Gas lighting

Gas lighting is production of artificial light from combustion of a gaseous fuel, such as hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, propane, butane, acetylene, ethylene, or natural gas.

The light is produced either directly by the flame, generally by using special mixes of illuminating gas to increase brightness, or indirectly with other components such as the gas mantle or the limelight, with the gas primarily functioning as a fuel source.

Before electricity became sufficiently widespread and economical to allow for general public use, gas was the most popular method of outdoor and indoor lighting in cities and suburbs. Early gas lights were ignited manually, but many later designs are self-igniting.

Gas lighting today is generally used for camping, where the high energy density of a hydrocarbon fuel, combined with the modular nature of canisters (a strong metal container) allows bright and long lasting light to be produced cheaply and without complex equipment. In addition, some urban historical districts retain gas street lighting, and gas lighting is used indoors or outdoors to create or preserve a nostalgic effect.

Latarnia gazowa przyMoscieTumskim
Gas lighting in the historical center of Wrocław, Poland is manually turned off and on daily.


An overview of lighting technology, circa 1900

Early lighting fuels consisted of olive oil, beeswax, fish oil, whale oil, sesame oil, nut oil, and similar substances. These were the most commonly used fuels until the late 18th century. Chinese records dating back 1,700 years note the use of natural gas in the home for light and heat via bamboo pipes to the dwellings.[1] The ancient Chinese of the Spring and Autumn period made the first practical use of natural gas for lighting purposes around 500 B.C. where they used bamboo pipelines to transport and carry both brine and natural gas for many miles.[2][3][4][5][6]

Public illumination preceded the discovery and adoption of gaslight by centuries. In 1417, Sir Henry Barton, Lord Mayor of London, ordained "lanterns with lights to be hung out on the winter evenings between Hallowtide and Candlemasse." Paris was first lit by an order issued in 1524, and, in the beginning of the 16th century, the inhabitants were ordered to keep lights burning in the windows of all houses that faced the streets. In 1668, when some regulations were made for improving the streets of London, the residents were reminded to hang out their lanterns at the usual time, and, in 1690, an order was issued to hang out a light, or lamp, every night as soon as it was dark, from Michaelmas to Christmas. By an Act of the Common Council in 1716, all housekeepers, whose houses faced any street, lane, or passage, were required to hang out, every dark night, one or more lights, to burn from six to eleven o'clock, under the penalty of one shilling as a fine for failing to do so.

In coal mining, accumulating and escaping gases were known originally for their adverse effects rather than their useful qualities. Coal miners described two types of gases, one called the choke damp and the other fire damp. In 1667, a paper detailing the effects of these gases was entitled, "A Description of a Well and Earth in Lancashire taking Fire, by a Candle approaching to it. Imparted by Thomas Shirley, Esq an eye-witness."

Stephen Hales was the first person who procured a flammable fluid from the actual distillation of coal. His experiments with this object are related in the first volume of his Vegetable Statics, published in 1726. From the distillation of "one hundred and fifty-eight grains [10.2 g] of Newcastle coal, he states that he obtained one hundred and eighty cubic inches [2.9 L] of air, which weighed fifty-one grains [3.3 g], being nearly one third of the whole." These results seemed to have passed without notice for several years.

In the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1733, some properties of coal-gas are detailed in a paper called, "An Account of the Damp Air in a Coal-pit of Sir James Lowther, sunk within Twenty Yards of the Sea." This paper contained some striking facts relating to the flammability and other properties of coal-gas.

The principal properties of coal-gas were demonstrated to different members of the Royal Society, and showed that after keeping the gas some time, it still retained its flammability. The scientists of the time still saw no useful purpose for it.

John Clayton, in an extract from a letter in the Philosophical Transactions for 1735, calls gas the "spirit" of coal and discovered its flammability by an accident. This "spirit" happened to catch fire, by coming in contact with a candle as it escaped from a fracture in one of his distillatory vessels. By preserving the gas in bladders, he entertained his friends, by exhibiting its flammability.

Early technology

A Peep at the Gas Lights in Pall Mall Rowlandson 1809
Passersby marvel at new gaslighting (London, 1809)
Blessed effects of gas lights (1814)
Satirical cartoon showing dangers of early gaslighting (London, 1813)

It took many years of development and testing before gas lighting for the stage was commercially available. Gas technology was then installed in just about every major theatre in the world. But gas lighting was short-lived because the electric light bulb soon followed.

It took nearly 200 years for gas to become accessible for commercial use. A Flemish alchemist, Jan Baptista van Helmont, was the first person to formally recognize gas as a state of matter. He would go on to identify several types of gases, including carbon dioxide. Over one hundred years later in 1733, Sir James Lowther had some of his miners working on a water pit for his mine. While digging the pit they hit a pocket of gas. Lowther took a sample of the gas and took it home to do some experiments. He noted, "The said air being put into a bladder … and tied close, may be carried away, and kept some days, and being afterwards pressed gently through a small pipe into the flame of a candle, will take fire, and burn at the end of the pipe as long as the bladder is gently pressed to feed the flame, and when taken from the candle after it is so lighted, it will continue burning till there is no more air left in the bladder to supply the flame."[7] Lowther had basically discovered the principle behind gas lighting.

Later in the 18th century William Murdoch stated: "the gas obtained by distillation from coal, peat, wood and other inflammable substances burnt with great brilliancy upon being set fire to … by conducting it through tubes, it might be employed as an economical substitute for lamps and candles."[8] Murdoch’s first invention was a lantern with a gas-filled bladder attached to a jet. He would use this to walk home at night. After seeing how well this worked he decided to light his home with gas. In 1797, Murdoch would install gas lighting into his new home as well as the workshop in which he worked. “This work was of a large scale, and he next experimented to find better ways of producing, purifying, and burning the gas.”[9] The foundation had been laid for companies to start producing gas and other inventors to start playing with ways of using the new technology.

William Murdoch (sometimes spelled "Murdock") was the first to exploit the flammability of gas for the practical application of lighting. He worked for Matthew Boulton and James Watt at their Soho Foundry steam engine works in Birmingham, England. In the early 1790s, while overseeing the use of his company's steam engines in tin mining in Cornwall, Murdoch began experimenting with various types of gas, finally settling on coal gas as the most effective. He first lit his own house in Redruth, Cornwall in 1792.[10] In 1798, he used gas to light the main building of the Soho Foundry and in 1802 lit the outside in a public display of gas lighting, the lights astonishing the local population. One of the employees at the Soho Foundry, Samuel Clegg, saw the potential of this new form of lighting. Clegg left his job to set up his own gas lighting business, the Gas Lighting and Coke Company.

