed for the safety of the

men; and the arrangements were that no

life

or limb

was

lost;

so fortunate

but Mr. Gordon

himself had a very severe, though happily short,


SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.

illness,

resulting

from

and

cold

165

over-strained

nerves.

Early in 1886, as the v^orks were complete, the business

men

prise almost lost heart,

best

known

in-

concerned in the enter-

and

called in

electrical experts of the

them on the question

still

as to

one of the

day

to advise

whether the Works

should be proceeded with or abandoned.

His

opinion was entirely unfavourable, and concluded

with the words, "

I will stake

my

putation that these Works, even

run for a month."

professional re-

if started,

Mr. Gordon being asked what

reply he had to make, suggested that as the

were so near completion they should be

when he would run them

for a

cannot

Works

finished,

accept the expert's challenge to

month on

trial,

and would abide by

the result.

This April,

trial

commenced

1886,

and

Works have ran from that day

is

at six p.m.

not yet

on the 21st of

concluded as the

continuously and successfully

to this.


"

DECORATIVE ELECTBICITY.

166

After

camo eight

this

litigation

\nonths

of

harassing

by occupants of houses near the works, an injunction to stop them.

to obtain

One

genious gentleman swore an affidavit to the

meat in

that the

his larder

in the air

electricity

!

in-

effect

was turned bad by the

while every dish or jug,

broken by a careless servant within a radius half a mile had been " jumped off the shelves

of

by

the vibration of the dynamos.

The works, however, were never stopped hour for only

this or

fair to

were spent

any other cause

;

for

thougli

it

an is

say that some thousands of pounds to

make

of the machinery as

alterations in such portions

it

was considered would cause

real annoyance.

Soon

was to

after the

fairly

go

to

Paddington

under way, Mr. Gordon had occasion

America on

these three

experience.

electric light station

business, for three

months were

my very

months

:

hardest personal

Mr. Gordon naturally

felt

the keenest

anxiety about the works, and the impending law-


SOME PEESONAL EXPERIENCES.

suit

and

;

in order to send

him news,

167

I visited

the

station regularly.

In spite of the anxiety, the details of the working of this station were of the greatest interest.

always

felt

and they No.

1

as if the

all

had

dynamos were

sentient beings,

characteristics of their

was not quite dependable,

which was eight inches feet long,

own.

for her shaft,

in diameter,

and eleven

had been sprung a sixty-fourth of an

inch out of truth in transport, and required cessant

nursing for the

first

oil.

How-

ever, with care, her constitution recovered, is

now working

and

as steadily as her sisters.

Incessant trouble was caused at to the mains,

in-

few months, and

consumed enormous quantities of castor

she

I

first,

by injury

from the hot water discharged from

the locomotives, and some miles of these had to be

uncovered and a layer of clay put above them, after

which the gravel was replaced and no more

trouble I

was experienced.

remember being

told of a

young workman


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

168

who had

a perfect genius for electricity;

fortunately, as so

many

he was

with a passion for drink.

afflicted

manager

told

A

leave.

him that

week

un-

other intelligent workmen,

at the next offence he

later the

man was

The must

found quite

drunk, but pleaded as an excuse that his wife had just

had

twins.

Some sympathy was

â&#x20AC;˘

and he was granted a reprieve.

same thing occurred.

later the

him,

felt for

Three weeks

His excuse, that

during the night one of the twins had died, was not accepted.

During Mr. Gordon's absence,

me

to

it

was often

said

that the Paddington works were constructed

with seven volcanoes, any one of which might explode at any moment.

by

night, I

By day

I

had

faith,

but

must confess that the suggested seven

volcanoes caused

me many and many

a sleepless

hour. It

was the same

exclaim

:

" I donH

talk about

them

feeling that

believe in bears,

after dark."

made the

child

but please don't


SOME PERSONAL EXPERIENCES.

