Why is Broadway called the "great white way"?

Why is Broadway called the "great white way"?

Ever heard Broadway referred to as the "great white way"? It's called that because it was one of the first streets in New York City to be lit with electric lights. People continue to use this term today because the millions of lights on the theatre marquees still brighten up the night sky in a flashing white.  Lit by gas and poorly ventilated, theaters in nineteenth-century New York were vexed by fire. At the beginning of the twentieth century, architects realized that the safer electric light bulb had enormous advertising potential. 

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