A "thermolampe" using gas distilled from wood was patented in 1799, whilst German inventor Friedrich Winzer (Frederick Albert Winsor) was the first person to patent coal-gas lighting in 1804.

In 1801, Phillipe Lebon of Paris had also used gas lights to illuminate his house and gardens, and was considering how to light all of Paris. In 1820, Paris adopted gas street lighting.

In 1804, Dr Henry delivered a course of lectures on chemistry, at Manchester, in which he showed the mode of producing gas from coal, and the facility and advantage of its use. Dr Henry analyzed the composition and investigated the properties of carburetted hydrogen gas (i.e. methane). His experiments were numerous and accurate and made upon a variety of substances; having obtained the gas from wood, peat, different kinds of coal, oil, wax, etc, he quantified the intensity of the light from each source.

Josiah Pemberton, an inventor, had for some time been experimenting on the nature of gas. A resident of Birmingham, his attention may have been roused by the exhibition at Soho. About 1806, he exhibited gas lights in a variety of forms and with great brilliance at the front of his factory in Birmingham. In 1808 he constructed an apparatus, applicable for several uses, for Benjamin Cooke, a manufacturer of brass tubes, gilt toys, and other articles.

In 1808, Murdoch presented to the Royal Society a paper entitled "Account of the Application of Gas from Coal to Economical Purposes" in which he described his successful application of coal-gas to light the extensive establishment of Messrs. Phillips and Lea. For this paper he was awarded Count Rumford's gold medal.[11] Murdoch's statements threw great light on the comparative advantage of gas and candles, and contained much useful information on the expenses of production and management.

Although the history is uncertain, David Melville has been credited[12][13][14][15] with the first house and street lighting in the United States, in either 1805 or 1806 in Newport, Rhode Island. The first well-recorded public street lighting with gas was demonstrated in Pall Mall, London, on January 28, 1807, by Winsor.[16] In 1812, Parliament granted a charter to the London and Westminster Gas Light and Coke Company, and the first gas company in the world came into being. Less than two years later, on December 31, 1813, Westminster Bridge was lit by gas.[17]

As artificial lighting became more common, the desire grew for it to be readily available to the public: partly because towns became much safer places after gas lamps were installed in the streets, reducing crime rates. In 1809, accordingly, the first application was made to Parliament to incorporate a company in order to accelerate the process, but the bill failed to pass. In 1810, however, the application was renewed by the same parties, and though some opposition was encountered and considerable expense incurred, the bill passed, but not without great alterations; and the London and Westminster Chartered Gas-Light and Coke Company was established. By 1816, Samuel Clegg obtained the patent for his horizontal rotative retort, his apparatus for purifying coal-gas with cream of lime, and for his rotative gas meter and self-acting governor.

Widespread use

Baltimore first U.S. street gas light
Grand Army Plaza Fountain 1874
Gaslit outdoors fountain at Grand Army Plaza (Brooklyn, New York, 1873–1897)
St. Mary's Church, Reading, Interior, c. 1875
Church interior with gas torchieres (Reading, England, c. 1875)
Stockholmgas 1953
A lamplighter lighting a gas streetlight in Sweden, 1953. By this time, remaining gas lamps were rare curiosities.

Among the economic impacts of gas lighting was much longer work hours in factories. This was particularly important in Great Britain during the winter months when nights are significantly longer. Factories could even work continuously over 24 hours, resulting in increased production. Following successful commercialization, gas lighting spread to other countries.

In England, the first place outside London to have gas lighting was Preston, Lancashire, in 1816; this was due to the Preston Gaslight Company run by revolutionary Joseph Dunn, who found the most improved way of brighter gas lighting. The parish church there was the first religious building to be lit by gas lighting.[18]

In America, Seth Bemis lit his factory with gas illumination from 1812 to 1813. The use of gas lights in Rembrandt Peale's Museum in Baltimore in 1816 was a great success. Baltimore was the first American city with gas street lights; Peale's Gas Light Company of Baltimore on February 7, 1817 lit its first street lamp at Market and Lemon Streets (currently Baltimore and Holliday Streets). The first private residence in the US illuminated by gas has been variously identified as that of David Melville (c. 1806), as described above, or of William Henry, a coppersmith, at 200 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816.

In 1817, at the three stations of the Chartered Gas Company, 25 chaldrons (24 m³) of coal were carbonized daily, producing 300,000 cubic feet (8,500 m³) of gas. This supplied gas lamps equal to 75,000 Argand lamps each yielding the light of six candles. At the City Gas Works, in Dorset Street, Blackfriars, three chaldrons of coal were carbonized each day, providing the gas equivalent of 9,000 Argand lamps. So 28 chaldrons of coal were carbonized daily, and 84,000 lights supplied by those two companies only.

At this period the principal difficulty in gas manufacture was purification. Mr. D. Wilson, of Dublin, patented a method for purifying coal-gas by means of the chemical action of ammoniacal gas. Another plan was devised by Reuben Phillips, of Exeter, who patented the purification of coal-gas by the use of dry lime. G. Holworthy, in 1818, patented a method of purifying it by passing the gas, in a highly condensed state, through iron retorts heated to a dark red.

In 1820, Swedish inventor Johan Patrik Ljungström had developed a gas lighting with copper apparatuses and chandeliers of ink, brass and crystal, reportedly one of the first such public installations of gas lightning in the region, enhanced as a triumphal arch for the city gate for a royal visit of Charles XIV John of Sweden in 1820.[19]

By 1823, numerous towns and cities throughout Britain were lit by gas. Gas light cost up to 75% less than oil lamps or candles, which helped to accelerate its development and deployment. By 1859, gas lighting was to be found all over Britain and about a thousand gas works had sprung up to meet the demand for the new fuel. The brighter lighting which gas provided allowed people to read more easily and for longer. This helped to stimulate literacy and learning, speeding up the second Industrial Revolution.

Oil-gas appeared in the field as a rival of coal-gas. In 1815, John Taylor patented an apparatus for the decomposition of "oil" and other animal substances. Public attention was attracted to "oil-gas" by the display of the patent apparatus at Apothecary's Hall, by Taylor & Martineau.

