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GE Power Groove Flourescent Street Lights 1960

GE Power Groove Flourescent Street Lights 1960


In the late fifties and early 1960's, GE was pushing the new technology of fluorescent street lights. Mercury Vapor however beat this strategy and by 1962 the mercury vapor was becoming the new kid in town and it took off like crazy in many areas. The utilities then decided to rent the mercury vapor fixtures to customers and in my area the 175 watt mercury vapor "nightwatchers" went for 3.00 a month. The rural co-ops in my area used the open bottom fixtures from GE, Westinghouse, Line Material, & American Electric and the investor owned bought Pemco, Joslyn, Westinghouse, and a very few Line Material enclosed globe assemblies. The number of new rental fixtures was staggering in the mid sixties and cities were having the cobra head installed for aesthetic as well as utilitarian purposes on their thoroughfares.
Many of the not too long ago installed florescent fixtures on the thoroughfares were rapidly replaced in my area as well but some hung on, especially in municipality owned utilities because of the cost of replacements. Many of the utility journals in the late 50's and early 60's touted the florescent fixtures as a breakthrough for safety and making your city "modern".
The photo shows a typical installation and I believe these are the GE Power Groove fixtures. They were all gone when my interest in street lighting began.

irvington_fluorescents.jpg

Light Information

Light Information

Manufacturer:General Electric
Lamp
Lamp Type:Power Groove
Fixture
Fixture Type:Street Light
Physical/Production
Application/Use:Street Light

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Filename:irvington_fluorescents.jpg
Album name:GE101R / GE Power Groove Flourescent Street Lights 1960
Keywords:Lanterns
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Date added:Sep 10, 2019
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HomeBrewLamps
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SodiumVapor 105843202020668111118 UCpGClK_9OH8N4QkD1fp-jNw majorpayne1226
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Sep 10, 2019 at 12:22 PM Author: HomeBrewLamps
Looks to be Form 406's I'd like to have one of these lights but they're rare. Not sure how many are left.

The light on the right looks like it is EOL.

~Owen

Mercury Vapor LampHigh Pressure Sodium Scavenger, Urban Explorer, Lighting Enthusiast and Creator of homebrewlamps Cool High Pressure SodiumMercury Vapor Lamp

GE101R
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Sep 10, 2019 at 12:41 PM Author: GE101R

Looks to be Form 406's I'd like to have one of these lights but they're rare. Not sure how many are left.
They were notorious to come apart and go out of service if the pole they were on was bumped by a vehicle.

The light on the right looks like it is EOL.


They were huge. Most were chunked in the dumpsters with no salvage. I haven't seen any in 40 years but it seems someone would have kept a few for nostalgia.
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Robert


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Sep 10, 2019 at 02:33 PM Author: rjluna2
Might be as late as 1963 judging on a parked car on the right

Pretty, please no more Chinese failure.

GE101R
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Sep 10, 2019 at 04:26 PM Author: GE101R

Might be as late as 1963 judging on a parked car on the right

Just going what Duke University said on the photo. Give or take a few years, old photos are sometimes approximate.
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Sep 10, 2019 at 07:55 PM Author: veryhighonoutput
I wonder if f48? Or f60? I know f72 was common as well but these also can look smaller than they actually are. Webster electric had a ton of f48pgs i wonder if they were intended for these at one time?

T12/ t17 there's a reason they made heavy magnetic ballasts

GE101R
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Sep 10, 2019 at 08:00 PM Author: GE101R

I wonder if f48? Or f60? I know f72 was common as well but these also can look smaller than they actually are. Webster electric had a ton of f48pgs i wonder if they were intended for these at one time?

Could be. Judging from the width of the cars below, I think they might be the 6 footers. I remember seeing those GE ads in some of the outdated electrical trade magazines. They usually had the manager of the township and the utility department saying how better the lighting was.
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Sep 10, 2019 at 08:43 PM Author: joseph_125
I always found it interesting that the Form 606 had a ballast for each lamp and a forced air cooling system. Here's an old ad showing the internals of one.

The fluorescent streetlights used here were a lot more conservative. They usually only ran a pair of 4 or 6 foot HO or PG lamps. There's a grocery store parking lot here that has 4 similar looking fluorescents though.
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SodiumVapor 105843202020668111118 UCpGClK_9OH8N4QkD1fp-jNw majorpayne1226
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Sep 10, 2019 at 08:54 PM Author: HomeBrewLamps
You should ask about those lights.... I doubt they'll be there for many more years.

Personally I'd buy one off you.

~Owen

Mercury Vapor LampHigh Pressure Sodium Scavenger, Urban Explorer, Lighting Enthusiast and Creator of homebrewlamps Cool High Pressure SodiumMercury Vapor Lamp

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Sep 10, 2019 at 08:58 PM Author: joseph_125
My hunch is that the lot and store will go shortly after the new subway line running under the street opens in 2021. Then the lot will probably get redeveloped into a new condo highrise.
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Sep 10, 2019 at 09:17 PM Author: GE101R

I always found it interesting that the Form 606 had a ballast for each lamp and a forced air cooling system. Here's an old ad showing the internals of one.

The fluorescent streetlights used here were a lot more conservative. They usually only ran a pair of 4 or 6 foot HO or PG lamps. There's a grocery store parking lot here that has 4 similar looking fluorescents though.

One fantastic fixture. I can just imagine the cost of this fixture. Look at the workmanship and intricate manufacturing techniques. And those fans ARE THE ICING ON THE CAKE.
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Sep 11, 2019 at 04:52 AM Author: veryhighonoutput

I always found it interesting that the Form 606 had a ballast for each lamp and a forced air cooling system. Here's an old ad showing the internals of one.

The fluorescent streetlights used here were a lot more conservative. They usually only ran a pair of 4 or 6 foot HO or PG lamps. There's a grocery store parking lot here that has 4 similar looking fluorescents though.

WOW! Those are impressive! Looks like a 50s design kinda like a zeppelin that fan is a great design i wonder if i should install one in my fixture's? Vho was probably intended for one since the heat buildup was so bad especially on hot summer nights with 3 single ballasts! Definitely looks f72 although i do have the last case of f60s probably in existence it could of been that? Cool!!!!

T12/ t17 there's a reason they made heavy magnetic ballasts

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Sep 11, 2019 at 05:14 PM Author: GE101R

WOW! Those are impressive! Looks like a 50s design kinda like a zeppelin that fan is a great design i wonder if i should install one in my fixture's? Vho was probably intended for one since the heat buildup was so bad especially on hot summer nights with 3 single ballasts! Definitely looks f72 although i do have the last case of f60s probably in existence it could of been that? Cool!!!!

I wish I could find one but they are probably all destroyed.
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Sep 11, 2019 at 05:28 PM Author: veryhighonoutput

I wish I could find one but they are probably all destroyed.

Dam right!!!!

T12/ t17 there's a reason they made heavy magnetic ballasts

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Sep 13, 2019 at 01:11 PM Author: arcblue
Too bad there is nowhere one can go now to see a whole street of lights like this. I don't ever remember seeing one, but I might have when I was really little. This must have been quite a bright street but not obnoxiously glary like with modern LED streetlights.

I'm lampin...

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Sep 13, 2019 at 10:14 PM Author: joseph_125
I wonder if there are some fluorescent streetlight installations remaining in parts of Europe. I paid a visit to a small town in Ontario that still had twin tube 4' HO fluorescents on the main road (since replaced with HPS) but I haven't seen any of the large multi tube powergroove lights like these in action.
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