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Artificial Light
Its Influence upon Civilization

written by "Luckiesh, Matthew, 1883-1967"
... call and under the stress of feverish necessity compressed the normal development of a half-century into a few years. The airplane, in 1914 a doubtful plaything of daredevils, emerged from the war a perfected thing of the air. Lighting did not have the glamor of flying or the novelty of chemical warfare, but it progressed greatly in certain directions and served well. While artificial lighting conducted its unheralded offensive by increasing production in the supporting industries and helped to maintain liaison with the front-line trenches by lending eyes to transportation, it was also doing its part at the battle front. Huge search-lights revealed the submarine and the aërial bomber; flares exposed the manœuvers of the enemy; rockets brought aid to beleaguered vessels and troops; pistol lights fired by the aërial observer directed artillery fire; and many other devices of artificial light were in the fray. Many improvements were made in search-lights and in signaling devices and the elements of the festive fireworks of past ages were improved and developed for the needs of modern warfare. Night after night along the battle front flares were sent up to reveal patrols and any other enemy activity. On the slightest suspicion great swarms of these brilliant lights would burst forth as though flocks of huge fireflies had been disturbed. They were even used as light barrages, for movements could be executed in comparative safety when a large number of these lights lay before the enemy's trenches sputtering their brilliant light. The airman dropped flares to illuminate his target or his landing field. The torches of past parades aided the soldier in his night operations and rockets sent skyward radiated their messages to headquarters in the rear. The star-shell had the same missions as other flares, but it was projected by a charge of powder from a gun. These and many modifications represent the useful applications of what f...

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