169

Electrical life in later years has not been less

exciting than before, but

it is

not possible to judge

of the proportions of experiences

when we

are in

the midst of them, and happily neither Manchester

Rathbone Place, nor any of the more

Square,

modern

stations

have involved the same anxiety

as their elder brother at Paddington.

The

fathers

and mothers of England seem

to

think that electrical science has been especially

designed

by

for

superfluous

their

Providence sons.

to

afford

openings

my

Judging from

experience, they seem to think that

all

engineers

walk about with good appointments and

salaries

in their pockets, and that if their sons

show but

playing with

electrical

the

slightest

taste

for

machines, and giving shocks to their brothers and sisters,

that they are entirely qualified for them.

Practically,

those

who

a considerable are

even

of

admitted after the most careful

selection, find that they

and physique

proportion

for the

have not

sufficient

nerve

work, and have to leave

it.


DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.

170

heard a well-known engineer give an amusing

I

account of a boy whose mother thought him a

He

second Edison

remarked " that he was good

for nothing but to hold one

man wound

another

it

on a

end of a wire, while reel,

and," he added

meditatively, " a hook driven into the wall did

But

better."

mind

all

it

must have a beginning, and the

of a youth starting on his career in

life is

rather like an unhatched egg^ of the contents of

which nothing the shell

;

is

known

and there

is

till it

a story

of an ugly duckling and his

a

Swan

and

is

trials,

all loved,

and he became

nothing like the responsibilities of a

science for developing rapidly the resources possibilities of character.

The development of in

we have

!

There

new

expands and breaks

all

its

life-work

applied electrical

science

branches has been astonishing. of

Faraday, Clerk-Maxwell, Siemens,

Swan, Edison, and many others has brought its

The

present state of development

;

it

to

nor must the


SOME PEBSONAL EXPERIENCES.

financiers be forgotten,

whose

and patience have made sible

and now that the

;

this

enterprise, courage

development pos-

Supply Com-

Electrical

London with

panies are covering

171

their

network

of underground mains, and supplying light to the that

and houses,

theatres, clubs,

Parliament

tively,

think

I

has

to

allotted

we may drop

the

in

all

districts

them respecmonotonous

the

reiteration of the remark, that " electric lighting is

still

in

its

to healthy

infancy," and

are but one

bricks to the

own life,

so

that

it

has grown

manhood.

Science, civilisation,

We

own

among many

others, carrying

same pyramid, and each have

tale to tell.

and " nothing

good as we

and thought move on.

The end is

of toil

their

comes not in

ever quite so bad, nor quite

anticipate."


(

173

)

APPENDIX.

A LARGE number

of the lights installed in a house are only-

occasional, or decorative lights.

I have given in this appendix a list of the lights used daily,

and of those used occasionally in our own house.

I

have counted the drawing-room and boudoir lights as beingboth in use every day, which they seldom are; but to balance this I have counted the spare bed-room and dressings

room, and

The which

all

the cupboards, &c., as occasional lights.

decorative lights are only used is

not unfrequently, and

we

when we

have* parties,,

certainly have used a

great deal of electricity in experiments and in exhibitions

but the amount of three quarters'

end of December, was

and candles

less

bills

;.

from April to the

than that of our

bills for gas, oil,

for the corresponding period of the previous

year in a smaller house.

But

it

must be noted that we are

all exceedingly careful to extinguish the lights

when we

and that the question of economy in distribution of lights and in arrangement of switches has been most carefully studied throughout the: leave the rooms even for a short time,

house.


174

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY,


APPENDIX.

175


176

DECORATIVE ELECTRICITY.


APPENDIX.

177


DECOBATIVE EIECTPJCITY.

178

Summary.

Daily.

Occasional.

Total Candlepower.

No. of Lamps.

Hall, front and back staircases, )! passages, and basement (|

No. of

Lamps.

Total Candle-

power.

96

16

312

56 24 48 112

12

19

120 64 56 568

96

13

136

48 48

15

128

528

87

1384

.

Dining-room â&#x20AC;˘ Library Boudoir .

