San Jose Electric Light Tower

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San Jose electric light reflector (California).

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View of the San Jose electric light tower illuminated at night as carriages come and go beneath its metallic structure.

The tower was built in 1881 at the intersection of Market and Santa Clara streets, and lit for the first time on December 13. It reached a height of 237 feet (72 m), where six carbon arc lights were topped by a metal reflector. Initially designed to glow as brightly as a fair moonlight—in the words of the author—, it fell short of expectations and  small lights running down and around the structure had to be added later. It was destroyed by high winds in 1915.

The caption reads in the original French: Réflecteur électrique de San José.

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