Too bad it wasn't a coupe.....
Rob, thanks for posting that. They work well.....I run an old Rushmore searchlight off of one of my welding tanks here when the power goes off. Works great.....
For those of you that have gas lamps - do you have to run both at once or are there valves so you can run one or the other?
Was doc doing the operation and at the same time lighting up the front yard?
I wonder what, if anything, he used for an anesthetic. Wasn't ether pretty common back then, and readily available? But ether in a closed room lit by a gas lamp sounds like a poor idea - the stuff is explosive. Any doctors care to chime in?
Yes, ether was the stuff. It still was when I was etherized for surgery in 1949. Now I use it for starting stubborn engines.
I was also etherized in the early 50's for a tonsilectomy. It took several years before I could stand the smell of the stuff.
You may just run one. The Doctor probably went directly from the tank (or generator, I'm not sure, but it looks like there may be a tank where the hose is leading) to the single lamp in the house.
It would be quite simple to do, and would have been a good way to have lighting anytime.
I've noticed when the Ford won the 24 hour endurance at the Detroit state fairground track in 1907, the race description mentions "arc lights". I don't know, but they may have been lighting the track with gas lights too. The cars, while stock, were stripped and did not have headlamps. In this photograph below the description you can see utility poles in the background, but I suspect those are phone lines?
Carbon Arc lamps are totally unrelated to carbide lamps Rob. Carbon Arc lighting is an electric lamp that consumes a lot of power to make bright light.
I haven't looked it up, but I would think carbon arc lights were developed long before 1907. They're used in the searchlights you see at movie premiers and store openings. You can make your own arc light with the center posts out of a pair of flashlight batteries.
I had not thought of carbon arc lights. So the fairgrounds had a generator or those are power lines from the nearest generating plant (maybe)?
It could have been either or both. Electrical power plants in the days before WWI operated on all sorts of fuels, and produced various kinds of power at various voltages. There was generally no electricity outside city limits, one of the many reasons that electric cars were a completely ridiculous idea to the majority of car buyers in those days.
For a racetrack that was likely outside city limits it may have had its own water or coal powered generators to run the Carbon arc lamps.
I was etherized, too, but in a real hospital, and without makeshift lighting stolen from an old Ford. So, how did the good doctor avoid blowing himself and his patient sky high? For that matter, how did the doctor avoid anesthetizing himself while he did the surgery?
On the subject of ether. Only a very small amount of ether is used for anesthetic. Larger amounts are generally fatal. The problem is, like several other gasses, it has very little odor (so I have heard, contrary to what Gary White was saying, I have never sniffed the stuff). If very carefully used, there will not be enough to explode. Make one mistake, you may all be asleep and not feel the explosion.
I am not a doctor, but have listened closely to many oldtimers.
On the subject of arc-lamps and racing. I do not recall which race it was. However one of the early time/races Rob has posted in the past few months (thank you, Rob, I really enjoy reading these things), during the night, with the track lit only by the arc-lamps and no lamps on any of the cars, the power failed. The article did not say whether the power was local or not. The cars and drivers were suddenly thrown into near total darkness on an oval track. Several cars were damaged, as I recall, one badly enough that it was not able to continue the race.
That may have been the race where the Pope Hartford was wrecked and allowed to be replaced mid-race. Can any of our "better able to search" members find the article. I have never been good at finding what I want, even using Google.
Wonderful stuff! Thank you to all that contribute!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
One has to remember the times that this occurred. Many towns had trolleys by that time, and it was the trolley firm that had the first generating plant. Their excess power was used to light homes and businesses.
Many trolley firms also had a connection with a pleasure park at one end of their lines. People would ride the trolley to the amusement area that might include a race track. It is possible that a trolley firm was responsible for providing power to the Detroit racetrack and who knows what type of lighting was used at that time.
During my internship at a hospital we needed ether to dissolve the bubble in a guys foley cath since it had been in so long that it calcified. It worked. The rest of the ether had to be poured on the parking lot since we could not have it in the hospital due to the chance of an explosion. An old time MD came up with this remedy.