Thursday, July 17, 2008


With a big round translucent white glass rim, and 6 clear incandescent bulbs in spokes & wheel configuration; these are the ceiling lights in Ellis Island Immigration museum. Rows and rows of these light up the main hall, today as well as almost hundred years ago. Silently they witness the immigrants, listen to their worries, and light up their hopes in the new country.

Each light glows in the amber hue, not as bright as in compare to today light bulb technology; but these kind of bulbs last quite long. Many of the light are replaced with newer style frosted bulbs. Some of them even changed to the swirl fluorescent energy-saver type. But for me the old bulb attracts me more with its clear glass, incandescent glow, and that little pointed tub on top.

It's true, that they are inefficient, and not bright enough but you just cannot duplicate that glow with newer bulbs. It glows with an unique amber color, not too bright which can blind your eyes, but just enough to see the face of the person standing next to you. Perhaps, that's the additional purpose of these old lights: to bring people together, standing a bit closer, to look up without being blinded by the light, but to reach up with a hope. A hope in the new land.
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