The Westinghouse AK-10 luminaire, commonly known in the lampfan world as the “cuplight” because it could hold coffee if upended, has been a reliable performer since the late 1940s. In New York City, it’s proven to be a versatile pendant accompanist, as it has buddied up with castiron posts like bishop crooks, Type Fs and Corvington boulevard lamps in the 1940s, transitioned smoothly to the new aluminum octagonal posts in the 1950s, and even, as seen here, the new Donald Deskey slotted poles that first proliferated in the early 1960s.
The “cups” weren’t paired with the Deskeys often; their strongholds were the various roadways on Randalls Island, as seen here, and also on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn and Queens; when the Woodies began to falter there, at first the Deskeys, complete with AK-10s fitted with white mercury bulbs, took up the slack. But they disappeared in the early 1980s.
The AK-10’s remaining bailiwick these days is the lower deck of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, but the upcoming LED Revolution will likely wipe out those campaigners, as well.
Photo: Bob Mulero (who else).