Courthouse, History, Projects

Winnebago County Courthouse Lights

I am so excited to be working on more lights that were originally in the Winnebago County Courthouse here in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I worked on a preservation project of another light fixture back in 2016 that led to it being hung back in the courthouse in 2018. The completion of that project caught the attention of a local who had more lights.

Winnebago County Board Room 1938

These two lights were original fixtures that once lit the county board room in the courthouse. Like the other lights, these were manufactured by the Westinghouse company. Sadly, these were removed from the building during upgrades performed throughout the building in the late 1960s. The story goes that county board members at that time were salvaging them out of the dumpsters.

Lucky for the Winnebago County Historical & Archaeological Society that someone had the thought to save them. If only we had all of them! These two fixtures were donated to the historical society in 2018, and they have been in storage since. It was just recently that our organization’s board has decided to have the fixtures cleaned, polished, and rewired. I am leading our group of fellow history enthusiasts to do this work.

I started the process by taking pictures of every angle of the fixtures. I carefully disassembled the pieces and cleaned the dirt and grime off of them. My next step will be to polish the brass to bring back the beautiful shine and then lacquer it to preserve the luster. After I reassembled it, I will run new wires to the lamp sockets.

Tarnished on the left, polished on the right

I cannot wait to show all of you the final result of our work. These lights will be beautiful again. Who knows, maybe someday these fixtures will be back in the county board room.

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