Catalogue Number: 77
Artificial Light. Its influence on civilisation
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: LUCKIESH, Matthew
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1920
Time Period: 1900 to 1939
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: New York
Publisher/Manufacturer: The Century Co
Description Of Item: This book is hard cover, original brown cloth covers, 203 x 133 mm, with 366 pages including an index. It is copiously illustrated with drawings and photographs. It is written for the general reader in the publisher's series of Century Books of Useful Science. The book has 25 chapters with the early chapters dealing with the historical development of artificial ight sources from fires through to oil and gas lamps.
Historical Significance: Matthew Luckiesh DSc, DE, (1883 - 1967) was a physicist and, as the Director of General Electric's Lighting Research Laboratory at its Nela Park National Lamps Works facility in East Cleveland, Ohio, he pursued research on light and vision. In his day, he was known as the "Father of the Science of Seeing." at least in the world of illuminating engineering. He developed several theories on color and its physiological effect on people. He was also interested in determining the conditions under which optimal visibility was achieved, and in examining the relationship between light and seeing, in order to design better types of lamps. During World War I he studied camouflage, and later invented artificial sunlight and germicidal lamps. Luckiesh produced eleven U.S. patents, 28 books and about 860 scientific and technical articles, published between 1911 and 1960. Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest "My name is pronounced as if it were spelled loo'kish. The u in the first syllable is the u in rude, and the second syllable rimes with dish." He devised the MAZDA Flametint Lamp, which was designed to create mood and to resemble the color of licking flames and the MAZDA Daylight Lamp, that had coiled tungsten filaments and transparent blue glass to produce high colour temperature daylight. In 1940, He and Frank Moss compared 5th and 6th grade students in well-lit classrooms to students in regular (poorly-lit) classrooms, and found significant increases in the scores on the New Stanford Achievement Test were demonstrated by the students in the well-lit classrooms, although the study may be flawed by confounding variables. Luckiesh also developed the 'Visibility Meter' with Frank Moss. The device, used over a wide range of lighting applications, consists of a pair of similar photographic gradient filters, which increase in density when rotated together before the eyes. The filters reduce the apparent brightness of the observed field while lowering the contrast between the object of view and its background.
How Acquired: Donated by Mrs M Padman, widow of Eric Padman, prominent Tasmanian optometrist
Date Acquired: 1984
Condition: Blotchy cloth, otherwise good
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection