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The History of Theater technology

The History of Theater technology talking about Candle lighting, Oil lamps, Gas lighting, Limelight, Gobos and DMX.
by

Declan Doyle

on 20 May 2014

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Transcript of The History of Theater technology

The History
of Theater technology.

Oil Lamps...
Oil lamps were invented by a Swiss chemist in the 1780s by Aime Arand he developed the modern oil lamp which soon would replace the candle lamp as the primary light source in most theaters this was still a fire risk. The theater was still not a safe place to go this was because some oil lighting was used as foot light on the stage and actors may kick them over and the oil would spill out of the oil lamp them setting on fire there for this would setting the theater on fire this killed a lot of people how would have been watching, acting or wouking on the show.
Gas lighting...
The would first Gas lit stage was installed at the Chestnut street
Theater in Philadelphia in the USA in
1816
. In 1817 the same gas lighting was installed in
London's Two legitimate house, Drury Lane and Covent Garden Theaters.
Then soon after that in the
1820s
mos of the western world had had gas lighting systems. with these systems in use there could be a lighting controller in the theater there could this meant the the lighting controller could control the intensity of the lighting in the theater unlike back when they would be using candles and oil lamps but also the risk of a fire is still there but has been roused but not gone yet.
Candle light was fist used in Italy between the years
1580 - 1618
they would also use a mirror like surface to reflect the light on to the stag up candles are not the strongest of light souse to use so they would need to have hundreds of them on one stage just to give the stage some light on the at that is going on on the stage. This was a massive fire risk menny theater burnt down because of the candles falling over and setting the place on fire. also this kind of light could not have colour also they could not have black outs in there shows also they would not be able to have special effects like moving lighting.
Lime light...
Lime light is also known as
Drummond light or Calcium light
this was once apart of stage lighting, the was in witch limelight worked was by a rod of Calcium in side of the lighting fixture its self and then the bar would be burnt with a flam of Hydrogen and Oxygen mixed the this would make the rod of Calcium glow a bright lime colour in side the lap but once focused the light would be just wight and not a lime colour. limelight made good use for a spot light also it was good for a wash light this give the show a better look than using footlights. Limelight were placed on the balcony in the theater witch was above the stage the light looked better coming from above with limelight being used meanly as a spot light this is where The expression Stole my limelight or in the limelight came from the use limelight. Limelight was first brought in to theater in 1816 by Thomas Drummond limelight was later used in 1860 in internashnle theaters around the world.
DMX...
DMX is a digital protocol used by lighting controller to control the dimmers on the lighting fixture. DMX is also used to control the tilt, pad, colour, gobo's and zoom on moving lighting this can also be used to control smoke machines, strobes, lazes and so on. At the beginning of electric lighting control the was just dimmers, using dimmers meant that you could only control the intensity on the light because this is all the dimmer is capable of handling with it only using electric and not digital dater so the only thing it can tell the light to do is come and a control the intensity of the light fixture.

How Douse DMX Work?
"Rather than sending a continuous control value down several bits of cable, one for each channel, like an analogue control system, the DMX transmitter chops up the information, sending the value of each control channel down one piece of cable one after another as serial digital data. So it will send a value for channel 1 at 50%, then channel 2 at 75%, then channel 3 at 7% and so on...... , when it has reached the heighest channel to be transmitted it starts again at channel 1. This is called multiplexing, which is where DMX gets its name (Digital MultipleXing)."
Gobos...
Gobos are either made of glass or steel, steel gobos are the most popular types of gobos around this is because the gobo may broken in the rigging of the lighting and steel gobos stronger and are cheaper to make than glass gobos a gobo made of glass or steel are made of these materials because the will need t with stand lodes of heat form the light so if you were to make a plastic gobo it would melt in side of the lighting fixture. Glass gobos are butter to use for water effects and fire effects where steel gobos are better used for for things like wording or things like a stars with a steel gobo artwork is cut in to the steel but with steel gobos if you would like colour you will need to put a gel in fruit of the light but if you are to get the higher quality glass gobo you will be able to have colour on the gobo its self the is a big improvement from its sister component the steel gobo lights today my come with built in gobos in lights like mac 250 or a mac 550 the gobos in these lights can be changed if you like they tend to ba mix of steel and glass gobos.
Over all
I think over all, all of the factors that i have talked about that some of the factors from each point do get used in modern day lightig plans depending on the show I'm not saying that candles or limelight may still get used I'm simply trying to say the way people would of used lighting to fill the stage all them years ago there lighting techniques may still begetting uesed today things like foot light is a one that is still getting used today
Candle Lighting...
Thank you
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