In 1891 the gas mantle was invented by the Austrian chemist Carl Auer von Welsbach. This eliminated the need for special illuminating gas (a synthetic mixture of hydrogen and hydrocarbon gases produced by destructive distillation of bituminous coal or peat) to get bright shining flames. Acetylene was also used from about 1898 for gas lighting on a smaller scale.[20]

Illuminating gas was used for gas lighting, as it produces a much brighter light than natural gas or water gas. Illuminating gas was much less toxic than other forms of coal-gas, but less could be produced from a given quantity of coal. The experiments with distilling coal were described by John Clayton in 1684. George Dixon's pilot plant exploded in 1760, setting back the production of illuminating gas a few years. The first commercial application was in a Manchester cotton mill in 1806. In 1901, studies of the defoliant effect of leaking gas pipes led to the discovery that ethylene is a plant hormone.

Throughout the 19th century and into the first decades of the 20th, the gas was manufactured by the gasification of coal. Later in the 19th century, natural gas began to replace coal-gas, first in the US, and then in other parts of the world. In the United Kingdom, coal-gas was used until the early 1970s.


The history of the Russian gas industry began with retired Lieutenant Pyotr Sobolevsky (1782–1841), who improved Philippe le Bon's design for a "thermolamp" and presented it to Emperor Alexander I in 1811; in January 1812, Sobolevsky was instructed to draw up a plan for gas street-lighting for St. Petersburg. The French invasion of Russia delayed implementation, but St. Petersburg's Governor General Mikhail Miloradovich, who had seen the gas lighting of Vienna, Paris and other European cities, initiated experimental work on gas lighting for the capital, using British apparatus for obtaining gas from pit coal, and by the autumn of 1819, Russia's first gas street light was lit on one of the streets on Aptekarsky Island.[21]

In February 1835, the Company for Gas Lighting St. Petersburg was founded; towards the end of that year, a factory for the production of lighting gas was constructed near the Obvodny Canal, using pit coal brought in by ship from Cardiff; and 204 gas lamps were ceremonially lit in St. Petersburg on September 27, 1839.

Over the next 10 years, their numbers almost quadrupled, to reach 800. By the middle of the 19th century, the central streets and buildings of the capital were illuminated: the Palace Square, Bolshaya and Malaya Morskaya streets, Nevsky and Tsarskoselsky Avenues, Passage Arcade, Noblemen's Assembly, the Technical Institute and Peter and Paul Fortress.[22]

Theatrical use

Limelight diagram
Diagram showing a typical limelight installation

In the 19th century, gas stage lighting went from a crude experiment to the most popular way of lighting theatrical stages. In 1804, Frederick Albert Winsor first demonstrated the way to use gas to light the stage in London at the Lyceum Theatre. Although the demonstration and all the lead research were being done in London, "in 1816 at the Chestnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia was the earliest gas lit theatre in world".[23] In 1817 the Lyceum, Drury Lane, and Covent Garden theatres were all lit by gas. Gas was brought into the building by "miles of rubber tubing from outlets in the floor called 'water joints'" which "carried the gas to border-lights and wing lights". But before it was distributed, the gas came through a central distribution point called a "gas table",[24] which varied the brightness by regulating the gas supply, and the gas table, which allowed control of separate parts of the stage. Thus it became the first stage 'switchboard'.[25]

By the 1850s, gas lighting in theatres had spread practically all over the United States and Europe. Some of the largest installations of gas lighting were in large auditoriums, like the Theatre de Chatelet, built in 1862.[26] In 1875, the new Paris Opera was constructed. "Its lighting system contained more than twenty-eight miles [45 km] of gas piping, and its gas table had no fewer than eighty-eight stopcocks, which controlled nine hundred and sixty gas jets."[27] The theatre that used the most gas lighting was Astley's Equestrian Amphitheatre in London. According to the Illustrated London News, "Everywhere white and gold meets the eye, and about 200,000 gas jets add to the glittering effect of the auditorium … such a blaze of light and splendour has scarcely ever been witnessed, even in dreams."[26]

Theatres switched to gas lighting because it was more economical than using candles and also required less labor to operate. With gas lighting, theatres would no longer need to have people tending to candles during a performance, or having to light each candle individually. "It was easier to light a row of gas jets than a greater quantity of candles high in the air."[25] Theatres also no longer needed to worry about wax dripping on the actors during a show.

Gas lighting also had an effect on the actors. As the stage was brighter, they could now use less make-up and their motions did not have to be as exaggerated. Half-lit stages had become fully lit stages. Production companies were so impressed with the new technology that one said, "This light is perfect for the stage. One can obtain gradation of brightness that is really magical."[25]

The best result was the improved respect from the audience. There was no more shouting or riots. The light pushed the actors more up stage behind the proscenium, helping the audience concentrate more on the action that was taking place on stage rather than what was going on in the house. Management had more authority on what went on during the show because they could see.[28] Gaslight was the leading cause of behavior change in theaters. They were no longer places for mingling and orange selling, but places of respected entertainment.

Types of lighting instruments

There were six types of burners, but four burners were really experimented with.

  • The first burner used was the single-jet burner, which produced a small flame. The tip of the burner was made out of lead, which absorbed heat, causing the flame to be smaller in size. It was discovered that the flame would burn brighter if the metal was mixed with other components, such as porcelain.
  • Flat burners were invented mainly to distribute gas and light evenly to the systems.
  • The fishtail burner was similar to the flat burner, but it produced a brighter flame and conducted less heat.
  • The last burner that was experimented with was the Welsbach burner. Around this time the Bunsen burner was in use along with some forms of electricity. The Welsbach was based on the idea of the Bunsen burner, still using gas. A cotton mesh with cerium and thorium was imbedded into the Welsbach. This source of light was named the gas mantle; it produced three times more light than the naked flame.[29]

Several different instruments were used to light the stage in the 19th century fell; these included footlights, border lights, groundrows, lengths, bunch lights, conical reflector floods, and limelight spots. These mechanisms sat directly on the stage, blinding the eyes of the audience.

