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I found this interesting, but then again I do like antiquities

Jan. 28, 1807: Flickering Gaslight Illuminates Pall Mall

London's streets had a gaslight glow beginning in 1807.

1807: London's Pall Mall becomes the first street anywhere to be illuminated by gaslight.
The gaslight was developed in the 1790s. The credit usually goes to Scottish engineer William Murdoch, but it was Friedrich Albert Winzer (sometimes anglicized to Frederick Winsor), a German entrepreneur living in London, who lit Pall Mall.

In 1804, the same year he patented coal-gas lighting, Winzer demonstrated the technology during a lecture at London's Lyceum Theatre. By 1807, he had moved into a house on Pall Mall, one of the city's most fashionable streets.

He followed the illumination of Pall Mall with a special exhibition on June 4, 1807, in honor of the birthday of King George III, using gaslight to superimpose images against the walls of the buildings along his street.
The gaslight, meanwhile, took off. The Gas Light and Coke Co. -- the first public gas company -- was established, and by 1823, 40,000 lamps covered 215 miles of London's streets.

The gaslight remained the primary means of street illumination in Europe and North America throughout the 19th century.

Although it is certainly antiquated technology today, the gaslight retains a charm that electric lighting simply can't match. As a result, public illumination using gaslights is still found, usually in the historic districts of older cities. (In the United States, gaslit neighborhoods can still be found in Boston, Cincinnati and New Orleans).

Gas Light and Coke Co., incidentally, remained in existence until it was nationalized in 1948.


  1. Blogger Aravis says @ 6:54 pm
    That was really interesting. People's reactions must have been something to see, especially when he made those projections on the walls!
  2. Anonymous Anonymous says @ 9:07 pm
    We certainly do not appreciate just how quickly things have moved on over the past few decades.

    Really quick changes!

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