Arc Lamp Carbons Holder

Hours and Location

Arc Lamp Carbons Holder

Photo: Tom Alföldi

Current location:

Collection Storage Facility


Ontario Hydro acquired this artifact for its Museum of Electrical Progress in the late 1960s, transferring it to the national collection in 1992.

Technical history:

This holder carried a supply of carbons needed to replace broken pieces in an arc lamp. It was part of a tool kit used by an arc lamp repairman, called a trimmer, to maintain and service street lamps.


The first arc lamp in Canada was installed in the Davis House hotel in Winnipeg on March 12, 1873. Five years later, J. A. Craig demonstrated the Yablochkov candle and arc technology in Montreal. Although the first arc lamps were open — they did not have globes — by the 1890s almost all commercial arc lighting used safer and more stable enclosed lamps. These lamps required extensive cleaning and regular maintenance. As the incandescent technology became available, the use of arc lamps declined by the 1920s.

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Artifact No.
Manufacturer Location
Manufacture Date
Acquisition Date