Victorian fixtures and fittings

25 03 2013

Victorian fixtures and fittings

This week we have a contribution from our Head of Visitor Services:

As far as Mondays go this has been one of my best since working for the Gallery. Today a few of us were suited and booted and taken around the construction zone that will become our new extension. It was so great to see how much the spaces have already changed in such a short period of time. It was incredible to see what the original ceilings look like now that the Scandinavian false ceilings have been removed from our back galleries. Even some new original victorian fixtures and finishes have been discovered.
Needless to say this is a great time to be working at the Gallery and witnessing our building going through these amazing changes.




One response

18 12 2013

What you see here is a gas fired ‘Sunlight’ or ‘Ventilating Sunburner’ doubtless one of several. These appliances were widely used in large public buildings to both light and ventilate the rooms in the days before the gas mantle when the demand for more light required larger and larger gas flames. The result of this was a great deal of heat and these Sunlights were designed to draw the heat out of the room by convection. Once the gas mantle had been invented and the amount of gas required to produce an equivalent amount of light – or more – had reduced enormously these appliances fell out of use, in this case being covered up by a new ceiling. Frequently left in place as part of the building structure they can be seen in many large Victorian buildings. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has a particularly fine set of Ventilating Sunlights.
You can see and read more

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