  • Footlights caused the actors' costumes to catch fire if they got too close. These lights also caused bothersome heat that affected both audience members and actors. Again, the actors had to adapt to these changes. They started fireproofing their costumes and placing wire mesh in front of the footlights.
  • Border lights, also known as striplights, were a row of lights that hung horizontally in the flies. Color was added later by dying cotton, wool, and silk cloth.
  • Lengths were constructed the same way as border lights, but mounted vertically in the rear where the wings were.
  • Bunch lights were a cluster of burners that sat on a vertical base that was fueled directly from the gas line.
  • The conical reflector can be related to the Fresnel lens used today. This adjustable box of light reflected a beam whose size could be altered by a barndoor.
  • Limelight spots are similar to today's current spotlighting system. This instrument was used in scene shops, as well as the stage.[30]

Gas lighting did have some disadvantages. "Several hundred theatres are said to have burned down in America and Europe between 1800 and the introduction of electricity in the late 1800s. The increased heat was objectionable, and the border lights and wing lights had to be lighted by a long stick with a flaming wad of cotton at the end. For many years, an attendant or gas boy moved along the long row of jets, lighting them individually while gas was escaping from the whole row. Both actors and audiences complained of the escaping gas, and explosions sometimes resulted from its accumulation."[24]

These problems with gas lighting led to the rapid adoption of electric lighting. By 1881, the Savoy Theatre in London was using incandescent lighting.[31] While electric lighting was introduced to theatre stages, the gas mantle was developed in 1885 for gas-lit theatres. "This was a beehive-shaped mesh of knitted thread impregnated with lime that, in miniature, converted the naked gas flame into in effect, a lime-light."[32] Electric lighting slowly took over in theatres. In the 20th century, it enabled better and safer theater productions, with no smell, relatively very little heat, and more freedom for designers.


This hospital lavatory could be lit by a dual gas and electric fixture (New Orleans, 1906)

In the early 20th century, most cities in North America and Europe had gaslit streets. However, around 1880 gas lighting for streets began giving way to high voltage (3000–6000 volt) direct current and alternating current arc lighting systems. This time period also saw the development of the first electric power utility designed for indoor use. The new system by inventor Thomas Edison was designed to function similar to gas lighting. For reasons of safety and simplicity it used direct current (DC) at a relatively low 110 volts to light incandescent light bulbs. Voltage in wires steadily declines as distance increases, and at this low voltage power plants needed to be within about 1 mile (1.6 km) of the lamps. This voltage drop problem made DC distribution relatively expensive and gas lighting retained widespread usage[33] with new buildings sometimes constructed with dual systems of gas piping and electrical wiring connected to each room, to diversify the power sources for lighting.

The development of new alternating current power transmission systems in the 1880s and 90s by companies such as Ganz and AEG in Europe and Westinghouse Electric and Thomson-Houston in the US solved the voltage and distance problem by using high transmission line voltages, and transformers to drop the voltage for distribution for indoor lighting. Alternating current technology overcame many of the limitations of direct current, enabling the rapid growth of reliable, low-cost electrical power networks which finally spelled the end of widespread usage of gas lighting.[33]

Modern outdoor usage

MAR 05 326 Gaslight
Modern gas street light in Berlin, Germany (2005)
Prague 1, Czech Republic - panoramio (200)
Historic candelabrum in Prague from 1865, electrified in 1985, rebuilt back to gas light in 2012

In some cities, gas lighting is preserved or restored as a vintage nostalgic thing to support historic atmosphere of their historic centres.

In the 20th century, most cities with gas streetlights replaced them with new electric streetlights. For example, Baltimore, the first US city to install gas streetlights, removed nearly all of them.[34] A sole, token gas lamp is located at N. Holliday Street and E. Baltimore Street as a monument to the first gas lamp in America, erected at that location.

However, gas lighting of streets has not disappeared completely from some cities, and the few municipalities that retained gas lighting now find that it provides a pleasing nostalgic effect. Gas lighting is also seeing a resurgence in the luxury home market for those in search of historical authenticity.

The largest gas lighting network in the world is that of Berlin. With about 37,000 lamps (2014),[35] it holds more than half of all working gas street lamps in the world. In central London around 1500 gas lamps still operate,[16] lighting the Royal Parks, the exterior of Buckingham Palace and almost the entire Covent Garden area. The Park Estate in Nottingham retains much of its original character, including the original gas lighting network.

In the United States, more than 2800 gas lights in Boston operate in the historic districts of Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Bay Village, Charlestown, and parts of other neighborhoods. In Cincinnati, Ohio, more than 1100 gas lights operate in areas that have been named historic districts. Gas lights also operate in parts of the famed French Quarter and outside historic homes throughout the city in New Orleans.

South Orange, New Jersey, has adopted the gaslight as the symbol of the town, and uses them on nearly all streets. Several other towns in New Jersey also retain gas lighting: Glen Ridge, Palmyra, Riverton, and some parts of Orange, Cape May and Cherry Hill. The village of Riverside, Illinois, still uses its original gas street lights that are an original feature of the Frederick Law Olmsted planned community. Manhattan Beach, California, has a gas lamp section in which all the sidewalks are lit by public gas lamps. Disneyland has authentic 19th century gas lamps from Baltimore along the "Main Street, U.S.A." section of the theme park.

Prague had about 10,000 gas streetlamps in the 1940s. The last historic gas candelabras become electrified in 1985.[36] However, in 2002–2014, streetlamps along the Royal Route and some other streets in the centre were rebuilt to use gas (using replicas of the historic poles and lanterns), several historic candelabras (Hradčanské náměstí, Loretánská street, Dražického náměstí etc.) were also converted back to gas lamps, and five new gas lamps were installed in the Michle Gasworks as a promotion.[37] In 2018, there were 417 points (about 650 lanterns) of street gas lighting in Prague.[38][39] During Advent and Christmas, lanterns on the Charles Bridge are managed manually by a lamplighter in historic uniform.[40]

Many gas utility companies will still quote a fixed periodic rate for a customer-maintained gas lamp, and some homeowners still use such devices. However, the high cost of natural gas lighting[41] at least partly explains why a large number of older gas lamps have been converted to electricity. Solar-rechargeable battery-powered gas light controllers can be easily retrofitted into existing gas lamps to keep the lights off during daylight hours and cut energy consumption and green-house gas carbon emissions by 50%.

Modern indoor usage

Interior Gas Lighting, 3 Light Swan neck bracket
A three mantle gas lamp in modern use

The use of natural gas (methane) for indoor lighting is nearly extinct. Besides producing a lot of heat, the combustion of methane tends to release significant amounts of carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas which is more readily absorbed by the blood than oxygen, and can be deadly. Historically, the use of lamps of all types was of shorter duration than we are accustomed to with electric lights, and in the far more draughty buildings, it was of less concern and danger. There are no suppliers of new mantle gas lamps set up for use with natural gas; however, some old homes still have fixtures installed, and some period restorations have salvaged fixtures installed, more for decoration than use.

New fixtures are still made and available for propane (sometimes called "bottle(d) gas"), a product of oil refining, which under most circumstances burns more completely to carbon dioxide and water vapor. In some locations where public utility electricity or kerosene are not readily accessible or desirable, propane gas mantle lamps are still used, although the increased availability of alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and small scale wind generators, combined with increasing efficiency of lighting products, such as compact fluorescent lamps and LEDs are also in use. For occasional use in remote cabins and cottages, propane mantle lamps may still be more economical and less labor-intensive than an alternative energy system.

