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Full text of "100 years of gas service in Chicago, 1850-1950"

338.4766571 
P390 



100 Years of Gas Service in 
Chicago, 1850-1950 



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338.476657 
P390 






100 Years of 

GAS SERVICE 
in Chicago 



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THE PEOPLES GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY 



122 South Michigan Avenue " Chicago 3, Illinois 



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The Gas House Gang'' 



In everyday American language, "gas house gang" is a term of praise. 
It has been appHed, for example, to big league baseball teams who play 
hard and win championships. 

Its original meaning — and its real meaning today — describes workers 
whose job it is to make and send out gas, to keep gas service going in all 
weather, fair or foul. From the very first, back in 1850, and from then on, the 
rigors of the job and their own great spirit have made the "gas house gang" 
a determined, effective group. 

The traditional tenacity of this public servant inspired the writing of a verse 
called "The Gas House Terrier," a few lines of which follow: 

He was a grimy Terrier from the gas house "down beyant." 
Of chemistry and algebra his knowledge true was scant; 
But he'd a horny fist and an honest face and the grit of 

a brindled pup. 
He didn't go much on photometry, but he kept his holder up. 

Today the term "gas house gang" may well be applied to the entire Peoples 
Gas "family." With the same spirit as the gas workers of the past, these present- 
day people — now more than 4500 strong — not only meet but welcome their 
obligations of public service. They are today's "Keepers of the Flame." 

[see inside back cover] 




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100 YEARS 

OF GAS SERVICE IN CHICAGO 

1850-1950 



Gas service first came to Chicago on September 4, 1850. 
In observance of the Centennial of Gas in Chicago, we 
have prepared this booklet, which sketches briefly the 
development of gas service in this city, its growth from 
small beginnings to its present scop)e and size. 

Having reached the 100-year mark, we look forward 
to the second century with enthusiasm and confidence; 
for never has there been a future to look forward to so 
rich in opfX)rtunity for still more complete service — in 
more forms — to more people. 



In celebration of this Hundredth Birthday, Peoples Gas in coopera- 
tion with the Museum of Science and Industry has presented to the 
people of Chicago a permanent exhibit at the Museum that tells 
THE STORY OF FLAME GAS. It is described on pages 30, 31 
and 32 of this booklet. The exhibit is an entertaining and educational 
show for people of all ages. You and your family will want to see it 
and you are cordially invited to do so. 

THE PEOPLES GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY 



Highlights in a 
Century of 

Gas Service 




Enter the Lamplighter 




The Gaslight Era 




He Kept the Gas Goin' 

1^ 




"Cookin' with Gas" Begins 




13 Companies Become One 




^4 

Gas Takes a Factory Job 




It's a "Natural" 




Everybody Wants More Gas! 




^-^ 



Third Pipeline Under Way 




Today's Plans for the Future 



Enter 

the Lamplighter 




Chicago in 1850 was a rough and 
ready frontier town, entirely lacking 
in what were considered ordinary 
comforts in cities farther east. But it 
was already starting to "burst at the 
seams" with a phenomenal growth. 
Its 30,000 population of that year was 
to grow to 109,000 by 1860. 

Newspapers announced that Clark 
Street was being planked (an early 
form of paving) and hoped that this 
would take the city out of "the mud 
and deeps profound." A few years later 
the city fathers were raising the street 
levels. The downtown Chicago as we 
know it today is several feet higher 
than the original. 

Lights were dim. Ads in the Journal 
during September 1850 offered: Lamp 
Oils, Candles, &c; Winter Sperm Oil, 
Whale do.: Sperm Candles, Stearine do. 
Perhaps the well-to-do burned wax 
candles on special occasions, but it 
looks as if most people cleaned lamps, 
went around their homes in semi-dark- 
ness, and were hardened to the odor of 
burning whale-oil. 




Anyway, September 4, 1 850, brought 
crowds into the streets. Word had gone 
out that gas lights were going to be 
turned on for the first time. 

The lamplighter must have felt him- 
self an important figure that first night. 
There was doubtless cheering when 
the thirty-six lamps came on in the 
City Hall, and in the homes and 
stores of the "125 other customers." 
But the uproar must have hit its 
climax when the ninety-nine street 
lamps in and near Lake Street were 
all alight. 

A few days later, the Gem of the 
Prairie, weekly edition of The Chicago 
Tribune, said, "At about two o'clock 
p.m., the gas pipes were filled and 
brilliant torches flamed on both sides 
of the street as far as the eye could 
see . . . The burners in Reed & Co., 
and in Keen's were lighted about the 
same time, presenting a bright golden 
flame ... In the evening the lamps 
were again lighted, and for the first 
time in the history of Chicago, several 
of the streets were lighted in regular 



Citizens view gas-lighted win- 
dows of store at Wabash and 
Lake Streets, where goods on 
display included equipment 
for men bound for California 
gold fields. 



city style. Hereafter she will not 'hide 
her light under a bushel.' " 

Back of the scenes there must well 
have been the usual anxiety and hard 
work that go with the starting of a 
new project. The new gas plant at 
Monroe and Market was manned by 
newcomers because Chicago was too 
young a city to have "native sons" on 
whom to call. 

There were bristly-mustached sons 
of Scotland who brought their under- 
standing of steam engines to the job of 
gas making. There were dozens of 
brawny Irish immigrants, too. Theirs 
was the job of putting gas mains into 
the streets and connecting them into 
the homes and businesses. More im- 
portant, they took over the gas ovens. 
These strong-backed sons of Erin 
shoveled in the coal used to make the 
gas. To them goes the credit for estab- 
lishing the tradition of "keeping the 
holders up." 

As years went on most of them con- 
tinued to live in the shadows of the 
gas holders ("tanks" to the layman). 
If they saw the top section of the 




Chicago's Courthouse in 1850. This picture and 
others up to and including page 11, are redrawn 
from old prints of the Chicago Historical Society. 



holder high in the structure, it indi- 
cated that all was well at the works 
and a plentiful supply was ready for 
the growing demands of the city. And 
when any unusual effort was neces- 
sary, they were close by. 

The Infant and the Giant 

Chicago's population in 1850 was 
30,000 compared with over 3,600,000 
today. To compare gas service in 1850 
with today is to compare the first send- 
out of 15,000 cubic feet a night with 
this year's twenty-four-hour peak send- 
out of over 320,000,000 cubic feet. 



South Clark Street in the 50's. Wooden sidewalks 
and planked streets on different levels — while 
Chicago was digging itself out of the mud. 



The building on the right is the first gas plant in 
Chicago — only picture of it known to exist. The view 
is westward on Monroe Street from Market Street. 




The Gaslight Era 

. . ,An American Saga 



The story of gas in Chicago is just as 
much the story of the vigorous city gas 
serves as it is the record of an industry. 
It is typically American, a chapter in 
the stirring history of the Middle West 
and the men who made it. 

