from The Century Dictionary.
- The row of gaslights behind the borders in a theater.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
-- An electrical apparatus to regulate the degree of light given by the footlights and the border-lights.
There are border-lights just in front of the drops in One, Two, Three and Four, and they take the names of "first border-light," "second border-light," and so on from the drops they illuminate.
Sometimes with a, ceiling-piece, but almost invariably with "borders" -- which are painted canvas strips hanging in front of the "border-lights" to mask them and keep the audience from seeing the ropes and pulleys hanging from the gridiron -- the box set more nearly mimics reality than the open set, which calls upon the imagination of the audience to supply the realities that are entirely lacking or only hinted at.
-- A strip of painted canvas hung above the stage in front of the border-lights to mask the stage-rigging.