I thought this was a very fitting first info gem …
It started off with a discussion I was having with John about the colours emitted by different lights – candles, gas lights, modern lightbulbs according to their temperatures.
And then John mentioned to me the phrase ‘in the limelight‘ and explained to me where this came from.
Back in the day, it literally meant to be shone upon by light which came from burning quicklime – calcium oxide. The lime was heated to a very high temperature which then produced light.
This sort of lighting was typically used in music halls and theatres.
Extra Info From Me
Limelight was discovered by Goldsworthy Gurney in the 1820s and further developed by Thomas Drummond, a Scottish engineer. Limelight is also called Drummond Light. It was used until the late 19th century when it was replaced by electric arc lighting.