Updated 28-III-2020

Cuyahoga Lamp Plant

The Cuyahoga Lamp Plant was one of several production facilities located within GE's NELA Park Headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. It was housed within Building 328, also known as the Cuyahoga Building. Its peculiar name stems from the old Mohawk Indian word meaning Crooked River - the Cuyahoga River being the main waterway flowing through the city of Cleveland and which feeds into Lake Erie. The Cuyahoga Building was constructed between 1919-1921 and its first occupant was the NELA Lamp Division, which relocated out of the Lamp Laboratory. Its activities briefly diversified into the manufacture of the rapidly growing business of electronic radio valves, a spinoff of GE's lamp division which led directly to the formation of the vast Radio Corporation of America. RCA's electronic tube production moved out again equally quickly, to the much larger Euclid Glass Works when that site became available.

The Cuyahoga Building thereafter served as the principal factory for new and high technology lamps, specifically tungsten halogen and high intensity discharge lamps - the latter perhaps being transferred to this location following the GE's 1948 sale of its former Vapour Lamp Division to the Cooper-Hewitt Electric Company in 1948. However, C-H continued manufacture of at least some mercury lamps at its Hoboken NJ factory until 1965, and it is possible that GE may have continued to source its discharge lamps from that supplier.

Cuyahoga also served as a kind of Pilot Plant, for the production of new lamps and electronic devices under the close supervision of engineers on the NELA Park site. Invariably once production was running smoothly and volumes began to ramp up, new products would be decentralised to one of the company's other lamp plants - leaving the Cuyahoga operation ready to take on its next new challenge. By the later 1970s both halogen and discharge technologies had matured and grown to a scale of operations that they could also be divested to the main lamp plants. From the date and factory ID markings on older GE lamps, it appears that around 1973-74 the high pressure mercury production was relocated to Ravenna, and that the Lucalox high pressure sodium production followed around 1977-1980. The Cuyahoga plant then decreased its activites and was closed in 1985.

View of the Cuyahoga Building 328 on NELA Park, 2014.

Address Cuyahoga Building, NELA Park, 1975 Noble Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44112, U.S.A.
Location 41.5400°E, -81.5609°N.
Opened 1921.
Closed 1985.
Products Electronic Tubes, and all kinds of new developments in lamps and associated equipment.

Examples of Cuyahoga Lamps

Tungsten Halogen
Quartzline Q500T3/CL Quartzline Q750T20/4CL Quartzline CYX

Low Pressure Sodium
Low Pressure NA-9 Low Pressure NA-1

High Pressure Sodium
Lucalox LU500 Lucalox LU400/BD Lucalox LU1000/BD Lucalox LU125/BD Lucalox LU70/BU Lucalox LU100/BD Clear

Mercury Vapour
Bonus Line H175-39/W Purple-X H100/BL Water Cooled A-H6 Sunlight S-1 Sunlight S-2

Metal Halide
Multi-Vapor MV400/BD Light Engine LE60

Xenon Arc 500W EDR46

1 A Century of Light, James A. Cox, published by The Benjamin Company / Rutgers, 1979, ISBN 0-87502-062-3, p.138.
2 Foursquare.com - Construction Details of the Cuyahoga Lamp Plant.
3 EPA Study on Mercury Contamination of the Cooper-Hewitt Grand Street Factory in Hoboken NJ, 30th September 1997, p.297.
4 Strike Hits Cuyahoga Lamp Plant, The Bryan Times Vol.21 No.253, 27th October 1969, p.1 - cites plant's existence in 1969.
5 G.B. Langsford Appointed Manager of Cuyahoga Lamp Plant, Indianapolis Recorder, 13th June 1970, p.3 - cites plant's existence in 1970.