Plzeňské sympozia

Andrea Pokludová

Public Lighting in Towns and Illumination during the Time of the "Long" Nineteenth Century

pp. 265–274 (Czech), Summary pp. 274–275 (English)

Th?e aim of the study is not to swamp the reader with data about the amount invested in gasworks and power stations, statistics about the profits and losses made by individual municipal enterprises, the average time of amortization and introduction of individual technological innovations, etc. The?ese data are presented in detail in the published results of the grant project entitled "Th?e Lustre and the Misery of Local Governments". My intention was to outline the path followed by Moravian and Silesian towns towards becoming modern towns, in the sense of towns in which at least part of the inhabitants could walk around at night under the street lights in relative safety. From this outline it was fairly evident that this process took place in administrative and industrial towns only a few years later than in the major Central European cities, such as the capital of the Monarchy, Vienna. Modern technologies spread relatively quickly if there was a favourable combination of suitable economic conditions and a modern, functioning, and effective local government on the local level; they were introduced, even at the cost of initial losses for the enterprise, because there was a long-term prospect of their viability.

Key words: public lighting - illumination - introduction of gas - electrification -
local government - economic nationalism - modernisation


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