Gas service here developed from 
tiny beginnings. It was beset from time 
to time by adversities, some of which 
threatened its very existence. But, 
more often than not, what seemed to 
be a crisis was turned into an advantage 
instead — an opportunity for greater 
growth and greater service. As the 
second century of gas service in Chi- 
cago begins, Peoples Gas stands at the 
dawn of an era in which it will have 
the opportunity of serving more people 
in more ways than ever before. 

First steps toward gas service were 
taken when five enterprising pioneer 
residents gathered on October 16, 
1848, to draft a petition to the Illinois 
state legislature for authority to form 
a gas company that would furnish 




reliable lighting. The legislature re- 
sponded with a charter and from this 
was founded the Chicago Gas Light 
and Coke Company, which preceded 
Peoples Gas by a few years. 

Demand Grows Fast 

From almost the very beginning, 
anticipating future demand has been 
one of the biggest jobs in providing gas 
service. The mushrooming growth of 
Chicago in earlier years accented this 
problem; in more recent times, the 
development of numerous new uses for 
gas in home, business and industry 
further complicated it. A few days 
after the first turn-on back in 1850, a 
Journal editorial had this to say: 

"The company, judging from the extent of the 
apparatus, have built for a future day" 

That the supply of gas made avail- 
able to the city is a matter of vital 



Galena & Chicago Railroad Station (later the Chi- 
cago & North Western), at Canal and Kinzie Streets. 




Lake and Wabash Streets in 1858, a retail, whole- 
sale, and manufacturing center of early Chicago. 




V 






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public interest in modern times as well, 
is indicated by the following headline 
which appeared in the Chicago Tribune 
March 29, 1948: 

GAS UTILITIES 

GIVE CHICAGO 

VAST ENERGY 

A second gas oven went into opera- 
tion on October 6, 1850, raising pro- 
duction capacity to 22,000 cubic feet 
— all of which was needed within a few 
months. By 1855, mains had crossed 
the river to supply the north and west 
sides, and a holder was built with a 
capacity of 300,000 cubic feet. That 
year, when the population had grown to 
80,000, a bill was signed by the Gover- 
nor which brought into being The 
Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company. 

These various events added up to 
the beginning of the gaslight era which 
was to continue beyond the turn of the 
century. As recently as forty years ago 
Peoples Gas was proudly pointing to 
"400 candle power light for one cent 
an hour." The flame that lighted Chi- 
cago's homes and streets now cooks 
several millions of meals a day in 
homes and restaurants. Homes that 
keep foods safely stored in silent gas 
refrigerators and automatically heat 
water with gas run into the hundreds 



of thousands. Basements have been 
changed into recreation rooms follow- 
ing the installation of modern gas fur- 
naces or boilers. 

Business and industry are served too, 
in thousands of different ways. Fac- 
tories that once used gas to light hun- 
dreds of arc lamps now use the same fuel 
to run mammoth furnaces. One such 
furnace takes as much gas during an 
eight-hour shift as the daily demand 
of an average suburban town. 



The Nation in the Fifties 

It was in this decade that the first Pullman 
car, first derby hat, first camera, first tele- 
graph line, first oil well and first Atlantic 
cable were produced. Sewing machines 
and washing machines were among the 
other inventions of the period. Harriet 
Beecher Stowe wrote "Uncle Tom's Cab- 
in" and a Swedish "nightingale" named 
Jennie Lind thrilled thousands. 



Chicago in the Fifties 

Chicago's first theater was illuminated 
^th gas. Theodore Thomas, later to be- 
come famous as a symphony conductor, 
was violinist in a small orchestra. Mc- 
Cormick >vas manufacturing 40 reapers a 
day. By the end of this decade eight rail- 
roads ^ere operating in and out of the 
city, AA^hich was to become the world's 
greatest rail center. 



Chicago shoreline in the late 50's, neor where Michigan Avenue runs today. Note the railroad on piling 
out in the loke. The present right-of-way of the Illinois Centrol follows the same route. 





T^ mL ^^ Kept the Gas Goin' 

j^![V. ^ . . . Even Through the Great Fire 



As THE gaslight era began to wane in 
the nineties, memories of Chicago's 
greatest disaster — the Great Fire of 
1871 — were still in the minds of many 
of its citizens. It destroyed the original 
gas plant at Market and Monroe 
Streets but the Chicago Company's 
new North Station and the 22nd Street 
Works of Peoples Gas were spared. 
Both continued to ojjerate. 

Even in a crisis as great as the fire 
which destroyed a large part of the 
city, gas service was maintained in 
widespread areas. Thus, there has been 
no complete interruption in gas service in 
Chicago in the entire first one hundred years. 

Employes who had retired on pen- 
sions used to drop in occasionally to 
tell of events of the Great Fire. They 
described how a second floor space in 
a Company building (at Market and 
Monroe Streets) was turned into a 



women's and children's infirmary, even 
before the walls had cooled. North 
Station had long, low coal sheds which 
were used as shelters for north side 
refugees. The stories that pleased the 
old-timers, however, were the ones in 
which they played a personal part. 
"We kept the holders up" — meaning 
they had maintained a sufficient sup- 
ply in the gas holders to keep ser\'ice 
going. 

In 1893, Chicago definitely took its 
place in world affairs. It was holding 
its glittering World's Columbian Expo- 
sition, which drew millions of visitors 
from all over the United States and 
from many foreign lands as well. It 
was then that the gaslight era was at 
its peak. Gas burners brilliantly illu- 
minated the city's first great "World's 
Fair" as well as provided bright, white 
light for the city's streets, homes, 



Home at northwest comer of Michigan Avenue and 
Adams Street (in 1870) before the Great Fire. 



Ruins ot the same corner after the conflagration. 
The Peoples Gas Building stands there today. 




stores and factories. Even then, how- 
ever, great events were in the making 
and soon the nature of gas service was 
to be completely changed. Even at its 
peak, the gasHght era was drawing to 
a close. 



The second half of the nineteenth century 
brought fwo important inventions to the 
gas business. Bunsen invented his famous 
burner in 1855. By 1875, the use of can- 
dles for lighting had ended in cities. Kero- 
sene and gas had taken over, in 1885, 
Carl von Weisbach invented the gas man- 
tle ^hich made it possible for gas to pro- 
vide a whiter, brighter light. 




State Street entrance of the Palmer House, as 
rebuilt shortly after the Rre. 




State Street shopping center in the late 60's. The 
growing city's streets still were muddy. 



One of the horsecars on which mony Chicagoans 
rode to work in 1870. 



Courthouse Square and 
the streets and buildings 
surrounding it in the days 
before the Chicago Fire. 




''Cookin' with Gas" 
Begins 

Around 1900, 

Chkagoans by the thousands started 

"Cookin' with Gas." 

The gay nineties began a great change 
for the gas business— a far-reaching 
one that would eventually open a big- 
ger market for gas than had even been 
dreamed of up to this time. 

About this time a new appliance was 
beginning to attract widespread atten- 
tion here as elsewhere. It was the 
kitchen gas range, which had been in 
the course of development for some 
time. Made possible through an adap- 
tation of the Bunsen burner principle, 
this stove brought new control and re- 
liability to the art of cooking. 

Pioneering a New Field 

The volume of gas sales for cooking 
eventually became greater than the 
lighting business which went to elec- 
tricity with the appearance of the new 
incandescent light bulb. 

Although the gas range was "new 
fangled" to the public at the start, it 
was soon accepted with surprising 
rapidity by householders. From about 
1898 on into the 1900's demonstra- 
tions of gas cooking were conducted on 




ranges set up in vacant lots. People 
were invited to bring foods they wanted 
cooked, and see for themselves how 
much better and more easily meals 
could be cooked with gas. 

Enterprise on a Wagon 

One story of the times concerns a 
salesman who was even more enter- 
prising. He did not wait for customers 
to come to him; instead, he loaded a 
gas range on a horse-drawn wagon 
and carried his message to people on 
street corners. He would drive his wag- 
on under a street lamp, run a rubber 
hose from the lamp to the stove, and 
proceed to demonstrate gas cookery. 
Soon he was turning in orders for 
ranges as fast as they could be filled. 

Figures printed in the Peoples Gas 
Annual Report for 1898 had begun to 



The famous Rush Street Bridge looking northeast in the 60's. Some of the buildings in the background were 
warehouses for handling the lake and rail shipping of that time. 




reflect the big change that was under 
way. They showed that the Company 
had sold 20,343 gas stoves in that year, 
an impressive total for the time. (Now, 
from 85,000 to 120,000 or more mod- 
ern gas ranges are sold every year by 
dealers throughout the city. Each 
year large numbers of new and im- 
proved models are purchased to re- 
place older types.) From 1900 on, the 
swing to gas for cooking was to show 
substantial increases year after year. 
Before the first World War the im- 
portant change to the gas cooking 
period was all but completed. 

Today Peoples Gas has more than 
900,000 customers in the city. More 
families than ever are cooking with 
gas; hundreds of thousands of house- 
holds use it also for automatic water 
heating, silent refrigeration, or space 
heating, or a combination of such 
uses. Commercial and industrial cus- 
tomers require gas for thousands of 
uses. These other uses have been 
made possible by the imagination and 
engineering skill of many experts 
ceaselessly working in research and 
testing laboratories. 




Chicago Day, October 9, at the World's Fair of 
1893, when paid admissions totalled over 
700,000. Note dense throngs in this view of the 
Exposition. 



So basic has gas service become in Amer- 
ica that sayings (even slang) about it 
have become part of our language. A 
slogan introduced 30 years ago, "You 
can do it better ^ith gas," remains a com- 
mon expression today. Six years ago the 
entertainment v^orld came out with the 
phrase, "Now you're cookin' with gas," 
as an expression of approval. 



The gas meter ^as invented and put in 
use in 1834. The basic principle of its 
operation v/as so simple and dependable 
that its design and construction have been 
changed but little. It remains one of the 
truest measuring devices in use today. 



Now, more Chicagoans 

than ever are 

"Cookin' with Gas." 



11 




13 Gas Companies 
Become One . . • 
Service Is Improved 



Gas service in Chicago was not al- 
ways provided, as now, by a single 
company regulated in the public in- 
terest. All the gas utilities in Chicago 
were brought under one management 
by a consolidation of ten different gas 
companies with Peoples Gas in 1897 
and 1898, with the addition of two 
more in 1907. 

A number of companies sprang up 
in the eighties and nineties and there- 
after, in unrestrained competition. 
Some of the individual companies 
operated in the same territory. There 
was a good deal of wasteful duplica- 
tion of facilities. No one of these 
separate systems had been installed 
with any idea that it would ultimately 
fit into a single system supplying all 
Chicago. 

Peoples Gas engineers solved a real 
problem in the early part of this cen- 
tury — that of welding together many 
different and variously located plants, 
holders, and distribution systems. They 



Corner of State and Madison in the 90'$ — later to 
become known as "the world's busiest corner." 





not merely linked all these facilities, 
but created a coordinated, efficient, 
city-wide system that would best serve 
all parts of Chicago. 

Creating a single gas system in Chi- 
cago operated by a single company 
meant an end to costly and senseless 
duplication of mains and other facili- 
ties. In this way, the step was in the 
public interest. 

At the same time, however, it 
created a monopoly. Whoever wanted 
gas service in the city had to buy it 
from the one company. But monop- 
olies, as such, are contrary to the 
American idea of healthy competition 
in a free enterprise system. It was 
necessary to preserve the benefits of 
single-company operation in the public 



The Gas Building shown below occupied the same 
site as the present home of The Peoples Gas Light 
and Coke Company, which was completed in 1910. 




12 



utility field and yet protect the public 
from unfair treatment. 

The Illinois Commerce Commis- 
sion, which was created by the Illinois 
Legislature in 1913, regulates public 
utilities within the state, including gas 
service in Chicago. It prescribes rates 
and standards of service, examines 
financing plans, and meets numerous 
other regulatory responsibilities. 

As such, the Commission may be 
likened to an "umpire" balancing the 
rights and interests of customer, in- 
vestor and company as evenly as possi- 
ble in the over-all public interest. 

The attitude of Peoples Gas in the 
matter of state regulation was recently 
re-stated by an official of the Company 
as follows: "The objective of the Com- 
mission and of the Company should 
always be the same — namely, to pro- 
vide the conditions for a financially 
sound company able to render the 
best possible service at reasonable 
rates. We intend in the future, as in 
the past, to work with the Commission 
faithfully in achieving that objective." 



Today There Is 
Competition — Lots of It! 

Today Peoples Gas is a monopoly in 
the sense that it is the only company in 
Chicago selling gas, but it is one in 
that sense only. Actually, it has com- 
petition — and plenty of it! Competi- 
tion with electricity for home refriger- 
ation, cooking and water heating. 
Competition with coal and oil for 
home heating. Competition with oil, 
coal and electricity in hundreds of 
different industrial uses. If our service 
standards were relaxed, or our prices 




Mid-Victorian gas-lighted parlor in Chicago. 
Drawing follows the authentic details of a recon- 
structed room at the Chicago Historical Society. 

moved substantially above other fuels, 
we would soon risk the loss of busi- 
ness.* Peoples Gas welcomes compe- 
tition, for it is the life of trade. It 
keeps us on our toes. It is the stimulus 
that has made American industry the 
envy of the rest of the world. 



* 



Gas used for cooking costs the 
average family in Chicago a 
little over five cents a day. For 
families vfho use gas for cook- 
ing and automatic water heat- 
ing, the average cost is only 
about 12 cents a day; while 
the addition of gas refrigera- 
tion to cooking and automatic 
v^ater heating in the average 
home means only about 3 
cents more a day. 

