It’s incredible to think that traditional lamp post lanterns weren’t always as decorative as the ones that we tend to see on urban streets these days. Indeed, in the early days, there was nothing decorative about the lanterns that dotted our cities – they were strictly utilitarian, their very square and plain designs often reflecting this.
There’s quite the sharp contrast between those very first lanterns – typically rudimentary in their design and made from tinplate or sheet iron – and the spectacularly ornate wrought iron and cast iron lamp post lanterns that we create to the exact desired specifications of our demanding customers here at MEC, Mediterranean Eternal Culture of Arts.
The reasons for those differences are rooted in the history and development of lamp post lanterns over the centuries. The metals that were used for those first lanterns were cheap, in part because of circumstances like the American Revolution, when the more expensive pewter and brass needed to be forged into guns and made into ammunition. However, it was also simply considered wasteful to use more expensive metals.
As time went on, however, and lamp post lanterns became a familiar part of the streets of cities around the world, wrought iron came to be widely used for many urban features, including immense landmarks like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Wrought iron demand peaked in the 1860s as it found applications in everything from nails and rivets to handrails and railway couplings. Cast iron also began to be used for many urban features during the Industrial Revolution, not least bridges.
Over the years into the late Victorian period, lamp post lanterns – whether made from cast iron or wrought iron – became progressively intricate and varied in their designs. This was in recognition of the role that such features of the urban landscape played in civic pride, not just the functional task of illuminating streets. So well-remembered and admired are many of these old-fashioned lamp post lanterns, that their fundamental style remains in demand for new urban developments to this day.
If there is any organisation that prizes only the very highest standards of customised design in such urban features as not only cast iron lamp post lanterns, but also the likes of wrought iron lights, clock towers, grills, fences and gates, it has to be us here at MEC. Our crack design team would be delighted to hear from you so that they can soon create the beautifully-crafted and eye-catching lamp post lanterns that would make the best fit for your own next big project.