Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!! What Was San Jose's Christmas Gift in 1881?

Merry Christmas San Jose! We wish all of you and your families a wonderful day filled with joy and happiness.

We do have a little treat for you courtesy of WMS Media. They have produced yet another great short video on San Jose's history, and this one is timely. 132 years ago to this day, the world famous Electric Light Tower went live (it does kind of look like a Christmas tree doesn't it?). Watch the video below to learn more!

Dec 25, 1881 - San Jose Electric Light Tower from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

"Invented by J.J. Owens, editor of the San Jose Mercury and built with public funds, this unique structure was the center of attraction for the city and a one of a kind in the world.

Standing at Market and Santa Clara Streets at just over 200 feet tall, the tower was constructed from readily available boiler iron in the shape of a tower. Atop the structure were six arc lights putting out a brilliant moon-lit glow. They were powered by Brush Electric generators. Residents claimed they could now read a book at night from 2 miles away. Police said it would reduce city crime. And people who owed money complained they could now be spotted and identified at night!

The tower brought world-wide fame and pride to San Jose with articles written in Harpers Weekly and Vanity Fair."

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