The cost of gas for heating 
an average six room home in 
Chicago estimated as of Jan- 
uary 5, 1950, is $1 19, as com- 
pared with the cost of $166 to 
heat the same home with the 
cheapest form of No. 3 oil, and 
with $127 for the cheapest 
form of coal. 



13 




Gas, a Household Worker 



Soon after the close of World War 1, 
a decision was reached by Peoples Gas 
which was to broaden greatly the use- 
fulness of gas wherever heat was re- 
quired. The change from lighting to 
home cooking had begun more than 
twenty years before. Now it was de- 
cided to expand the use of gas beyond 
the home and to promote volume 
sales of gas as the best fuel for indus- 
trial and commercial use. 

Here was another move so broad in 
scope that time and hard work were 
needed to achieve success. To develop 
the new market required research, 
education and sound selling to make 
sure each user's needs were served 
better than he expected. 

So, using the slogan, "You Can Do 
It Better with Gas" — which even now 
is a catch phrase embedded in every- 
day language — Peoples Gas sales engi- 
neers set out to convince hard-headed 



executives and practical shop super- 
intendents that gas offered important 
advantages which could improve prod- 
ucts and increase profit. Other spe- 
cialists concentrated on the hotel and 
restaurant field, bakeries and other 
commercial establishments to prove 
gas could do the job better there too. 

As its success in one type of industry 
was demonstrated under actual oper- 
ating conditions, the interest of other 
manufacturers was kindled. From a 
few uses back in the earlier twenties, 
gas as early as 1929 had become 
a giant in industry and commerce. 
But, even then, heavy duty utiliza- 
tions undreamed of at that time lay 
ahead. 

The step-up of the industrial tempo 
as the country entered the prepara- 
tions-for-defense period in late 1939 
and 1940 put a new premium on pro- 
duction efficiencies. When America 



This 65-foot rotary kiln uses gas In the lowering of 
moisture content in moss moteriols used in the 
chemical industry. 



Into this mammoth furnace, a building in itself, great 
metal tanks are moved on flat cars to be stress- 
relieved by gas heat. 




Takes a Factory Job, Too 



pirirL-' 




i\ I ii>i ill III I I in. 



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entered World War II, with all-out 
production immediately following, still 
more and more ways were found to 
make gas serve industry. 

Today gas has more than 12,000 
uses in Chicago industry and com- 
merce. Fifty-eight per cent of all the 
gas consumed within the city goes for 
these purposes. Its uses range from 
mass production to the most exacting 
precision work — everything from pro- 
viding heat for a vast outdoor stress 
relieving furnace large enough to 
hold a railroad flat car to burners 
used in the accurate shaping of 
tiny metal devices for straightening 
teeth. 

Here are but a few of the uses of gas 
in Chicago industry and commerce : 

Firing of decorated china, pottery, lamp 
bases, etc. 

Providing fuel for all forms of heat 
treating of gears and hard-wearing parts 



used in machinery, automobiles, airplane 
motors and agricultural implements. 

Shaping precisely the glass tubes used in 
radio and television. 

Annealing copper and brass in manu- 
facture of housewares, auto parts and ma- 
chinery. 

Baking of cookies, cakes, bread and 
crackers in automatic ovens sometimes ex- 
tending 275 feet. 

Firing steam boilers in huge generating 
plants and in the packing industry. 

Drying of inks on fast press runs and 
preventing static in printing operations. 

Melting great masses of materials in the 
production of chemicals. 

Smoking, curing and processing meats. 

Supplying heat in small amounts for the 
intricate uses of medical laboratories and 
hospitals. 

Heating drying ovens in dozens of in- 
dustries. 

Supplying closely controlled heat to 
Chicago's candy industry. 

Furnishing the fuel for the variable cook- 
ing demands of hotels and restaurants, 
large and small. 



Gleaming gas ovens such as these play a major 
part in turning out bread, pies and cakes in 
Chicago's large bakeries. 



Executive chef at the Stevens Hotel checks the 
enormous quantities of beef roasted with gas in 
efficient modern stainless steel ovens. 




A Big New Supply 

. . . Ifs a '^Natural 




yy 





The great industrial activity of the 
year 1929 found Peoples Gas facing a 
problem the reverse of that which had 
confronted it in previous periods. A 
dozen years earlier, for example, it had 
struggled to create a demand for all the 
gas it could produce. The job in 1929 
was somehow to find a supply that 
would meet this increased demand. 

Fuel from Texas 

Natural gas, one of America's major 
resources, offered one of the most log- 
ical means of bringing supply up to 
demand. But it called for a pipeline to 
tap the great subterranean storehouse 
of energy in the Texas Panhandle, 
close to 1000 miles away. The pros 
and cons of such a pipeline had been 
examined and weighed by engineers 
and other technical experts for many 
months. When Peoples Gas decided to 



pay a portion of the construction costs 
of this great energy transmission line, 
it embarked on one of the most am- 
bitious public service projects ever un- 
dertaken for Chicago. 

A Unique Undertaking 

Other cities were already using 
natural gas, it is true, but nowhere was 
the undertaking of such magnitude 
and significance. This was to be the 
first long distance, high pressure steel 
pipeline extending all the way from 
the Southwest to a major northern 
metropolitan market of the size of Chi- 
cago. Peoples Gas provided its share 
of the $75,000,000 in construction costs. 
To build the line required 209,000 tons 
of specially fabricated 24-inch diam- 
eter steel pipe (6500 freight car loads). 
It took the labor equivalent of 2500 
men working every day for a year. The 



leff — Traveling cranes lay large-diameter steel gas pipe that has first been coated and 
wrapped with corrosion-resisting material. Right — Construction in progress on a new station 
for conditioning and pumping gas. 




-Across the plains and prairies of 
itates goes the natural gas pipeline. 



pipeline had to be brought across 100 
streams, including mighty rivers like 
the Mississippi and the Missouri. The 
right of way involved leases on 2600 
separate tracts of farm land. 

"Change-over" a Mammoth Job 

New buildings and other installa- 
tions had to be provided before the 
new gas could be used in the Com- 
pany's more than 3700 miles of dis- 
tribution mains. These included facil- 
ities for blending natural gas with the 
manufactured gas in correct propor- 
tions. Another huge job was the effi- 
cient adjustment of the millions of 
appliances in use throughout the city. 

The new gas entered the mains all 
over Chicago at 4 p.m. on October 16, 



Chicago is served with a mixed 
gas — a blend of natural gas 
and manufactured coke oven 
and ^ater gas. Peoples Gas 
engineers developed such a 
mixed gas because it pro- 
duces a flame applicable to the 
greatest number of uses. It also 
permits maximum use both of 
natural gas and manufactured 
gas facilities, ^hich is in the 
public interest. 




1931, and the change-over was made 
with a minimum of inconvenience to 
hundreds of thousands of customers. 

