JF Ptak Science Books Post 2496
Inventors had been experimenting with the electric light for decades before Thomas Edison patented his ever since it in the same year that this engraving appeared (1879). Ever since is became possible to believe in the practicality of the power source of electricity (rather than the very problematic gas) with the demonstrate of Humphrey Davy's electric arc lamp in 1809, people like Lindsay (1835) and Geisler (1856) and Becquerel (1867) and Woodward (1875) and many others tried to perfect the form of electrical lighting. Edison of course came up with the best idea, and the rest is history (and adjudication).
It is really no that long ago--in my great-great grandfather's time--that the possibility of the expansion of lighting by electricity was new and very exciting (as well as the delivery of electricity for other stuff, but that is another story). It is also a time of tremendous achievement in delivering the power, which really only extends backwards to 1820 with Oersted (and his electromagnetic motor, and the thought of seeing a land locomotive for providing portable electricity must have been an enormous intellectual treat. And here it is:
As stated in the short article, this is a "very convenient arrangement" for delivering lighting remotely ("to contractors"), and was produced by Gainborough's Marhsall, Sons & Co. for the electrical engineering firm of Crompton & Fawkes of London. The dynamo-electric machines are on the small two-wheeled carriage and is connected to the steam-powered source on the four-wheeled carriage; it was a 6hp engine that could produce 6,000 candle power illumination. To the right of the electric engines are spools with 300 yards of cable which would connect everything to the electric lamps--evidently from arrival to light would take one hour. For the time this was a magical thing.