19 September 2016
Blackpool Illuminations were switched on for the first time on 19 September 1879
On this day in history, 1879: Blackpool Illuminations are switched on for the first time.
This annual lights festival is held each autumn in the British seaside resort of Blackpool in Lancashire. Also known as The Lights or The Illuminations, they run for 66 days, from late August until early November. They are six miles (10km) long and use more than a million bulbs.
When the Illuminations first shone in 1879 they were described as 'artificial sunshine' and consisted of just eight arc lamps, which bathed the Promenade. The original event preceded Thomas Edison's patent of the electric light bulb by 12 months.