Other uses

Perforated tubes bent into the shape of letters were used to form gas lit advertising signs, prior to the introduction of neon lights, as early as 1857 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[42] Gas lighting is still in common use for camping lights. Small portable gas lamps, connected to a portable gas cylinder, are a common item on camping trips. Mantle lamps powered by vaporized petrol, such as the Coleman lantern, are also available.


Jablochkoff Candles on the Victoria Embankment, December 1878

Outdoor installation of gaslamps compared with new electric lighting (London, 1878)

Gaslamp lampadius

Reproduction of an early European exterior gaslamp (Germany)


Gaslit school hallway (Paris, late 19th century)


Poster advertising Bec Auer gaslamps (France, 1890s)

Aleardo Villa - Gas Aerogeno - 1902

Poster showing benefits of gaslighting and heating (Italy, 1902)

Max Elskamp during work

Portable gas desk lamp (c. 1900-1910)

Dark-Field illuminator used with Welsbach gas light - A Text-Book on Disease-Producing Microörganisms - 1910

Portable gaslamp for laboratory use (1910)

Murdoch House & St. Rumon's Gardens

Murdoch House in Redruth

William Murdoch placque

Closeup of plaque on wall of Murdoch House

Interior Gas Lighting Welsbach C Burner.

An early gas mantle light still in use today

Gas lamp in Bilbao

Gas streetlighting in Bilbao, Spain

Parlor Chandelier

Gas chandelier fixture in Bellamy Mansion (UK)


Decorative gaslit sconce in Minnesota, US

Gas lamp in Rathenow

Modern gas streetlight in Rathenow, Germany

Gaslaterne DSCF8627

Modern gas-powered streetlamp

Gaslamp 20150221

Restored gaslight in Yokohama, Japan

Pooles Cavern 6

Abandoned gaslight in Poole's Cavern, Buxton, Derbyshire, England

Hôtel Oberthür lampe cuisine

Old gaslights remaining after electrical lighting was installed (Rennes, France)

Gas lighting at Lincoln's Inn

Gas lighting at the Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn (London, 2008)

Gaslight on Gasu-Kyokai Build

Modern gaslight in front of Japan Gas Association Building (Tokyo, Japan)

Street Gas Lighting (Underground Atlanta)

Street gas light at Underground Atlanta

Glasgow. Woodside. St George's in the Fields (1885-1886). Victorian gas lamp

Glasgow. Woodside. St George's in the Fields (1885-1886). Victorian gas lamp.

See also


  1. ^ P. James and N. Thorpe, Ancient inventions (Michael O Mara Books, 1995), pp. 427-428: citing Ch'ang Ch'ü (常璩, a geographer), Records of the country south of Mount Kua (華陽國志).
  2. ^ Robbins, Paul (2007). "Encyclopedia of Environment and Society". Sage Publications. p. 1216. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  3. ^ Smith, Kimberly (2005). Powering Our Future: An Energy Sourcebook for Sustainable Living. Iuniverse Inc. (published May 31, 2005). p. 56.
  4. ^ Rapier, Robert (March 30, 2012). Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil. Apress (published March 27, 2012). ISBN 978-1430240860.
  5. ^ Heshelow, Kathy (2008). Investing in Oil and Gas: The ABC's of DPPs (Direct Participation Program). Iuniverse Inc (published September 2, 2008). p. 52. ISBN 978-0595531929.
  6. ^ Conner, Clifford (2005). A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and Low Mechanicks. Nation Books (published November 8, 2005). p. 18. ISBN 978-1560257486.
  7. ^ Penzel 28
  8. ^ Penzel 29
  9. ^ Penzel 30
  10. ^ Janet Thomson; The Scot Who Lit The World, The Story Of William Murdoch Inventor Of Gas Lighting; 2003; ISBN 0-9530013-2-6
  11. ^ "- Royal Society". Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Melville's Gas Apparatus". American Gas Light Journal. New York: A. M. Callender & Co. March 2, 1876. p. 92.
  13. ^ Clark, Walton (1916). "Progress of Gas Lighting Appliances During Past Century". The Gas Age. Progressive Age Publishing Co. p. 122.
  14. ^ Daniel W. Mattausch. "David Melville And The First American Gas Light Patents". The Rushlight Club. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Gas Lighting in Newport". Newport Historical Society. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b Freeman, Laura (2014-11-24). "The most magical job in Britain: Enchanting story of our last gas street lights, and the five men who keep them burning just as they did in Dickens' day". Daily Mail. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved 2014-02-15.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  17. ^ Kennedy, Maev (2015-12-25). "Light brigade: carrying the torch for London's last gas street lamps". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 25, 2015.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  18. ^ Hewitson, Anthony (1883). History (from A.D. 705 to 1883) of Preston in the County of Lancaster. Chronicle Office. p. 268.
  19. ^ Protocol, Åmåls Rådhus, 10 February 1827, J. Jacobson
  20. ^ "Celebrating 100 Years as The Standard for Safety: The Compressed Gas Association, Inc. 1913 – 2013" (PDF). 11 September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2019-01-11.
  21. ^ Yefimov, Alexander. "Pioneers of the Methane Age". Oil of Russia:International Quarterly Edition. Archived from the original on December 22, 2005. Retrieved 2005-12-22.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  22. ^ Alexander Yefimov and Lyudmila Volkova, "Pioneers of the Methane Age Archived December 22, 2005, at the Wayback Machine," Oil of Russia, No. 2, 2005.
  23. ^ Wilson,362
  24. ^ a b Sellman 15
  25. ^ a b c Pilbrow 174
  26. ^ a b Penzel 69
  27. ^ Penzel 69
  28. ^ Penzel 54
  29. ^ Penzel 89
  30. ^ Penzel 95
  31. ^ Wilson 364
  32. ^ Baugh, 24
  33. ^ a b A bit of Engineering History: The story of the fuel gas and electrical engineering company, by A. M. Gow, pp 181-183, The Electric Journal, Volume 14, Copyright 1917, The Westinghouse Club
  34. ^ Rasmussen, Frederick (1998-10-10). "City's gaslight glow dimmed in 1957 Progress: The American gas industry was born in Baltimore in 1816, when an artist wanted a clean, smoke-free way to illuminate a roomful of paintings". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  35. ^ "Berlins Gaslight Culture association". Retrieved 6 March 2016.
  36. ^ Robert Oppelt: Pouliční lampy svítí už 160 let. MF Dnes, 15. September 2007
  37. ^ Tomáš Belica: Rozhovor: Plynové lampy mají v Praze své místo, říká lampář,, 15 September 2014
  38. ^ Pražské veřejné osvětlení v letech 1918–2018,, 26. October 2018, according to: Ladislav Monzer: Osvětlení Prahy, FCC Public, 2003
  39. ^ Technologie hlavního města Prahy správcem plynového osvětlení Královské cesty, Pražský patriot, 21 May 2018
  40. ^ Lampář na Karlově mostě, Portál hlavního města Prahy, 21 November 2017
  41. ^ "Gas Lamps are Expensive – Aren Cambre's Blog".
  42. ^ "Lighting City Streets, 1850s to 1950s". Grand Rapids History. Grand Rapids Historical Commission. May 30, 2007. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  • Baugh, Christopher. Theatre, Performance and Technology: The Development of Scenography in the Twentieth Century. 1st ed. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York, NY: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2005. 24, 96-97.
  • "Jan Baptista van Helmont.", Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011. Web. 28 Feb. 2011. <>.
  • Penzel, Frederick. Theatre Lighting Before Electricity. 1st ed. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1978. pp. 27–152.
  • Pilbrow, Richard. Stage Lighting Design: The Art, The Craft, The Life. 1st ed., New York, Design Press, 1997. 172-176.
  • Sellman, Hunton, and Merrill Lessley. Essentials of Stage Lighting. 2nd ed., Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1982. pp. 14–17.
  • Wilson, Edwin, and Alvin Goldfarb. Living Theatre: History of the Theatre. 5th ed. , New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2008. pp. 364–367.

External links

Ardaseer Cursetjee

Ardaseer Cursetjee Wadia FRS (6 October 1808 – 16 November 1877) born Parsi, an Indian shipbuilder and engineer belonging to the Wadia ship building family.He is noted for having been the first Indian to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is also recorded as having introduced several (at the time) novel technologies to the city of Bombay (now Mumbai), including gas lighting, the sewing machine, steam pump-driven irrigation and electro-plating.

Dr. Ox's Experiment

"Dr. Ox's Experiment" (French: Une fantaisie du docteur Ox, "A Fantasy of Doctor Ox") is a short story by the French writer and pioneer of science-fiction, Jules Verne, published in 1872. It describes an experiment by one Dr. Ox and his assistant Gedeon Ygene. A prosperous scientist Dr. Ox offers to build a novel gas lighting system to an unusually stuffy Flemish town of Quiquendone. As the town bore no charges, the offer is gladly accepted. The hidden interest of Dr. Ox is however not lighting, but large scale experiment on effect of oxygen on plants, animals and humans. He uses electrolysis to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. The latter is being pumped to the city causing accelerated growth of plants, excitement and aggressiveness in animals and humans. The story ends up by destruction of the oxygen factory of Dr. Ox – by accident, oxygen and hydrogen got mixed causing a major explosion. Jules Verne acknowledges in the epilogue that the described effect of oxygen is a pure fiction invented by him.

The text was re-published in a Verne short-story anthology, Doctor Ox, in 1874.

Dundurn Castle

Dundurn Castle is a historic neoclassical mansion on York Boulevard in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The 18,000-square-foot (1,700 m2) house took three years and $175,000 to build, and was completed in 1835.

The forty room castle featured the latest conveniences of gas lighting and running water. It is currently owned by the City of Hamilton, which purchased it in 1899 or 1900 for $50,000. The City has spent nearly $3 million renovating the site to make it open to the public. The rooms have been restored to the year 1855 when its owner Sir Allan Napier MacNab, 1st Baronet, was at the height of his career. Costumed interpreters guide visitors through the home, illustrating daily life from the 1850s. The Duchess of Cornwall, a descendant of Sir Allan MacNab, is the Royal Patron of Dundurn Castle.

Gas mantle

An incandescent gas mantle, gas mantle or Welsbach mantle is a device for generating bright white light when heated by a flame. The name refers to its original heat source in gas lights, which filled the streets of Europe and North America in the late 19th century, mantle referring to the way it is hung above the flame. Today it is still used in portable camping lanterns, pressure lanterns and some oil lamps.Gas mantles are usually sold as fabric items, which, because of impregnation with metal nitrates, form a rigid but fragile mesh of metal oxides when heated during initial use; these metal oxides produce light from the heat of the flame whenever used. Thorium dioxide was commonly a major component; being radioactive, it has led to concerns about the safety of those involved in manufacturing mantles. Normal use, however, poses minimal health risk.


Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's belief.Instances may range from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim. The term owes its origin to the 1938 Patrick Hamilton play Gaslight and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations, in which a man dims the gas lights in his home and then persuades his wife that she is imagining the change. The term has been used in clinical and research literature, as well as in political commentary.

Gaslighting America

Gaslighting America is a non-fiction book by Amanda Carpenter, a political commentator, writer, and former Senate staffer. The book analyzes certain public and social media strategies used by Donald J. Trump in his 2016 candidacy for U.S. President and during his current presidency. The author refers to these strategies as a type of gas lighting.

Cognitive neuroscientist Bobby Azarian has described Trump's gas lighting as using psychological manipulation to get people to question their own perceptions of reality. Azarian states this is consistent with a narcissistic personality disorder and symptoms of sociopathy. The target of gas lighting is made to doubt their own memory, perception, and reality by the subject's persistent lying, misdirection, and contradiction. When successful, gas lighting delegitimizes the victim’s beliefs by confusing and destabilizing them.

Carpenter analyzed Trump gas lighting methods and found he employs the following sequence of steps: :

Stake a Claim. Find a political issue that competitors are unwilling to approach and that the media will find sensational.

Advance and Deny. Bring the issue into public awareness without a side on it. Discuss the issue with media by speculating on what others are saying, reporting, or thinking about the issue, whether they are or not, using unverifiable sources, such as Youtube, Twitter, or internet news stories as references. Conspiracy theories are useful for presenting issues, since the lack of real evidence to support them serves only to further the deepening of the conspiracy.

Create Suspense. Announce to the media the important evidence regarding the issue will soon be revealed.

Discredit the Opponent. Attack the motives and personal character of any who criticize the raising of the issue in question, often with demeaning nicknames that attack personal attributes of the opponent.

Win. Declare victory, regardless of the circumstances. This is used to bury the issue.Some additional details of the "gaslighting" method are provided in the Appendix

In step 1, tweeting between 6 and 9 AM, especially on Saturday mornings when there is little other news, is most effective.