Meanwhile, the general business de- 
pression had settled down over the 
land, and the Company was faced with 
the challenge of finding a market for 
the huge quantities of gas it had con- 
tracted to receive daily. That the 
market was found is another illustra- 
tion of the resourcefulness of the gas 
utility industry in particular and Amer- 
ican business in general. 



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Sh^^B^^^^ "'V'fl^^J^K^j^- ''>'*^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| 




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I 



Station at northern end of pipeline (near Joliet) 
where gas is metered and delivered for distribu- 
tion in Chicago area. 



Interior of a pumping station. Powered by gas engines, seventeen com- 
pressors pump the fuel on its way to the Chicago market. 




Gas and More Gas 

— the Cry of the 40 's j 



The abundance of natural gas that 
was first brought to Chicago from 
Texas in 1931 had been expected to 
prove a great boon in meeting the 
community's needs. But the great de- 
pression then held the entire country 
in its grip. The big new supply tem- 
porarily became an over-supply. 

But, all that seems part of the dis- 
tant past now. As general conditions 
improved in the mid-thirties, factories 
reopened and the thousands of Chi- 
cago families who had felt the effects 
of the depression re-won their accus- 
tomed standards of living. 

Many installed gas for heating their 
homes, which marked the opening of 
another mass market for Peoples Gas 
service. Company billboards blank- 
eted the city showing the "head of the 
house" comfortably established in his 
easy chair and announcing to the 
world in letters three feet high: "NO 
WINTER WORRIES FOR ME— 




I GOT GAS HEAT." The Company 
received a few letters objecting to the 
grammar in the message, but it was 
typical of the expressions Mr. Chicago 
was using in voicing relief over his 
escape from furnace-tending. 

Families installing gas heat fre- 
quently converted their basements to 
recreation rooms, which further en- 
couraged their neighbors to join the 
swing. By 1940 gas for space heating 
was entrenched in Chicago. 

Large numbers of families also were 
turning to an intriguing gas appliance 
that already had received wide accept- 
ance in other parts of the country — a 
silent gas refrigerator, which used the 
heat of a small gas flame to produce 
constant cold. 

In addition, as the operating effi- 
ciency of automatic gas water heaters 



The clean blue gas flame used in the modern gas 
range makes baking and all other cooking easy 
for Mrs. Chicago. 



Gas-heated water . . . plenty of it ready at all 
times . . . makes dishwashing, housecleaning and 
laundering easier by far. 




was further improved, more and more 
Chicago families found that they could 
have constant hot water service at the 
turn of a faucet at surprisingly low 
cost. What's more, they didn't have to 
run to and from the basement to turn 
the heater on and off. The automatic 
kind did that by itself. 

So, with the coming of the forties, 
gas was now helping with "the four 
big jobs" of housekeeping — cooking; 
heating water for dishes, cleaning and 
bathing; refrigerating foods and freez- 
ing ice cubes; and heating the house. 

Meantime, as told elsewhere in this 
booklet, the industrial boom preceding 
and continuing through World War II 
was on, and gas had its work cut out 
for it there too. 

All of this soon added up to the fact 
that gas, which was in an over-abund- 
ance in the preceding decade, was now 
in short supply. "Gas — and more 
gas," was the cry of the forties, a cry 
which is heard even more persistently 
now that we are in the fifties. 

Here is how Chicago now uses gas 
in the home: 

For cooking 985,000 families 

For automatic water 

heating 165,000 families 



For refrigeration 117,000 families 

For home heating 69,000 families* 



*78,000 Chicago families are on the wait- 
ing list for gas heat because the demand is 
greater than the supply. It has been neces- 
sary since 1946 to limit the attachment of 
additional space heating customers in order 
to protect the vast public already dependent 
upon gas supply. 



Most people know that it takes a large 
sum of money to provide gas service in a 
large city, but few realize the actual 
amount. Peoples Gas has more than 
$150,000,000 invested in plant and prop- 
erty alone — just a portion of what is 
needed to run the business. This figure 
does not include additional millions in- 
vested by affiliated companies in pipeline 
facilities used primarily to bring gas to 

Chicago. 

■ 

Few groups of people come as close to 
perfection as does our force of 180 meter 
readers, who in the first six months of 
1950 had a record of 99.95 per cent 
accuracy. Our champion meter reader, 
William Morgan, ^ho hasn't made an 
error in sixteen years, received fan mail 
from throughout the Middle West ^hen 
his record ^as mentioned on an NBC 
radio broadcast. The Company receives 
many complimentary letters from custo- 
mers concerning the courtesy of these men. 



Gas refrigeration . . . silent and with no moving 
parts in the freezing system of the refrigerator . . . 
has shown a great gain in public acceptance. 




Setting temperature at the touch of a finger. The 
Chicago families using efficient, convenient gas 
heat now total 69,000. 




Dual 1000-Mile 
Pipeline System 
Can't Meet the Demand 



Headline in Chicago Daily Sun- 
Times of June 1 5, 1 950. 



As WE ALL REMEMBER, that "post-war 
slump" people were talking about at 
the end of World War II somehow 
failed to arrive. 

Factories remained busy; families 
had money to buy many things they 
had long wanted. 

What all this meant to Peoples Gas 
was that the demand for service — 
already at a peak — remained where it 
was; oil and coal prices soared while 
gas heating rates remained unchanged. 
New families by the thousands were 
added to the waiting list for gas heat. 

More Natural Gas 

A struggle to obtain scarce materi- 
als, particularly steel pipe, was finally 
won and a second natural gas line was 
completed in 1949 — paralleling the 
first from the Texas Panhandle and 



western Oklahoma fields, and creating 
a dual system with a daily capacity of 
more than 500 million cubic feet, most 
of it delivered to the Chicago area. 

Just prior to the completion of this 
second line. Peoples Gas, late in 1948, 
acquired all the stock of the two pipe- 
line companies which had been gath- 
ering and transmitting natural gas 
to it since 1931, and in which it had 
had a minority interest during that 
time. * Peoples Gas thus obtained con- 
trol over its source of supply and of the 
fully integrated physical system, which 
starts hundreds of feet below the 
earth's surface in the gas fields of the 

*These companies are Texoma Natural 
Gas Company, the producing company in 
the Texas Panhandle field, and Natural Gas 
Pipeline Company of America, which oper- 
ates the dual high pressure pipeline system to 
the Chicago area. 



The great natural gas pipeline is carried across a 
river by a suspension bridge. Frequently, however, 
the pipelines are buried in the bed of a stream. 



"Blowing" a natural gas well to clear it of liquids 
and other matter so that the passage of the gas 
will be unobstructed. 




We're Building a 
Third Pipeline, 
1330 Miles Long 



PttSWT DUAl nPEUNS 

SYSTEM FROM TEXAS PANHANDU 

AND WESTERN OICLAHOMA 



Southwest 1000 miles away, and ends 
at the appliances of the hundreds of 
thousands of Chicago customers. 

Peoples Gas, reaching out across 
five states to insure a supply for its 
Chicago market, thus became the ma- 
jor company in a 1000-mile dual pipe- 
line system supplying customer com- 
panies in an extended area of the 
Middle West having a population of 
6,300,000. 

But, of more importance to Chica- 
go, acquisition of the pipeline com- 
panies by this op)erating utility helped 
speed plans for construction of a third 
pipeline, this one to run from the Gulf 
Coast area of Texas, south of Houston, 
a distance of 1330 miles. Necessary 
approval to build the line was obtained 
by a newly formed Peoples Gas afhii- 
ate, Texas Illinois Natural Gas Pipe- 



A pipeline being laid along ttie right-of-way. Just 
a partial indication of the variety of country and 
soil conditions encountered. 





line Company in June, 1950, from the 
Federal Power Commission. 

As these words are written, con- 
struction pf the new line is under way. 
Completion is scheduled for late fall of 
1951. Initial capacity ofthe line will be 
305 million cubic feet daily, 80% of 
which will come to the Chicago area. 
Ultimately, the capacity is expected 
to be increased by acquisition of new 
gas reserves and addition of com- 
pressor stations for pumping the gas, 
to 518 million cubic feet daily — which 
will be more than equal to the total 
capacity of the present dual system 
from the Texas Panhandle and western 
Oklahoma. 

In laying the third pipeline, experi- 
ence of affiliated company engineers 
is playing an all-important part. The 
new line will follow a course of its 
own, over new terrain, crossing swamps, 
rivers, rock-studded hills and deep 
valleys. Foul weather and all the ob- 
stacles common to this work will be 
surmounted by the construction crews. 

21 




A rowboat is used to get around inside 
the water tank of a gas holder when an 
inspection is in order to make sure that 
everything is structurally right. 



Rowboafs to Airplanes.. 



gas to the more than 900,000 customers 
in Chicago: 

132,000 acres of leaseholds in the Texas 
Panhandle gas field. These holdings 
supply 50 per cent of the gas transmitted 
by Natural Gas Pipeline Company of 
America. 



\Vh.'\t facilities are required to pro- 
vide gas service? A vast network of 
mains beneath almost every Chicago 
street. Huge coke ovens and water gas 
manufacturing works. Hundreds of 
miles of natural gas pipeline stretching 
all the way to Texas and Oklahoma. 
These are among the first to come to 
mind. '* 

The following properties of the Com- 
pany and its affiliates are presently 
used in bringing natural gas to Chi- 
cago, in manufacturing gas here, in 
mixing the gases and distributing the 
blend of natural and manufactured 



230 producing natural gas wells 

2600 miles of field gathering lines and 
high pressure transmission mains 

2 gasoline extraction plants 

12 field and main line compressor stations 

15 production and distribution stations 

17 gas storage holders 

3700 miles of distribution gas mains 

18,681,000 feet of service pipe 

When the third natural gas pipeline 
from the Texas Gulf Coast region to 
the Chicago area is completed, certain 
of the above figures will, of course, be 
greatly increased. 

Such facilities are basic, but a sur- 
prising variety of additional equip- 



Left — Aerial view of the Company's huge 
Crawford Station — its principal gas 
manufacturing plant. 

Below — Partial view of the Division Street 
Station, one of fifteen production or 
distribution stations. 




It's All in a Day's Work 



ment is needed too — things that the 
public would scarcely associate with 
gas service. Even rowboats and air- 
planes play a part. 

Rowboats are used in — of all places 
— the interior of the "water-type" gas 
holder. When gas is displaced by air 
for internal inspection, a workman 
slides through a hatch into the inte- 
rior of the holder. Entering a small 
rowboat tied inside, he rows around 
the interior circumference of the holder 
examining the structure. 

Airplanes are used both for inspect- 
ing and photographing rights-of-way 
for new cross-country natural gas pipe- 
lines and for patrolling the pipelines to 
discover possible damage from erosion 
or evidence of leaks. 

A major project in itself is a soil con- 
servation program carried on by Nat- 
ural Gas Pipeline Company of Amer- 
ica, an affiliate of Peoples Gas, in co- 
operation with the U. S. Soil Conser- 
vation Service and farmers along the 
pipeline right-of-way, which extends 
across five states. Bulldozers, plows 




Airplanes are used over the natural gas 
pipelines — selecting right-of-way and 
patrolling completed lines. 



and seeders play a part in this job. 
Initiated twenty years ago, the pro- 
gram protects the pipeline from dam- 
age. Erosion caused by weather and 
poor farming practices has to be 
checked. Thus, working in the inter- 
ests of good gas service, the pipeline 
company in effect goes into "partner- 
ship" with the farmer in such work as 
contour plowing and planting "cover" 
crops — and both the farmer and gas 
service benefit. 



Vast sources of natural energy and tre- 
mendous man-made facilities are com- 
bined to make possible the miracle of 
modern gas service. That such service — 
available 24 hours a day, 365 days a 
year — is taken for granted by the people 
of Chicago, is gratifying to Peoples Gas 
because it indicates public confidence. 



The composite photograph below shows some of the facilities required to provide gas service to a 
metropolis the size of Chicago. The picture is by no means complete — and it should be remembered that 
many of the Company's properties are below ground. 




"It Must Be a Good 
Place to Work" 



One can well understand that we are 
pleased when a metropolitan newspa- 
per speaks of Peoples Gas as it did in 
the quotation reproduced on this page. 
Now, 1086 of its 4567 employes have 
been with the Company over 25 years. 

Length of service in many cases runs 
far beyond the quarter-century mark. 
Seventeen employes have more than 
45 years of service, while 233 have less 
than 45 but more than 35 years. 

There are 979 who have been with 
the Company more than fifteen years 
but less than 25. Those with ten years 
or more of service number 2419 — more 
than half of the total employed. 

The 1 086 employes with twenty-five 
years or more are members of the Peo- 
ples Gas Quarter Century Club, which 
meets annually to welcome new mem- 
bers to its ranks. 

Mutual respect between employe 
and employer constitutes the corner- 
stone upon which Peoples Gas has 
built its employe relations program. 
Some of the policies and practices in- 
cluded in the program are: 



In all, 976 employes out 
of 4,331 have been with the 
big Chicago utility 25 years 
or more. 

... It must be a good 
place to work. 



— The Chicago Daily News, November 26, 1 948 



■ As a matter of general policy promotions 
are made, whenever possible, from 
within the ranks. 

■ A retirement annuity program has been 
in effect since 1912 and a group life in- 
surance program since the early twen- 
ties. 

■ The Company pays the entire cost of 
the retirement annuity program. 

■ The Company pays 35 per cent of the 
cost of a broad hospitalization and 
surgical benefit plan for employes and 
their dependents. 

■ After fifteen years service, employes are 
given three weeks vacation with pay, 
four weeks with pay after 25 years. 

■ The doors are open to all employes at 
all levels. 

Peoples Gas has always recognized 
that the well-being, loyalty and effi- 
ciency of employes are indispensable 
in maintaining the high standards of 
service which the public has a right 
to expect. 



One of the gatherings ofter-hours in the Employes' 
Recreation Room in the Peoples Gas Building. 



Scene at a bosket picnic held by the Peoples Gas 
Club, of which all employes are members. 




14,700 People 
Own Peoples Gas 



More than 14,700 stockholders, liv- 
ing in all of the forty-eight states and 
in several foreign countries, are the 
owners of The Peoples Gas Light and 
Coke Company and the vast facilities 
with which it serves almost one million 
gas consumers in Chicago. 

Of them, 7139 live in Chicago. The 
total living in Illinois, including those 
in Chicago, is 9412. 

Almost all walks of life are repre- 
sented — the baker, the dentist, the 
financier, the physician, the school 
teacher, the housewife, to list only a 
few. 

Most of them own a relatively small 
number of shares, 6674 owning ten 
shares or less. Only 1994 own 100 
shares or more. 

Additional thousands besides stock- 
holders have indirect but real finan- 
cial interests in Peoples Gas, including 
shareholders in investment trusts own- 
ing Peoples Gas stock and holders of 
insurance policies in insurance com- 
panies owning bonds of Peoples Gas. 

The confidence of the investor is 
essential for Peoples Gas credit. 
Without credit — the ability to raise 
capital — Peoples Gas could neither 
satisfy its obligations to serve the pub- 
lic nor maintain good jobs for its em- 
ployes. 



OUR INVESTORS 



The Chicago Herald- 
American, April 6, 1950. 




Peoples Gas has more than 14,700 
stockholders located in all states of 
the Union and a number of foreign 
countries. 




The stockholders, both individual and 
institutional, are o cross section of 
American life. They include the doc- 
tor, the housewife, the laborer, the 
banker and the investment trust. 




Nine life insurance companies own 
the $55,500,000 principal amount of 
Peoples Gas bonds. 



25 




^"^iTit^le-f^ 



°fse ^ ^""^ 





. I was in the mid- 
dle of the street and 
your truck came to a 
dead stop to protect me 
from the traffic . . . 



board n""^ your . 
eluded ?"^^tors^^^*°^^ 



n-lad -to To® 

your o^-l^'felsol^^^^ 
ra^^^^ service can't 
and the ser 

be ^e^"^- 



Brickbats . . • 



The young man did 
I fine job . • -I 
jaked a sponge cake 
vith wonderful re- 
sults . . . 



Peoples Gas service man explaining oper- 
ation of new range in customer's home. 




Everybody worth his sah likes to do 
his job well. In business, this is par- 
ticularly true. The corner delicatessen 
and the large company are as one in 
that both must please as many of their 
customers as possiljle. 

What this amounts to is getting 
along with people by supplying them 
in a friendly way, at a fair price, with 
what they want, when they want it. 

We of Peoples Gas have some good 
things said about us — and we catch 
some complaints too. We take pride 
in the fact that the complaints repre- 
sent a very, very small minority of the 
expressions we receive from the public. 

We are deeply concerned because 
more than 78,000 families are on a 
"waiting list" for gas heat. Not only 
because it is clean, convenient and fully 
automatic but also because it is the 
cheapest way to heat in Chicago, so 
many families want it that we cannot 
meet the demand. This is the case 
even though the capacity of the pipe- 
line system between Chicago and the 
Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma has 
been doubled. Even with completion 
of the third pipeline between the Gulf 
Coast area of Texas and Chicago, con- 
struction of which is now under way, 
we may still be unable to supply all 
who want gas heat. 

The building of the third pipeline 
is not the end of our efforts to solve the 
supply problem. 

26 




•.-^:^^ 



ind Bouquets ^ 







From the Chicago Tribune 
of March 29, 1948. 



Two Other extraordinary efforts to 
solve the problem are now in progress: 

1 . Our engineers, working with geologists, 
are looking for empty gas and oil wells 
near the pipelines' terminals. Such wells 
could be sealed up as natural storage 
areas into which huge quantities of 
natural gas could be pumped during 
the low demand periods in summer to 
provide a reserve against peak demands 
in winter. 

2. A Peoples Gas research group also is 
experimenting with the idea of mining 
limestone in some suitable location, so 
that a huge artificial underground stor- 
age area would be created. Such an 
area would serve if no natural area be- 
comes available. On the scale which 
would be required, however, the mag- 
nitude of such an undertaking almost 
defies the imagination. For the pres- 
ent, such a project must be considered 
as entirely in the exploratory stage. 

Both the search for a huge natural 
storage area and the experiments with 
a vast artificial one are, however, evi- 
dence of the untiring efforts of our 
engineering and research men to sup- 
ply all Chicago with as much gas as it 
wants whenever it wants it. 

And, if neither of these two plans 
proves out, the public can rest assured 
that these men will be — in the true 
"gas house gang" tradition — working 
on still other ways to find the answer. 

27 



and this man put 
-^ -pnne work" 
^Y,e stove m fine w 
ing condition . • • 



t 



fo, 



^ncl 



osed 



} should r ^^d 7Qnl ^ 



than 



^I22i 



d b 



OJUfl] 



no 



79^ 



mo 



re 



is 



Yo 



ur 



Perfect 



servic, 



l\^~-ourteo.5'^*^- 



01 an 



gra 



Clo 



Us 



eou; 



and 



Questions about service are answered 
promptly and courteously when customers 
come in, write or phone. 





Our Home Service Has 15,000 



Few indeed are the housewives who 
have not passed some of their favorite 
recipes on to neighbors and friends. 
Our Home Service Department carries 
this tradition even further by giving 
out to Chicago homemakers on re- 
quest thousands and thousands of re- 
cipes each year. It has a basic file of 
15,000 recipes on which to draw, cov- 
ering practically all American dishes 
and many from foreign lands as well. 

A call to "Martha Holmes," (the 
business title of our Home Service Di- 
rector) WA bash 2-6000, makes avail- 
able to Chicago women almost any 
information on cookery they desire. 

Planning, preparing and serving 
nourishing meals is one of the most im- 
portant "musts" in the family's well- 
being. It is because Peoples Gas sup- 



plies the heat which cooks the meals 
of almost every Chicago family that it 
maintains its Home Service Depart- 
ment as an added public service. 

The department was founded back 
in 1922 and is one of the pioneers in 
the field. 

Tens of thousands of women have 
attended Peoples Gas cooking schools 
conducted by Martha Holmes and her 
staff of home economists. As many as 
4500 women have attended single ses- 
sions of large Peoples Gas cooking 
schools presented at neighborhood 
theaters. 

The welcome mat is always out dur- 
ing regular business hours for Mrs. 
Chicago at Peoples Gas Home Service 
Headquarters, 122 South Michigan 
Avenue. 



