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Architectural Antiques25 of 151TEXARKANA NATIONAL BANK (#2)American Bridge Builder Plate for the PRR
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    Posted 2 years ago

    (1778 items)

    These remaining installed in Texarkana near their train station, in front of an old hotel building currently in some sort of preservation/restoration project, at least as far as the "we know we've still GOTS it, now how do we FIX it?" (read: pay for it!) stages...oh well, at least they're thinking in the right direction anyway...??

    For those completely unfamiliar, these two side by side 'panels' that form the surface of the sidewalk are actually quite sturdy steel/concrete frames holding clear very heavy glass prism-ish 'lenses' of sorts (these appear to have a round fresnel pattern to them on their undersides, other makers used different forms and shapes for the glass) which in function transmit and magnify sunlight on the sidewalk downward to provide natural illumination to a 'basement' area or room located immediately underneath the sidewalk.

    Pic 1 shows both lights here, each missing a couple or three lenses now. Pic 2 is the cast iron manufacturer's name and patent number plaques. (only on one panel) Pic 3 is a closeup of two missing lenses with the LH one above intact but damaged/chipped on its street side surface. Pic 4 is looking down through one of the missing lens holes showing a rusty metal air duct hanging in there with the debris it has collected, as well as the reflection of the sunlight through the lights in the standing water on whatever floor exists below.

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    1. keramikos, 2 years ago
      AnythingObscure, Cool. :-)

      I've always been fascinated by these flush-mount skylights/floorlights.

      A similar one figures in the well-known 1958 movie "Bell, Book, and Candle," when Jimmy Stewart's character is able to find a mysterious cocktail lounge because of one.

      Here are the patents, ranging in issue date from 1926 to 1928:
    2. Manikin Manikin, 2 years ago
      I have never seen sidewalk mounted lights . I wish they still did that , What a great piece of history saved !
    3. keramikos, 2 years ago
      Manikin, They were common years ago in big cities, relics of the era before wide-spread electricity.

      If you've never seen one, perhaps it's because you've mostly lived in areas where cellars aren't common because of the water table, or some other factor?

      Here's the scene from BB&C where Jimmy Stewart finds the mysterious Zodiac Club by discovering a brightly-lit-from below panel of pavement lights:

      The Zodiac Club from Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

      Apparently, there are still a lot of pavement lights in NYC, but they're an endangered breed:

      Judging from this piece, there are some modern installations:

      A modern pavement light installation:
    4. keramikos, 2 years ago
      See, I knew there was whole wealth of pavement light info that I wasn't finding because I wasn't holding my mouth right:
    5. keramikos, 2 years ago
      What the heck, one more:
    6. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
      "Nothing is fool-proof since fools are so ingenious".

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