The World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago, Illinois in 1893 celebrated the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus discovering America and also landmark innovations from our country and around the world. Covering more than 600 acres, everything about this event was grand, including the unveiling of General Electric’s three million candle-power searchlight, which was reported to be the largest in the world at that time. Following the Expo, the searchlight made its way to San Francisco for the 1894 Mid-Winter Expo, and eventually to Echo Mountain to be an attraction for the tourists who visited the Mount Lowe railway. This Lowry Brothers Photographers unmounted 4.25″ by 7″ cabinet photo is an example of how tourists loved to be photographed with “The Largest Searchlight in the World” and gives one the scale of this nearly eleven foot tall creation. Inverted in the reflector at the back of the light can be seen the stairs leading back to the top of the incline and the steps of Echo Mountain House.
Mount Lowe Preservation Society Collection, gift of John Robinson