Portion of a typical audience at a Peoples Gas Home 
Service Cooking School held in a neighborhood theater. 





■5? 



^^^^^ 



THE SECOND 100 YEARS 

. . .Today's Plans for the Future 



Gas service has come a vast distance 
in its first hundred years in Chicago 
from a tiny lighting business to a great 
service reaching into practically all of 
Chicago's hundreds of thousands of 
homes, and into thousands of business 
houses and industries as well. 

This progress in the first century and 
the devotion to duty of past generations 
of gas workers, which made it possible, 
provide an inspiration as we begin the 
second hundred years. 

Truly, the era in which Peoples Gas 
will have its greatest opportunity for 
public service is just now beginning. 
More people are finding gas service an 
essential of modern life in more ways 
than ever before. 

On the occasion of the centennial of 
gas service in Chicago, we re-dedicate 



ourselves to the task — and the privilege 
— of serving the Chicago public. 

We will continue to devote our 
energies to the immediate task of in- 
creasing the supply here to the end 
that everybody can have all the gas 
service he wants whenever he wants it. 
We will continue to maintain and im- 
prove present high standards of service. 

It is said that "the first hundred 
years are the hardest." Whether this 
will prove to be true during the second 
century of gas ser\dce in Chicago 
would require prophetic vision beyond 
mortal power. During the first cen- 
tury gas service spectacularly devel- 
oped and served the public by uses 
undreamed of one hundred years ago. 
The same development could happen 
in the second century also. 



THE PEOPLES GAS LIGHT AND COKE COMPANY 

Downtown Office — 122 South Michigan Avenue WAbash 2-6000 

Neighborhood Offices 
846 WEST 63RD STREET 3315 NORTH MARSHFIELD AVENUE 

4829 SOUTH ASHLAND AVENUE 1520 NORTH MILWAUKEE AVENUE 

45 EAST PERSHING ROAD 1608 NORTH LARRABEE STREET 

11031 SOUTH MICHIGAN AVENUE 4839 WEST IRVING PARK ROAD 




In celebration of Chicago's Gas Cen- 
tennial the Company has presented to 
the people of Chicago a permanent ex- 
hibit that tells the STORY OF FLAME 
GAS. Designed and built in coopera- 
tion with the Museum of Science and 
Industry, it presents a complete story 
of gas production, transmission and 
utilization, which is interesting to visi- 
tors of all ages. 



Admission to the Museum is free, 
and it is open every day of the year 
except Christmas Day. Every facility 
is in the building including grill and 
lunch rooms. Chicago families will 
want to see and enjoy the Gas Exhibit 
and many other wonderful operating 
exhibits covering eight acres of floor 
space. 

The Story of Flame Gas begins with 



A general view of the exhibit showing the STORY OF FLAME GAS. In modern color, lighting and design, 
it tells the story of gas from its source to the thousands of uses in home and industry. 




its discovery and early history. Some 
of the individual features are equipped 
with push-button devices enabling the 
visitor to see many interesting subjects 
demonstrated in actual operation. 
The early scientists and engineers who 
developed and put gas fuel to work 
are pictured in a portion of the 
space. Every basic phase, from the 
natural gas sources deep in the heart 
of Texas to the delivery and use of the 
clean blue flame, is shown. Of distinct 
interest to both young and old is the 
scale model showing the complete sys- 
tem of supply — the natural gas pipeline, 
the different processes of gas produc- 
tion and the distribution system which 
criss-crosses Chicago beneath its streets. 
The Museurn of Science and Indus- 
try j oins with Peoples Gas in inviting all 
Chicago and visitors from far and near 
to see this newest exhibit at the Mu- 
seum, Lake Front at 57th Street. 



The exhibit took fourteen months to 
produce, from early planning to final in- 
stallation. The first six months required 
the skills and experience of designers, 
architects and artists. Consultation with 
engineers >vas continual and varied. 
Skilled artisans were called upon for 
general construction v/ork and the vari- 
ous operating features. Details >vere 
carefully developed so that the com- 
pleted whole would present a true pic- 
ture of the Story of Flame Gas. 




Prominently displayed is a large mahogany carv- 
ing of Prometheus, first "Keeper of the Flame." 
Mythological Prometheus is the symbol of fire as 
the oldest servant of man. According to legend, 
he supplied mankind with fire token from Mount 
Olympus. 




A center of attraction is the three-dimensional 
pictorama of Chicago's integrated system of gas 
supply. Schematic models in vari-colored plastics 
take the visitor from the gas fields of Texas, through 
the various gas production systems and the final 
transmission of gas to homes, shops and factories. 



PEOPLES GAS DESIGN 

The exhibit was designed and executed by 
Peoples Gas Display Department, which also 
directs the activities of the Home Planning 
Bureau. The photo shows the headquarters 
of this service in the Peoples Gas Building. 
Here, suggestions and advice on kitchen plan- 
ning are given to the public. 



31 





Museum Exhibit 
Features 



The newest type gas holder ("tank" to the layman) 
is exhibited in a cut-away model operated by the 
Museum visitor. In holders of this design, millions 
of cubic feet of gas are confined beneath a mov- 
ing plate similar to a piston. 



A push-button activates a steel-treating cycle. A 
gas burner, similar to thousands used in industry, 
heats a strip of metal to a cherry red. It moves 
into a water spray, which hardens it by quenching. 
It then moves through another burner where a heat 
application of shorter duration anneals it. 



A gas meter is put into operation. Here one may 
see how this simple but accurate measuring device 
operates. The outer case is made of transparent 
plastic so that the bellows and mechanism are seen 
measuring the gas as it flows through. 



A gas exhibit would be incomplete without a 
modern kitchen. Here, in odvanced styling and 
color, is a smart little kitchen with basic planning 
and equipment combined to provide cooking com- 
fort and convenience. 







Special Service Man John 
Williams checks the trays 
in a gas dryer before ad- 
justing the burner. 



Close watch on the dials is 
kept by John Moloney at 
the Division Street Station. 




Daniel Kilgallon uses a 
special jack to push a 
service pipe into position. 



Gas House Gang... 1950 

(See Inside Front Cover) 




Marion Nelson types a list- 
ing of customer sales or- 
ders of the preceding day. > ' 





William Trahey sits at one 
of the 54 telephone desks 
and handles customer or- 
ders with courtesy ond 
dispatch. 



Roger McKnight sets I- 
beam in purifier box at 
the big Crawford plant. 



The flying fingers 
of Alma Morgan 
add, divide and 
subtract figures for 
the Accounting De- 
partment. 





John King adjusts valves 
on a water gas machine. 
John is a gas maker. 



Keen eyes and steady 
wrists help Francis Kucera 
on the job as crane en- 
gineman. 






This flame design 



typifies the clearly efficient 



and highly controllable energy 



of the gas flame. 























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