Calcium light

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An early type of light that produced an intense beam. Developed in 1816, calcium lights, or limelights, were used as spotlights for theater stages. They produced illumination by burning a piece of lime in an oxyhydrogen flame. A lens system was used to focus the brilliant white light into a strong beam.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Drummond light; limelight; oxycalcium light; Acetylen-Lampe (Deut.); lampe à acétylène (Fr.); lâmpada de acetileno (Port.)


  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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