Volunteers keep South Orange gas street lamps burning bright for more than 150 years

An effort is underway in South Orange to check and maintain historic gas lamps on the city streets. Volunteers are inspecting the lamps, making sure

Volunteers are inspecting the lamps, making sure they

Volunteers are inspecting the lamps, making sure they work and light up right. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

SOUTH ORANGE - An effort is underway in South Orange to check and maintain historic gas lamps on the city streets.

Volunteers are inspecting the lamps, making sure they work and light up right.

South Orange Trustee Sheena Collum says the annual event brings residents into the streets. "The gas lamps are beautiful for our community, but don't provide a lot of light, even with one or two mantles out," she says. "So this was a way for the community to get together and light up the night."

Volunteers fanned out to check all 1,400 gaslights in one night. They included South Orange residents, trustees and even students from Seton Hall.

Public safety is the primary goal as they make sure the lamps work and light correctly.

A 21st century tool also helped check the 19th century technology. A smartphone app called "SOconnect" catalogued the lamps that weren't working.

The app notified PSE&G via email about needed repairs, and it can be used to report power and street light outages.
     
In South Orange, the lamps are a bright part of history. They burned sperm whale oil until 1860 when gas became available.

The town stuck with gas even after electricity arrived in 1888.

"We're hoping with all the lights on it will make it safer for everyone," Collum says.

Gas has served South Orange safely for more than 150 years. 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized 1 Video: Preparing White House for new president 'organized chaos'
Two men tried to rob Jose Camilo's liquor 2 Liquor store owner fights back when store is robbed
More than 4,000 people are expected to gather 3 Women's March protest rally to be held in Asbury Park
Workers help build a deck for Boonton resident 4 Nonprofit group builds deck for disabled veteran
More than 600 Sister Marches are taking place 5 Women march in solidarity in Trenton

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE