Electric Torchlight Parade

This engraving, which accompanied a 15 November 1884 story in Scientific American (p. 310), shows employees of the Edison Electric Lighting Company in a 31 October presidential campaign parade. The marchers surround a horse-drawn generating plantdynamo, steam engine, boiler, and water tanksand the electricity is conveyed to the bulbs on their heads by wires up their sleeves, as shown at upper left. Except for one stretch when mud clogged the water pipes and stopped the steam engine, it was "one of the most unique and attractive displays ever seen in a torchlight procession, . . . the lights flooding every nook and cranny of the streets passed through" and clearly showing "the perfection to which electric lighting machinery has been brought."