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Lights On and Off at Wentworth by the Sea

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Strawbery Banke Presents
HISTORIC PORTSMOUTH #232

The annual holiday "lighting up" of the restored Wentworth by the Sea this week brings to mind two historical details. First, ale tycoon Frank Jones was an early investor in electricity and generated it via his steam factory (Continued below)

 

 

HISTORIC PHOTOS of the Greater Portsmouth Area appear here week

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He built his own Portsmouth power plant to electrify his home, his downtown buildings and his hotels. New Castle was ablaze when the first few outdoor lamps came on in the early 1890s thanks to Jones. At that time, as seen here, the hotel was painted green. The second factoid also involves "painting" the Wentworth, which by the 1940s had expanded to many times its current size. The brilliantly lit hotel, many feared, was a perfect target for Nazi submarines. Modern newspapers have reported that the Wentworth was painted black during WWII. Not so. In fact, the hotel was "blacked out" for that period and briefly closed, which simply means – the lights were turned off. (Photo courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum from "Wentworth by the Sea" by J. Dennis Robinson.)  

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Friday, December 15, 2017 
 
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