The city of Worcester was the only place around that had these very unique short green light poles. These poles (created for the former Worcester Electric Light Co.) were a delightful, stylish sight; beautifying the inter-city and suburbs of the time. These Worcester icons were still plentiful (even when I arrived on scene in the 1970's) in neighborhoods like the West Side (Flagg St/Tatnuck/Pleasant/June/Chandler/Salisbury St area), South Side (Cambridge/Main St/Park Av areas) and the North/East Side (Lincoln/Belmont/Hamilton/Grafton/Vernon St areas). 

    The short green poles were installed during the 1930's/40's. By the late 50's/early 60's, these poles were getting replaced here and there with tall, aluminum poles that carried incandescent radial waves, incandescent or Mercury Vapor GE Form 79's (acorn or gumball globe style) or MV cobraheads of various brands and styles. In the 1970's the city was starting to use the same style of aluminum pole design, with elliptical or truss arms (by HAPCO) that are commonplace in Worcester today. There were so many hardware variations of these short green poles; elaborate to simple scroll styles, porcelain and aluminum NEMA head designs, flat or deep dish radial wave reflectors and bases with one door or two. From a distance they all looked the same until you got closer and noticed the differences from pole to pole. Some short green poles were very simplistic in their design. I suspect these were installed in the late 1950/60's with a simple incandescent fixture, curved or angled short arm, no scroll and a two piece aluminum base cover (no cast iron base). 

    In the mid to late 1980's, these old poles were still being thinned out for taller aluminum ones, but the fixtures were now the HPS cobra head lights, that were making their way onto the scene. For example, I still remember in the late 80's, Flagg St (near the elementary school) had a line of ornate short green poles that got replaced by HPS. I understand why the city wanted to upgrade and have standardization. However, it was sad to see such fancy, ornate style go away in lieu of the more modern "streamline style" poles. 

    Back in 1989-1994, Mass Electric was going thru a 5 year phase to replace everything in Worcester with HPS, in an effort to modernize. The old short green poles last stand had finally arrived.  The West Side was the last section to get converted over (1993-1994). It was in these West Side neighborhoods that a different style of pole was used as a replacement. These were short, black, "Colonial Style" post top light poles (that resembled many front yard lamp posts), using HPS light. These were used to retain some style in these neighborhoods, but nowhere near the style of the ornate poles that they replaced. 

    I was able to get one of these old short green poles (on request to Mass Electric) in 1993. I was told what neighborhood to go to (where Mass Electric was working at that time), and which pole I was assigned to. I got a really old version with the porcelain head. I got to watch as it was pulled from the ground and given to me. I was thrilled to receive one of the last green poles around. I found out that quite a few of these green poles were on request and went to other people, to be saved for personal use. This lasted for a short time until Mass Electric was told about the old paint on these and with the worry of lawsuits due to lead paint, they stopped giving these poles away and the rest got scrapped.   

    I actually own 4 of them: My first one was giving to me from the lineman of Mass Electric back in 1986. We restored it and it resides at my families old house in Worcester. My second pole I acquired back in the late 80's from my uncle, who rescued it (with permission) from Mass Electric's scrap pile. That was restored and resides at my parents house in Brookfield. My third pole I received from the West Side in 1993 (as listed above). This has been disassembled and currently resides (waiting for a resto) at my current house in Leominster.  My forth pole I received a few years ago, from a seller in Sudbury, Ma. (that is basically a parts pole), which is disassembled and resides at my current house in Leominster. I hope to make a flagpole out of that one. 

    There are no more old short green poles left in the Worcester inventory. However, there are 50 (and counting) of these that have survived and are used on private property, in Worcester and surrounding towns.  I have photos of some of these survivors listed below and more to add soon.


This is a blueprint scan of a typical Worcester Electric Light "short green pole" of the 1920-30's. These poles were located in most residential areas of Worcester (within 3 miles of downtown). The last of these icons were removed in 1994, during the final push of Mass Electric's 5 year HPS conversion. I received this scan from one of the Mass Electric line managers, back in the late 1980's.




This old WEL pole has been in my possession since 1986. This was given to me from Mass Electric, after a request to the U/G Manager for one. It was even dropped off at my house. Those guys were awesome back then :)

Base/door from previous photo. WEL co. stands for Worcester Electric Light Co.

Old WEL Co. pole, with "spike head" porcelain fixture, located at the Mountainside Barn Restaurant, in Princeton, Ma. This one has an unusual scroll design not typical for this pole.

This is 1 of 7 old WEL poles located at a Chinese Restaurant, off Rt 31, Holden, MA (near Big Y). This one was modified with a "colonial" post type fixture 

#2 of 7. WEL co. pole/base, modified as a flagpole

#3 of 7. WEL co. pole/base, cut and modified. I don't know what this is suppose to be.

#4 of 7. WEL co. pole with "spike head" porcelain fixture. Arm leaning (bracket is cracked)

#5 of 7. WEL co. pole with "spike head" porcelain fixture.

#6 of 7. WEL co. pole with "spike head" porcelain fixture.

#7 of 7. WEL co. pole with "spike head" porcelain fixture.

WEL co. base without pole/doors. This is located at the corner of Park Av and Townsend St (south of Elm Park). 

Different view of previous photo. This is an oddity for sure. 

This WEL co. pole/base is modified with unique scroll arm and detailed "Colonial" style post top fixture. This is located at "The Over Easy" restaurant, on Rt 140 (near Rt 62) in Sterling, Ma

This WEL co. pole/base is next to my parents house (not shown) along Quaboag St, in Brookfield, Ma. I received this from Mass Electric in the late 80's. It was modified with the arm welded to the pole (no bracket) and a scroll from a wooden pole application. 

This WEL co. pole is located on Glennie St, Worcester. It has a "spiked head" porcelain fixture and a simple scroll under the arm. Most of these poles had elaborate scrolls. This has a 2 door base.