Century Lighting was formed in 1929 and this outfit ran neck and neck for sixty years with their much older competitor, the Kliegl Brothers.  

This 1960 Century book is more of a textbook than catalog, and the first ever written for college lighting designers who were a new breed.   It's comprehensive in scope, exacting in detail, and as the book reveals, Century had most of the shows on Broadway, so it's also authoritative.

The catalog itself doesn't begin until page after page of recommended equipment outlays for variously-sized theatres.  And unlike any contemporary text, they show you how to light an arena, a thrust, a musical tent, and an amphitheatre.  They show you the proper symbols used in the NYC templates of Peggy Clark, Jean Rosenthal and Abe Feder.   Jimmy Othuse, who graciously allowed me to scan the book, told me it served as "his Bible" for many, many years.

If you can't light a show after reading this book, don't blame Century!

May 22, 2016