Timer Controlled Gas Streetlight

This is an example of a timer controlled gas streetlight. I am told it was from Baltimore, MD. The timer was spring wound and would last a little over a week.

The timer has a dial that rotates once every 24 hours with adjustable tabs to push a lever about 1/4 of an inch one way or the other. Gas valves that require just a minute application or release of pressure have been around for a long time. The thermostatically controlled ones in modern appliances such as gas water heaters and furnaces are almost unchanged in design. (Click here for detail of timer.)

I doubt that it was common to use one timer to control several streetlights. It would of course be necessary to run a pipe from the timer outlet to each streetlight being controlled as well as have a (thinner) pipe from an uncontrolled gas source to feed a pilot light in each streetlight. So a street that originally had manually lit streetlights would need to be dug up in order to install a system with a master timer. In addition, unpredictable behavior occurs when the controlling valve is some distance from the burner or light. Air could mix with gas in the pipe and an explosion could occur.

Pictures courtesy of Charles Hughes, Baltimore, MD.

     Back to streetlight main page
     Go to index of other topics

Detail of timer

Detail of mantle and chimney

     Top of Page
     Back to streetlight main page
     Go to index of other topics
     Contact us

All parts (c) copyright 2004-9, Allan W. Jayne, Jr. unless otherwise noted or other origin stated.

If you would like to contribute an idea for our web page, please send us an e-mail. Sorry, but due to the volume of e-mail we cannot reply personally to all inquiries..