Chicago Edison installed
the light fixtures at the Iroquois Theater. In
Iroquois Theater manager
Will J. Davis’ estate was one of Thomas Edison’s personal business cards.
Yours truly came across it late one night while sorting through a
box of Davis' correspondence. It was just a business card, not
worth a great deal, not important enough to wake up my sleeping spouse, but a wow moment nonetheless. I was holding something that had been
touched by Thomas Edison, maybe carried in his breast pocket. There
were other gems in Davis' correspondence but it's that business card that
knocked my socks off.
Chicago Edison building
was located at 139 Adams.
Chicago Edison sold hardware in its early days and went on to become
Commonwealth Edison. The building
pictured above housed the offices and a power house for 100,000 lights. The
building was designed by Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge and built in 1887 or
Chicago Edison appliance
advertisement reveals interesting transitional period in technology.
Not every residence converted to electric lights had wall outlets
but there was usually a ceiling fixture.
Sconce and "Etruscan crystal bowl" electroliers at the Iroquois were supplied by the
W. Wilmarth Company, a wholesaler who supplied fixtures to several other Klaw & Erlanger theaters in Chicago and around the Midwest.
The president of Wilmarth, Joseph H. Dimery, served as auctioneer for a
promotional Iroquois Theater seat auction in mid November, 1903, and was a
survivor of the Mr. Bluebeard matinee at the Iroquois Theater.
When lanterns were inadequate for firefighters and
rescuers at the Iroquois Theater, the Chicago Edison Company donated carbon
arc lamps for use inside the auditorium as well as in the street outside.
involved in Iroquois Theater disaster