National Geographic : 1940 Aug
TONIGHT They're Playing Under Lights! G4i W/edti# oad& e IIIIIIIIIII - i * Fewfans ever dreamed the day would come when after dinner they could ride out to a stadium and watch a professional base ball game played under lights. * Yet, the idea of night baseball was advanced as early as three decades ago. True, nothing was done about this so called "fantastic dream" then. But twelve years ago, a minor league club toured the country with a portable lighting system and played before fans at night in much the same manner as a carnival troupe. * Night baseballatlast became a reality. And it proved increasingly popular, evi denced by the fact that in the past ten years it has developed in the minor leagues to a point where seven games out of every ten are today played under lights. * In 1935 night baseball graduated to its first major league park. So rapidly has it caught on here that eight of the big league parks are now equipped with the most modern lighting facilities. And we are proud to say that five of these lighting sys- tems were designed and installed by our own company. * One has only to check the turnstiles to appreciate how eagerly the public has taken night baseball to its heart. * In 1939, for instance, nearly one mil lion persons attended major league night baseball games. The night games at Shibe Park, Philadelphia, topped the daytime attendance average five to one. In Comiskey Park, Chicago, the first six night games drew over 188,000 paid admissions. * There has been similar enthusiastic response to night games played in the Polo Grounds, New York; Sportsman's Field, St. Louis; Forbes Field, Pittsburgh; as well as those at other baseball parks. * Consider if you will the unusual de mands of a lighting system that must pro vide glareless illumination for a fast night baseball game. At Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, our most recent installation, more than 210 million candlepower of light is spread over the field from 864 floodlights, each of some 1500 watt capacity. Their combined out put would be enough to light every home in a city of 25,000 population. Distributed as it is, the illumination over Forbes Field is 19 times brighter than the average busi ness man's desk. * Fortunately, we at Westinghouse were able to bring to this exacting problem a long and highly varied lighting expe rience. Through the important contribu tions we have made to better lighting, stores have been made more attractive to shoppers; factories and offices more effi cient for employees; school rooms more conducive to study; public thoroughfares, airports and river docks infinitely more safe. "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."