Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Hudson–Fulton Celebration from September 25 to October 9, 1909 in New York and New Jersey

The Hudson–Fulton Celebration from September 25 to October 9, 1909 in New York and New Jersey

Electricity played a major role in the celebration, as ships and memorials were illuminated over the course of the two-week celebration. The illumination of the naval fleet on September 25 was followed by a display of fireworks in the evening that reflected off the Hudson River. These fireworks were shot over the naval fleet from the Jersey Shore, so that they could be seen from Riverside Park. The Committee commissioned one company to regulate the fireworks; this would not only ensure a uniform display across the State but also, because the company could set off the fireworks in rapid succession, invoke historic memory of the signal fires that Hudson used to navigate along the coast.
The Commission allocated $83,000 from its budget of $934, 447 for a total of 107,152 illuminations, including various types of lights and fireworks, installed for the celebration; in addition to the town halls and bridges, these lights also illuminated the Statue of LibertyGrant's TombSoldiers' and Sailors' Monument, the Washington Arch, and some museums, like the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. A diversity of light was used to electrify the city. For the Celebration alone, 500,000 incandescent light bulbs were installed, in addition to the other 500,000 incandescent lights already in use around the state. 3000 Flare arcs and 7000 arc lights were used, as well, in addition to searchlights, which lit Grant’s Tomb and the Statue of Liberty. Washington Arch and its surrounding streets were festooned with lights.

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