Wednesday, 9 May 2007

L is for Lamplighter

The natural gas company I worked for comissioned a Limited Edition bronze of The Lamplighter to recognise employees with 25 years of service.

The sculptor is Siggy Puchta, who was born in Germany and emigrated to Canada in 1953 at the age of 19, and is well known for creating bronzes and carving in stone.

The first gas lamps in Toronto were lit in 1841 to commemorate the birth of King Edward VII.

By 1848 there were 164 gas street lamps in operation.

By 1857 there were 675 gas street lamps and it was a common sight to see the lamplighters bicycling around the city to light the lamps at dusk.

By 1883, electricty was starting to take over the job of lighting the streets. In 1890, the last remaining 34 lamplighters were discharged, and other jobs were found for them.

I've had my Lamplighter for a few years now. He lives on the mantle above the fireplace. I'm very fond of him.

14 comments:

Xtreme English said...

that's MUCH better than a pin with a diamond fragment, which is what we get after that many years....congratulations!!

Annie said...

He looks so lovely with that gold light backdrop.

rosemary said...

That is a wonderful piece....25 years...that is a long time to be faithful to an employer. Did you name him?

Chandler said...

Wow that's gorgeous. And I have to second Rosemary's question... did you name him?

photowannabe said...

I'd love to have one too. I agree its better than a pin or pen set.

TorAa said...

That Lamplighter statue is really a piece of genuin art.
What you write about the street gaslamps is very interesting in sense of how fast technology do change. How Professions comes and goes....

Have a great weekend. .. and I'm still without internet at our summerhome:(

Ex-Shammickite said...

Thenks for your comments everyone:
Yes, I agree with Extreme and Photo, much better than a pin or a watch. I have had many compliments from visitors who have admired him lighting his lamp in my living room.
One of the things I like best about him is that he doesn't have the company name plasted all over him.
And, no, I haven't named him. Strange, cos I name everything else... my car, my grandfather clock, my dishwasher....

Abraham Lincoln said...

Grease Sandwich Recipe:
Fry bacon. Eat the bacon for breakfast. Take one slice of fresh break and wipe out the skillet of all that bacon grease. Add some pepper. Lay several green onions across the bread on top of the grease. Add one more slice of bread and wrap with wax paper. Put in a tin box or kraft paper sack. Let set until Noon. Open. Take out sandwich, and unwrap wax paper and save it. Then take a bite. OH MY GOSH is it ever good. I did that routine a lot in the 1940s during the war. And we used the wax paper to sit on and slide down the slide. The wax made the slide extra slippery.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Erik said...

Hi Rook,

Man, it looks like I'm following in your footsteps. A pity about the pickpockets. So far on my trip I've been very lucky and not had anything stolen (except for a small bag of grasshoppers in Mexico). Anyway, I don't have anything worth stealing (unless the thieves have a fetish for smelly socks!). All the best and good luck with the knitting,

Erik.

Ginnie said...

You should be very fond of him, Ex-S! What a wonderful tribute to your old company and your many years of service. Excellent!

Ming_the_Merciless said...

That is a very nice long service award. It is gorgeous.

Where I work, the long service award is a Tiffany Glass Apple. But I don't know how long I have to work there before I'm eligible. The senior employees joke about how they are all just waiting to get the glass apple before they quit. :-)

CanadianSwiss said...

Hmmm. Look like you will have to name the little fellow. Very nice idea your employer had.

isabella said...

I can understand why you are fond of him - he's very fetching ;-)

Xtreme English said...

t36this is a note for abe lincoln and his grease sandwiches....

i'll take your word for it, but they do sound very good. and they show the ingenuity people had during the 40s when at least here in the US, there was food rationing. we didn't see much bacon!