From NYC King of Lampposts Bob Mulero’s collection comes this photo of a 1950s-era wall bracket map from somewhere on South Street; the street has maintained very few of its older buildings, except those in the Seaport area that have been given NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission protection, so this building and its lamp are long gone.
NYC has a tradition of lampposts mounted on walls. It was done for two reasons: a) the sidewalk is too narrow to support a regular pole, or b) there are trucking concerns in the vicinity and the city would rather not risk a truck backing into a lamppost and toppling it. There are two solutions to this — install a regular pole, but place it close to a building — if the truck hits it the danger to pedestrians and motorists may be alleviated — or do what has been done here.
The bracket we see here pulled double duty. It was generally seen mounted on telephone poles and NYC still has a few hundred specimens of this type still in use, with twin brackets supported by a crossbar. On this one, the crossbar extends a little further down. Had there been a fire alarm here, the round orange fire alamrm lamp would have been mounted there.
The ls a Westinghouse AK-10, which battled the Bell and Gumball (they have official, but boring, names) for supremacy on NYC streets until the early 1960s. They shone a bright white incandescent that faded to yellow when wearing out and were dulled when dirt collected in the glass reflector bowls.