The Donald Deskey lamppost was introduced in 1958 at Broadway and Murray Street alongside City Hall Park, and was brought out as a standard NYC lamppost in 1962. It was designed by architect and industrial designer Donald Deskey, who is most famed for the interiors of Radio City Music Hall, as well as the Crest toothpaste tube.
The Deskey quickly gained favor because of its adaptability: the two slots running the length of the shaft could hold park lights, stoplights, and other streetlight masts: a Deskey placed on a street corner, for example, could hold two masts facing in two directions, illuminating both cross streets.
The Deskey’s one weakness was in where/how to position the orange fire alarm light, which for decades announced the presence of a fire alarm. The city could never decide on a fixture that would stay in place for long, given the wear and tear NYC lampposts have to go through.
In addition to the common single mast variety there was also an extra-long double mast variety used to illuminate wider roads.
The Deskeys, despite being quite popular in the 60s and early 70s, stopped production in the 1980s and when one falls by the wayside, it’s replaced by a different style post.