Electric street lighting
Join this Vicfix campaign to shed light on the history of Melbourne's street lighting
Vicfix is improving the searchability of digitised newspaper articles and making the hidden details of Victoria's rich history available for everyone.
About Melbourne's first electric street lighting
Melbourne's first municipal street lighting was switched-on on 8 March 1894. Before then, a mix of oil, gas and electric lamps had been used to light the city's streets, including the primitive electric lighting that illuminated an evening football match at the MCG in 1879.
Newspapers from the time include passionate arguments for and against the placement of particular lamps, private versus public ownership of the lighting companies, and electricity versus gas. They also reveal the positive effect of street lighting on crime rates, despite the vandalism of a lamp less than a week after its first lighting.
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