.

Drawing-room Bed-rooms and nursery (count-] ing spare room and dressing- >; room as occasional lights J Servants' bedrooms

5 7

.

Kitchen, scullery, cellars, &c.

42

This

is

equal

in

8 c.p.

lamps

to

QQ)

daily

occasional.

LONDON: FKINTRD BY WILLtAH CLOWICS AND SONS, UHIXKO, 8TAHK)BU 3TREKT AND CHARINU CROSS.

and 173


AD VEkTiS^MMNTS.

i

iw/

WW *M

JOHN COOPEIi,

Artist' Decorators

y

ABINET-»AKERS, <^jp

AND

UPHOLDERS. EgTABLIgHED OVEE^ HyVLf A 8, 9, 10,

CEJ^TUF^Y, AT

Great Pulteney-street, Regent-st., London,

W.

WHERE MAY BE SEEN

SPECIAL DESIGNS FOR ELECTRIC LIGHTING, INCLUDING

WhE

ilTARVED 2ETALIAN ^TUPIDS.

^be Carton

Pierre (Biran&olee.

ARABIAN GLASS VASES. ALSO

The WING- CHAIR and NEWSPAPER TABLE, ARRANGED WITH INCANDESCENT LAMPS J. G. H. GOBDON* ESTIMATES FREE.

As suggested by Mr. Messrs. COOPER'S

ROOMS

are Permanently Illuminated

with the ELECTRIC LIGHT.


AD VERTISEMENTS.

THE

Brush Electrical Engineering COMPANY, Limited, nianufacturers mh (Contractors. Manufactupeps of complete Plant for Electric Installation for light power.

ESTIMATES GIVEN FREE FOR

WII^INQ HOU^B^, ^ttOP^, AND OTHER

FOR

^

INCANDESCENCE AND ARC LAMPS, A

&c.

Special Attention to Ornamental Artistic Fittings,

Specimens of which can be seen

at the

SHOW ROOMS OF THE COMPANY. Head Office

:

BELVEDERE ROAD, LAMBETH,

Works

S.E.

:

VICTORIA WORKS, LAMBETH, LONDON; LOUGHBOROUGH AND VIENNA.

Show Rooms

:

REGENT STREET, W.; QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, 300,

53,

E.G.


AD VEkTlS^MEMTS.

DECORATIVE SWITCHES, WALL PLUGS, CEILING ROSES. ^wS. nil

JIGHT llTTINGS,

;|LECTRIC

MANUFACTURED BY

Vat

(Beneral ]£lecttic Co., Xb., 71,

Queen Victoria Street,

LONDON, Works:

Branch Office:

\

CHAPEL STREET,

E.G.

7,

BOTHWELL STREET,

I

MANCHESTER.

\

GLASGOW.

Kindly instruct your Architect and Contractor to

SPECIFY OUR

MAKE THROUGHOUT,


^i) VERTISkkE)^T^.

ELECTF^IC LIQHT FITTINQJ The Ecs!',C{ieap_c§>r

8f

display of fittings

m

mosr^/lrri^ric

London (trade supplied)

ELECTRIC LIGHT ENQINEERS AND CONTRACTORS. COMPLETE INSTALLATIONS. OR WIRING ONLY CARRIED OUT PROMPTLY. ALL WORK GUARANTEED.

0fficc85'ShowT?ooms 5 5Bcrncrs Sfreet YY.

t^W Shaftcsbury^vcnufi works: WCLLS MEWS OXFORD ,

TEUPHOKE

3975

TEuECRAMs'

S*

W

.

DETECTOR. LONDON

Y]L


SECT,MIGt7l965P

TH

Gordon, (Mrs) James Edward Henry Decorative electricity

7725

G67 ENGlNEERlNa

.^1

r

i

'"ni

PLEASE

CARDS OR

DO NOT REMOVE

SLIPS

UNIVERSITY

FROM

THIS

OF TORONTO

POCKET

LIBRARY