In step 2, stating the claim without announcing a position on it is done by statements such as, "Some people say..." and "I'm saying I don't know, nobody knows, etc." At rallies, by repeating the claimed issue to the crowd, framed by phrases such as, "I'm not going to say," I'm not allowed to say," "I want to be politically correct," "So I refuse to say," etc.

In step 4, negative terms used to attack opponents include, "loser," "sad," "weak," "dumb," "failing," "overrated," "phone," and "crazy."

In step 5, polling and other data that is contrary to his position is dismissed as "dishonest," or "rigged."In an afterword, the author provides her ideas for "fireproofing," i.e. - suggestions for countering the effects of the "gaslighting" tactics she ascribes to Donald Trump. These suggestions include letting go of the outrage to such tactics because there is no way to stop them, attempting to discern the real motive behind issues being raised, pinning down the speaker to actual sources, identifying "clickbait" headlines when they are expressed, tuning the speaker out, and seeking out bias in organizations that report "wins" for the issue's proponent.

George Augustus Lee

George Augustus Lee (1761 – 5 August 1826) was a British industrialist. His cotton mill in Salford was an early iron-framed building, and he pioneered the use of steam power and gas lighting in industry.

History of manufactured fuel gases

The history of gaseous fuel, important for lighting, heating, and cooking purposes throughout most of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, began with the development of analytical and pneumatic chemistry in the 18th century. The manufacturing process for "synthetic fuel gases" (also known as "manufactured fuel gas", "manufactured gas" or simply "gas") typically consisted of the gasification of combustible materials, usually coal, but also wood and oil. The coal was gasified by heating the coal in enclosed ovens with an oxygen-poor atmosphere. The fuel gases generated were mixtures of many chemical substances, including hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide and ethylene, and could be burnt for heating and lighting purposes. Coal gas, for example, also contains significant quantities of unwanted sulfur and ammonia compounds, as well as heavy hydrocarbons, and so the manufactured fuel gases needed to be purified before they could be used.

The first attempts to manufacture fuel gas in a commercial way were made in the period 1795–1805 in France by Philippe LeBon, and in England by William Murdoch. Although precursors can be found, it was these two engineers who elaborated the technology with commercial applications in mind. Frederick Winsor was the key player behind the creation of the first gas utility, the London-based Gas Light and Coke Company, incorporated by royal charter in April 1812.

Manufactured gas utilities were founded first in England, and then in the rest of Europe and North America in the 1820s. The technology increased in scale. After a period of competition, the business model of the gas industry matured in monopolies, where a single company provided gas in a given zone. The ownership of the companies varied from outright municipal ownership, such as in Manchester, to completely private corporations, such as in London and most North American cities. Gas companies thrived during most of the nineteenth century, usually returning good profits to their shareholders, but were also the subject of many complaints over price.

The most important use of manufactured gas in the early 19th century was for gas lighting, as a convenient substitute for candles and oil lamps in the home. Gas lighting became the first widespread form of street lighting. For this use, gases that burned with a highly luminous flame, "illuminating gases", were needed, in contrast to other uses (e.g. as fuel) where the heat output was the main consideration. Accordingly some gas mixtures of low intrinsic luminosity, such as blue water gas, were enriched with oil to make them more suitable for street lighting.

In the second half of the 19th century, the manufactured fuel gas industry diversified out of lighting and into heat and cooking. The threat from electrical light in the later 1870s and 1880s drove this trend strongly. The gas industry did not cede the gas lighting market to electricity immediately, as the invention of the Welsbach mantle, a refractory mesh bag heated to incandescence by a mostly non-luminous flame within, dramatically increased the efficiency of gas lighting. Acetylene was also used from about 1898 for gas cooking and gas lighting (see Carbide lamp) on a smaller scale, although its use too declined with the advent of electric lighting, and LPG for cooking. Other technological developments in the late nineteenth century include the use of water gas and machine stoking, although these were not universally adopted.

In the 1890s, pipelines from natural gas fields in Texas and Oklahoma were built to Chicago and other cities, and natural gas was used to supplement manufactured fuel gas supplies, eventually completely displacing it. Gas ceased to be manufactured in North America by 1966 (with the exception of Indianapolis and Honolulu), while it continued in Europe until the 1980s. "Manufactured gas" is again being evaluated as a fuel source, as energy utilities look towards coal gasification once again as a potentially cleaner way of generating power from coal, although nowadays such gases are likely to be called "synthetic natural gas".


A lamplighter is a person employed to light and maintain candle or, later, gas street lights. Very few exist today as most gas street lighting has long been replaced by electric lamps.

Lapham–Patterson House

The Lapham–Patterson House is a historic site at 626 North Dawson Street in Thomasville, Georgia. The house, built between 1884-85 as a winter cottage for businessman C.W. Lapham of Chicago, is a significant example of Victorian architecture. It has a number of architectural details, such as fishscale shingles, an intricately designed porch, long-leaf pine inlaid floors, and a double-flue chimney. Inside, the house was well-appointed with a gas lighting system, hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing, and modern closets. Its most significant feature is its completely intentional lack of symmetry. None of the windows, doors, or closets are square. The house is a Georgia Historic Site and is also a National Historic Landmark, designated in 1973 for its architecture. It is also a contributing building in the National Register-listed Dawson Street Residential Historic District.

The three-story structure has a mellow-yellow exterior with brick-red roof and chimneys. At the core of the house is a hexagonal-shaped room. There are at least 50 exits; Mr. Lapham had been in the Great Chicago Fire and subsequently became paranoid about being trapped in a burning building.

The house was deliberately constructed slightly askew to take advantage of sunlight entering the third floor during the Spring and Fall Equinoxes. Within is a gentlemen's parlor with a small stage featuring a stained-glass window in the center. In the fretwork outside the room over the balcony are animal and amorpheous shapes cut into the wood. In the center is a cutout of what is presumably the head of Mrs. O'Leary's cow.

During the Spring and Fall Equinoxes the patterns are projected by sunlight onto the floor through the glass. The total effect is that, in the center of the stained glass window's colorful pattern on the floor, the shadow of the cow's head can be seen.

Mr. Lapham was a Quaker.

Le Peletier (Paris Métro)

Le Peletier is a station of the Paris Métro. It is named after Rue le Peletier, which was named after Louis Peletier, who was last but one prévôt des marchands (provost of merchants) between 1784 and 1789. This feudal position was abolished in the French Revolution.

