Pavement lights, basement lighting, and illuminating vault covers…..

How many basement covers and pot holes have we stepped on or over without having a second thought or a glance about there design and aesthetics. Like most common everyday pieces that we take for granted, there was a lot of thought and design put into them.

Now dont lose interest when I follow with some history on this piece.

Originally designed in 1845 by Thaddeus Hyatt (1816-1901), a New York inventor, he patented a circular iron ‘illuminated vault cover’ inset with small blocks of pyramidical prism glass and even smaller ventilation holes.  

Hyatt moved to England and brought his invention with him. By the 1870s the ubiquitous large wrought or cast iron rectangular pavement lights began to be seen throughout cities. Iron companies vied over the precise nature of their prism lights and which cast the best light from pavement level down and inwards towards the room below.

Ok enough of the history lesson now, I got my hands on this nice one.,  When I found it in Bailey Gibson Salvage it had wild flowers growing through the broken panes. I couldn’t get the aesthetics of it out of my head. I had to re-invent it ……………..

I love the iron detail and the beautiful uniform rectangular prism glass contrasting with the circular vent holes. The prism glass casts different shades and light. It reminded me of so many things…. Saturday Night Fever dance floor being one of them, I know not very artistic, but its these memories that jolt our vision!!

 So I went to my go to welder and we designed a base, I wanted it simple so as not to distract from the details of the top but obviously strong enough to hold this heavy weight. I blasted and polished the iron which brought out the details on the iron.

For display I have a light shining from below the table, contrasting the effect of what it was designed to do, rather than the light shining from above to brighten basement space, the light is from below brightening the room its in.


Ta dah!!! and we have a statement piece, which will be the talking point of any space. And new life to an everyday simple piece that we can admire and look at in a new way.

Also strong enough to do your Saturday Night Fever moves on .