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  • Street Lighting

    Does anyone have any details of location of street lights in relation to the location of each of the murders?

    Also does anyone know if there was any ruling on the time when street lamps were lit and when they were extinguished? I think that if the killer had this information he could plan his killings in darkness (of course also dependent on phases on the moon).
    Some people see things as they are and ask: "Why?"
    I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?" - Kennedy

  • #2
    Hi Stevi and welcome.

    Rob Clack and Monty are the ones to ask about street lighting, but here are the phases of the moon :

    http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/...ry=9&year=1888

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
      Hi Stevi and welcome.

      Rob Clack and Monty are the ones to ask about street lighting, but here are the phases of the moon :

      http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/...ry=9&year=1888
      Hi Robert.
      Thanks for info on phases of the moon... given me "homework" to match these with nights of the murders...

      Hopefully the others will be able to help about the lighting - I know that some books and posts refer to the street lights but I`m particularly interested to try and find regulations on the actual lighting of gas lamps and when and who would extinguish them. As far as I can tell from info I have read so far this hasn`t been previously looked at.... just a suggie..?

      Stevi B
      Some people see things as they are and ask: "Why?"
      I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?" - Kennedy

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      • #4
        I believe someone on here has read through the minutes of the Whitechapel Board of Works Lamp's Committee meetings.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
          I believe someone on here has read through the minutes of the Whitechapel Board of Works Lamp's Committee meetings.
          Thanks Edward.
          Wow - so there was a Works Lamp Committee? Guess this means a bit of a search unless someone can point me to this great finding.

          Thanks to you, and to Robert (previous post) for such quich responses.
          As a newcomer to this forum this is much appreciated and makes me feel welcome.
          Some people see things as they are and ask: "Why?"
          I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?" - Kennedy

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          • #6
            There was a committee but it seems to have been established just after the murders :

            http://www.casebook.org/press_report...l?printer=true

            There was probably a phases of the moon committee too.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Robert Linford View Post
              There was a committee but it seems to have been established just after the murders :

              http://www.casebook.org/press_report...l?printer=true

              There was probably a phases of the moon committee too.
              So after the murders? I wonder if the murders made them consider the idea?
              I love the "moon committee" was it headed by the great grandfather of the drummer of The Who ?
              Some people see things as they are and ask: "Why?"
              I dream of things that never were and ask "Why not?" - Kennedy

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              • #8
                Yes, he looked through his telescope and yelled "I can see for miles."

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                • #9
                  The committee was established long before but went into abeyance and was reconstituted after the murders started, certainly as a result of criticism that the lighting was inadequate and a contributory factor in facilitating the murders. The minutes tell an interesting story and are the only real evidence for where specific lights were in 1888.

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                  • #10
                    Good to see a new member posting, Stevi.

                    I remember fellow poster Neil Bell writing an article about the lighting in Mitre Sq. for "The Ripperologist". Copies of back issues are now free to download and well worth perusing.

                    Bucks Row and Mitre Square had very poor lighting at the murder spots.
                    Berner Street was probably better lit, but even that lighting wasn't good. The lighting is specifically mentioned at the Stride inquest.

                    Mrs Stride's body was found off street in virtually pitch black conditions and of course street lighting didn't play a part in Mary Kelly's murder.

                    Although having said that, I just realized it would have played an important part in Hutchinson's claimed witness description.
                    Thanks for your time,
                    dusty miller

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                    • #11
                      An interesting point about Mitre Square. The square itself is private property, or was when I worked there 50 years ago. The street lighting 50 years ago was provided by the City of London as it was a public thoroughfare but would that have been the case in 1888? IIRC there were three street lamps in the square at that time but who back then was responsible for them?

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                      • #12
                        As per Neil's article (Ripperologist # 58),

                        "Three gas lamps provided light in Mitre Sq:
                        1. A fixed wall gas lamp was situated on Williams & Co's corner wall located in Mitre St. This lamp gave little light into Mitre Sq. but did illuminate the street entrance into the square.
                        2. A freestanding lamp was located 18 feet outside Kearly and Tonge's north west warehouse and 26 feet from t5heir north east warehouse.
                        3. The third lamp was another lamp fixed attached to K and T's north east warehouse at the corner of Church Passage, just at the point where the passage widened from 5 to 18 feet."

                        The article goes on to discuss, with the aid of a gas light expert, just how bright those lights were. Basically, it was pretty dark!
                        Thanks for your time,
                        dusty miller

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                        • #13
                          I found it interesting, when reading the link below, that the Committee were going to write a letter of complaint to the gas company which supplied gas lighting to the streets of Whitechapel.

                          The complaints included broken glass in the lamps, defective burners and dirty lamps. Gas light only provides a small pool of light to the immediate surroundings anyway, and with these deficiencies who knows how much light was cast.

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                          • #14
                            I think in "The Six Napoleons" the busts were broken beneath street lamps so that the shards could be searched properly.

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                            • #15
                              Quick run to re-read 'The Six Napoleons'!

                              Conan Doyle is quite vague about descriptions of locale sometimes, but the place where Beppo was apprehended seems to have been a prosperous neighbourhood with houses in their own grounds. Holmes sits on the doorstep of Josiah Brown's house to examine the shards, with the fanlight of the door shedding light from inside.

                              In prosperous streets, in the West End for example, weren't there groups of lights, (like candelabra,) sometimes, very different from the poorer quarters of London.

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