Sugg & Co
1837 - 1969
(This is an element of 'Lighting - Street Lamps')
This title is no exaggeration! Many of the fixtures discussed here top 6ft or even 2 metres in height and 4ft 6in across, often hexagon, octagon and even 12-sided in section! And the reason -- without this huge size the whole frame would have collapsed because the soft solder that holds the majority of the lantern components together would simply have melted under the temperature produced by the multi flame burner. (See burner pictures in Lighting/Burners/Open flame.)
The invention of the gas mantle, radically changed the size of lanterns because the same amount of illumination could be achieved with a tiny proportion of the gas consumed and thus the heat was reduced dramatically. The large lanterns came to quite an abrupt end and that is why they are so rare today. They are, however, a notable feature of almost any contemporary photograph of street scenes, especially in London.
Workman about to fit twin open flame burner (laying by his feet) for gas test on a Lambeth Lantern. (Note the etched logo)
Post mounted and suspension versions of Westminster (top) and Lambeth lanterns. The Lambeth appears to differ from the one with the workman in the chimney section which appears a little longer and pierced rather than slotted and carries a plain spun cap and spike as against a scalloped cap and spike.
These two illustrations from 1879 show two versions of a huge Sugg 12-sided glazed top lantern with opal glass panels to improve the light distribution providing increased downward illumination.
This is a recent (2006) photograph from the
Sovereign Hill area of the historic town of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia,
not far from Melbourne. It carries a number of Sugg lanterns including these
replicated 12-sided lanterns - the oldest design of Sugg lanterns still
in use - and clearly the same as the ones in the book illustration 128
The challenge just above to find something older caught the eye of researcher Arthur Brook who visited Ballarat in 2009. He also sent me a nice photograph and the following update on this "Sugg heritage site" on the other side of the world!
“Lydiard Street also contains some introduced replica gas lamps which were constructed in the 1980s by the City of Ballarat to replicate the early street lighting. The lamps and placement of lamps were based on the early street lighting. The one original surviving street lamp outside Craig's Hotel has been recently removed due to damage. Two large cast iron "Sugg" lamps were also introduced in the centre of the intersections of Lydiard and Sturt Streets and Lydiard and Dana Streets as part of this project. The design and placement was based on early photographic evidence.” ( City of Ballarat Heritage Study (Stage 2) April 2003: Heritage Precincts)
(Picture courtesy Arthur Brook 2009) Sugg Extracts from The
Sugg Extracts from The
(Also recorded in the medals list under 'History' q.v.)
The Argus Friday 8 April 1881 Page 3
The Argus Tuesday 7 June 1881 Page 7
The Argus Wednesday 8 June 1881 Page 5
(Fitzroy is a suburb of Melbourne)
The Argus Wednesday 14 December 1904 Page 8
The Ballarat Information Centre publishes an illustrated booklet on the Heritage Walking Trails which includes several pictures and photographs of Sugg fixtures. They also have a website www.visitballarat.com.au (As at 2010).
Another fantastic photograph of a cluster of 5 huge Sugg globe lanterns 36in diameter, 4ft 6in tall with 100 lt burners.
These two pictures of dock lighting by the Lambeth and Greenock lamps appear in William Sugg's 1887 book 'Modern Street Lighting' and are credited as being by the author - clearly a enthusiastic photographer. Once again they demonstrate the enormous size of these lamps. The Greenock lamp is mounted on the largest 20 ft version of the popular 'diamond pattern' post. (See columns and brackets.)
These (1880) catalogue pages illustrate the Westminster lamp in one of it's earliest open flame forms, shown here suspended. This specific model is listed opposite with the largest 80 cu ft, 400 candle power version priced at £29.00 being 7ft 6in ht and 4ft 6in width!
This Lambeth lantern still (2010) graces the entrance to the council offices in Lewes, East Sussex. With it's handsome cradle bracket it makes an impressive statement of the longevity of Sugg lanterns - somewhat more impressive than the feeble low energy electric lamp now providing the light source!
UNDER CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT - PLEASE CALL AGAIN!