On a balmy spring evening in the early 1960s, A. Hays Town took a stroll through the evocative streets of New Orleans’s French Quarter seeking inspiration for light fixtures. Town, at the time a young architect, passed a closed door on Royal Street, noting the distinct tink, tink, tink of ball-peen hammers. Curious by nature, Town went through the entrance, whereupon he met Mr. Andrew John Bevolo, Sr., owner of the Bevolo workshop since its founding in 1945.
Town inquired as to whether he might collaborate with Mr. Bevolo on a light fixture, and, as the story is told, the elder confidently replied, “If you can draw it, I can make it.”
An icon was born that night: the Original French Quarter Lantern. This copper, brass and glass gas light now burns on thousands of residential and commercial buildings, illuminating nearly every New Orleans building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Prior to founding his brand, Mr. Bevolo’s extensive experience working with iconic American companies, like the Ford Motor Company, continues to inform the way the Bevolo company manufactures its lanterns today. The components of each fixture are cut from large sheets of copper, including a technique for carving copper rivets that Mr. Bevolo learned as a metalworker in World War II, a process that allows for strong, flexible joints in the pieces. Signature elements are added to identify Bevolo lights—a Bevolo nameplate, serial number, and, beginning this year, a maker’s mark including the three initials of the craftsman who manufactured each lantern.
Bevolo’s patented Gas Jet Assembly is the most efficient in the world and features what is known as the “bat-wing flame.” By using the highest-grade materials, the most efficient, patented burners, and the finest industry-standard techniques and craftsmen, Bevolo continues to provide customers with high-quality lanterns that last for generations to come.
For more information, please visit bevolo.com
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WRITTEN BY LUCY BAMMAN
Images courtesy of Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights