Seattle City Light installs an ornamental street lighting system in 1909.

  • By Heather M. MacIntosh
  • Posted 10/07/1999
  • Essay 1724
See Additional Media

In 1909, Seattle City Light installs an ornamental street lighting system, in preparation for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

World's Fairs, also called expositions or exhibitions, were often preceded by intensive infrastructural improvements. In Seattle's case, these improvements coincided with the extensive regrading of huge tracts of land in the commercial downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. New streets, and the promise of thousands of visitors, placed the city's image in the forefront of city planning and budget decisions.

Street lighting was a relatively inexpensive improvement. These decorative lighting programs replaced some of the earliest hanging arc street lights installed in 1905.


Annual Report of the Lighting Department for the Year 1911 compiled by J. D. Ross, Superintendent (Seattle: Lowman and Handford Co., Printers, n.d.), 61-62.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You