Gasoliers to Chandeliers
In 1923, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia building was electrified. Gasoliers became chandeliers, gas burning lamps were fitted with light bulbs, and other electric fixtures were installed. Many of the lighting fixtures were manufactured by Cornelius & Co., one of the leading lighting companies of the 19th century based in Philadelphia. Throughout the years, though many original light fixtures remain, there was a search for other period fixtures to replace any modern ones. Samuel Dornsife, a member and shareholder of the Athenaeum, was significantly responsible for acquiring many of the fixtures and replacement lighting shades and globes.
This online exhibit is comprised of highlights from the Athenaeum's collection of chandeliers, wall sconces, and lamps that are both accessioned objects and serve as the light sources throughout the building.
Exhibit created by Margaret Bullock.