When The Toffees Outshone The Blades –                           Anfield Under Illumination  – Richard Gillham

When The Toffees Outshone The Blades – Anfield Under Illumination – Richard Gillham

1878 not only saw the foundation of the football team that would become Everton FC but, in October of that year, the first experiments in playing artificially-illuminated matches. At Sheffield United’s Bramhall Lane ground, dynamo-powered lamps were mounted on timber gantries to provide the light for a match contested by teams made up of representatives from local clubs. The ‘Blues’ ran out 2-0 winners. But it was here on Merseyside, on 8th January 1890, that one of the most significant trials of this nascent technology occurred. On this occasion Paraffin-fuelled lamps, manufactured by A. C. Wells & Co. of Manchester, and normally used for industrial use, were deployed. The Blades were the visitors to Everton’s Anfield ground for the 7pm kick-off. By why Anfield? According to the Liverpool Courier: ‘Anfield is perhaps the best arena in the county for such experiments as the high stands serve to contain the light within the required area.’ The novelty of this innovation...
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