The Opéra National de Paris was located in the Salle Peletier, in Rue le Peletier, between 1821 and 1873, when it was destroyed by fire. It was the first theatre to use gas lighting to illuminate the stage.

It is located a short walk from Notre-Dame-de-Lorette station on line 12, but no free transfer is permitted.

Milne-Watson baronets

The Milne-Watson Baronetcy, of Ashley in Longbredy in the County of Dorset, is a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 11 June 1937 for David Milne-Watson. He was Governor and Managing Director of the Gas Lighting & Coke Company and Vice-President of the Federation of British Industries. The third Baronet was Managing Director of the Gas Lighting & Coke Company and Deputy Chairman of the British Steel Corporation.

Riverside Park (Baltimore)

Riverside Park is a nearly 17-acre (6.9 ha) public park located in the historic Riverside neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland.

Early in Baltimore history, the site of Riverside Park was often used as a lookout point because of the clear view it offered of the South Baltimore peninsula and the Patapsco River. Because of this, during the War of 1812 Major General Samuel Smith ordered Captain Samuel Babcock to build a circular battery at the location, called Fort Lookout. Commanded by Lt. George Budd during the Battle of Baltimore, the battery played a key role in the defense of Baltimore. Combined with the garrisons at Forts Covington and Babcock, the forces at Fort Lookout assisted in repelling a British attempt to assault the peninsula by land, saving the city. After the battle, the fort was renamed Fort Wood in honor of Colonel Eleazer Wood, and the site remained in limited use through the mid-1800s.In 1854, Baltimore applied to condemn 3 acres for public use along Randall, Covington and Heath Streets and rename the property Battery Square. The city formally acquired the 3-acre square in 1862 from James Polk. In 1873, the city acquired an additional 14 acres to the south of Battery Square and renamed the property Riverside Park, making it one of the oldest parks in the city system. In 1876, the city passed an ordinance putting the park under control of the Public Park Commission.During the Baltimore Railroad Riots of 1877, the park served as an encampment for the 5th Regiment of the Maryland National Guard. After assisting with the riots downtown, the regiment marched to Riverside Park on July 30 to help guard the South Baltimore rail lines. On August 1, the regiment put on an exhibition for the local residents.In the following years, the Public Park Commission made several improvements to the park: a large marble fountain in the center, a nursery, iron railings, and gas lighting. Large attendances (in the thousands) were not unknown in the late 1800s. A swimming pool, playgrounds, and sports fields and courts were added at various times during the 20th century. Concerts and events at the gazebo, which are held to this day, were a popular attraction for the local citizens and provided a welcome distraction for the immigrant community that sprouted around the park.

Romantic ballet

The Romantic ballet is defined primarily by an era in ballet in which the ideas of Romanticism in art and literature influenced the creation of ballets. The era occurred during the early to mid 19th century primarily at the Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique of the Paris Opera Ballet and Her Majesty's Theatre in London. It is typically considered to have begun with the 1827 début in Paris of the ballerina Marie Taglioni in the ballet La Sylphide, and to have reached its zenith with the premiere of the divertissement Pas de Quatre staged by the Ballet Master Jules Perrot in London in 1845. The Romantic ballet had no immediate end, but rather a slow decline. Arthur Saint-Léon's 1870 ballet Coppélia is considered to be the last work of the Romantic Ballet.

During this era, the development of pointework, although still at a fairly basic stage, profoundly affected people's perception of the ballerina. Many lithographs of the period show her virtually floating, poised only on the tip of a toe. This idea of weightlessness was capitalised on in ballets such as La Sylphide and Giselle, and the famous leap apparently attempted by Carlotta Grisi in La Péri.

Other features which distinguished Romantic ballet were the separate identity of the scenarist or author from the choreographer, and the use of specially written music as opposed to a pastiche typical of the ballet of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The invention of gas lighting enabled gradual changes and enhanced the mysteriousness of many ballets with its softer gleam. Illusion became more diverse with wires and trap doors being widely used.

St Winefride's Halt railway station

St Winefride's Halt railway station was a station in Holywell, Flintshire, Wales. The station was opened on 1 July 1912 and closed on 6 September 1954. Situated on a bend there was a curved wooden platform with just the name board and gas lighting. There was a siding running behind the platform at a lower level to serve local industries. There are no remains of the halt today.


Syngas, or synthesis gas, is a fuel gas mixture consisting primarily of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and very often some carbon dioxide. The name comes from its use as intermediates in creating synthetic natural gas (SNG) and for producing ammonia or methanol. Syngas is usually a product of gasification and the main application is electricity generation. Syngas is combustible and often used as a fuel of internal combustion engines. It has less than half the energy density of natural gas.Syngas can be produced from many sources, including natural gas, coal, biomass, or virtually any hydrocarbon feedstock, by reaction with steam (steam reforming), carbon dioxide (dry reforming) or oxygen (partial oxidation). Syngas is a crucial intermediate resource for production of hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and synthetic hydrocarbon fuels. Syngas is also used as an intermediate in producing synthetic petroleum for use as a fuel or lubricant via the Fischer–Tropsch process and previously the Mobil methanol to gasoline process.

Production methods include steam reforming of natural gas or liquid hydrocarbons to produce hydrogen, the gasification of coal, biomass, and in some types of waste-to-energy gasification facilities.

William Murdoch

William Murdoch (sometimes spelled Murdock) (21 August 1754 – 15 November 1839) was a Scottish engineer and inventor.

Murdoch was employed by the firm of Boulton & Watt and worked for them in Cornwall, as a steam engine erector for ten years, spending most of the rest of his life in Birmingham, England.

Murdoch was the inventor of the oscillating cylinder steam engine, and gas lighting is attributed to him in the early 1790s, also the term "gasometer". However, Archibald Cochrane, ninth Earl of Dundonald, had already in 1789 used gas for lighting his family estate. Murdoch also made innovations to the steam engine, including the sun and planet gear and D slide valve. He invented the steam gun and the pneumatic tube message system, and worked on one of the first British paddle steamers to cross the English Channel. Murdoch built a prototype steam locomotive in 1784 and made a number of discoveries in chemistry.

Murdoch remained an employee and later a partner of Boulton & Watt until the 1830s, and his reputation as an inventor has been obscured by the reputations of Matthew Boulton and James Watt and the firm they founded.

Yttrium(III) oxide

Yttrium oxide, also known as yttria, is Y2O3. It is an air-stable, white solid substance. Yttrium oxide is used as a common starting material for both materials science as well as inorganic compounds.

The thermal conductivity of yttrium oxide is 27 W/(m·K).

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