220th Place is a short dead-end on 46th Avenue by Oakland Lake west of Cloverdale Boulevard and south of the Wendy’s and Burger King in on Northern Boulevard where I occasionally have lunch in Bayside. It’s tiny…no sidewalks of any kind, but a no trespassing sign that’s not in the shot. It has secret that has been immune from all NYC revisions since the 1960s.
You guessed it: a 1964-era General Electric M-100 luminaire. These were once installed by the thousands on city side streets along with Westinghouse MO-8s, their chief competition. Known as “open-bottom” or “cutoff” luminaires, they were designed to illuminate residential or side streets without a glass reflector bowl in a somewhat dim, greenish white glow.
Though their demise began as early as 1972, when yellow sodium lamps began their lengthy reign, examples were relatively frequent until 2009, when the NYC Department of Transportation installed new models of an updated GE M-400 on virtually every lamp in NYC. Today, only six years later, they are succumbing to the new light-emitting diode (LED) lamps, which shine a brilliant white.
They had, in turn, replaced the incandescent “crescent moons” (#3737) installed in the 1955-1960 period that replaced the radial-wave reflector lamps, which had first appeared around 1915. I remember the “moons” and the “waves” from my youth, but around 1962, the first mercury vapor lamps began their takeover.
Since 220th Place is a semprivate street, I imagine the Department of Transportation hasn’t been able to touch this M-100 and it will likely stick around for a bit. I haven’t checked if it lights up.
“Comment…as you see fit”