by Kevin Walsh

WHEN traveling on Northern Boulevard (25A) east of Route 101 (Port Washington Boulevard) one of the abiding mysteries, to me at least, is the presence of these scrolled masts seen every so often; my guess is there are about a dozen. I think Nassau County has stopped servicing the remaining 1950s-era incandescent lamps in the gumball fixtures, most of which have extended glass reflector bowls. Roslyn proper used to have a collection of working antique lamps, including some radial waves, but these have been gradually replaced over the years.

Similar masts can be seen several miles to the south on Merrick Road in Valley Stream, but the fixtures on those have been updated with working LED lamps. Since Northern Boulevard has yellow sodium lamps interspersed with the incandescents, there’s been no great hurry there to remove the old fixtures; I wish NYC’s Department of Transportation took this laissez faire approach. Indeed the street lighting in Nassau seems to be controlled by village or town agency, rather than county or city wide as in NYC.

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S. Saltzman August 24, 2021 - 7:53 pm

Just wondering if anyone has passed by these lights at night. There is a ballast can on the pole that would indicate that these lights have been converted to mercury vapor or possibly high pressure sodium. Looking at another pole on google and you can see a photoelectric control controlling the light.

David Smith August 24, 2021 - 8:32 pm


There’s a lack of lighting on both the LOE and Northern State in that area too. I was told that the wealthy estate owners in the area had laws passed back in the 50’s limiting street lighting in order not to disturb their pastoral setting.

Dennis Bianco August 25, 2021 - 6:15 pm

These also exist on Jericho Turnpike & Hillside Avenue.

Kevin Walsh August 26, 2021 - 8:02 am

I walked Jericho well into Nassau last summer and never saw any, though Jericho IS like a museum of old 1960s-era lamp fixtures.


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