HUNTS LANE lamp, Brooklyn Heights

by Kevin Walsh

The back alleys of Brooklyn Heights offer, or used to offer, a variety of strange street lighting options. I found this one on the east end of Hunts Lane, a former stable mews off Henry Street near Remsen. Officially known as a Type SL200 mercury vapor fixture, I’m unsure if it was manufactured by General Electric or Westinghouse. Colloquially, I’d call these “turtle beaks” because of their shape.

NYC side streets used to feature lamp fixtures without glass or plastic diffuser bowls, which must have added to the cost. Some of them hung on gamely until 2009, when the city installed new versions of the GE M400 on almost every lamp fixture. I found this at the dawn of Forgotten NY in 1998, or knew about it even before that.

The SL200s didn’t catch on widely and the GE M-100 ‘scoop’ was more popular from the early 1960s until the mid-1970s when sodium vapor began to take over.


1 comment

John September 25, 2014 - 11:14 am

Many of these SL200s were installed on Staten Island side streets in the early ’60s replacing the incandescent cup lights which did not have diffusers.


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