When darkness fell at the Empire Exhibition in 1938 it was the cue for some spectacular displays of floodlighting. The photograph shown here is of the South Cascade, with Tait's Tower illuminated in the background.
Around 2,200 gallons of water were constantly in circulation to maintain the two cascades. Water poured over curved glass weirs between pools at different levels. Reflected light from lamps beneath the weirs supplied the illumination. Lighting in various colours changed throughout a cycle of twelve minutes.
Many of the visitors to the Empire Exhibition had struggled to make ends meet during the drab and dispiriting days of the Depression of the 1930s and the illuminated displays provided enduring memories of the event. A final measure of the affection held by Glaswegians for the Empire Exhibition was provided by the crowd of 364,092 which braved atrocious weather on the final day, 29 October, bringing the total number of visitors to 12,593,232.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC ef606.4 (1938)
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
cascades, Empire Exhibition, Empire Tower, exhibitions, fountains, illuminations, lighting, night scenes, South Cascade, Tait's Tower, Tower of Empire, weirs