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Full text of "The history of illuminating gas in Baltimore / by Edward Stoops Thompson."

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"■"' ' II I ■!!■- I ■—.— — P» 





The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance 
given to him by Mr. H.R. Cook, the General super intendant 
of the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Company 
of Baltimore, in collecting the major part of the data 
used herein. 

He also wishes to express his appreciation of 
the courtesy of the Baltimore Gas and Electric News in 
allowing him to use various cuts from the American Gas 
Centenary number of their publication. 





The collection of facts and figures on gas 
lighting during the past century brings forcibly to our 
attention the important part that the use of ga3 has 
played in the development of our modern life, 

Because of the exhaustion of certain of our 
natural resources we have lost many products which were 
derived from them. This is not the case with gas, which 
has been cheapened and made more available to the con- 
sumer because of the great advance in the art of manu- 
facturing and distributing the product. 

We often wonder, when retracing the steps of 
history, how the domestic life of any community could 
have been carried on without gas. It was a great epoch 
when "artificial light became economically available for 
general illumination, and man, able not only to light 
those places where light Is needed and when needed but 
maintained illuminated for general use the streets and 
ways of our cities," 

"This practical application of a great 
scientific discovery has really changed the face of our 
civilisation. It has, in our northern latitudes, 
increased the length of our working days, and thus made 


us more efficient from an economical point of view. It 
has taken from us the sense of peril which in former 
days hovered during the night time over the heads of 
city dwellers. The economic and social effects of the 
commercial possibility of artificial lighting are so 
great as to he almost incapable of estimation. We are 
so accustomed to artificial lighting that we do not 
appreciate what it has done for us, until we see with 
our own eyes what the conditions are in great communities 
where artificial lighting is unknown." 

This great industry* started in Baltimore one 
hundred and ten years ago* is now a gigantic national 
Institution which brightens the life and lightens the 
labors of nearly every home and every individual In the 
land . 

But* great and beneficient as are its past 
achievements the future may hold for gas still greater 
possibilities . 


The first man to make any practical applica- 
tion of manufactured gas as an illtunlnant was William 
Murdoch of Redruth in Cornwall, England. This statement 
Is true If you listen to the claims of the English but 
if you turn your ear to the French you will hear that 


Phillipe Lebon made the first discoveries and practical 
applications. Jean Pierre Minckelers has also a claim 
to priority of experiments . Alfred E, Porstall says* 
"Apparently 1T xnckelers and Lebon* while working with 
other objects in view* preceded Murdock in their experi- 
ments v. r ith and demonstrations of illumination by means of 
coal gas; but Murdock was the first to work with illumina- 
tion as the main object." 

The phenomena of burning gas had been noted long 
before this time* however* for in 1659* Thomas Shirley* 
an Englishman* had startled his community in Lancashire 
by burning a well of what was probably carbureted hydrogen 

About 1691, Dr. John Clayton* dean of JUldare, 
carried certain bladders filled with gas distilled from 
coal about with him and when in need of light he would 
puncture the bladder and apply a light to the escaping 
gas thereby obtaining a luminous flane as long as the gas 
supply lasted. 

In 1726 Stephen Hales, and in 1785 Jean Pierre 
Mnckelers, of the University of Louvain* conducted 
successful experiments with gas obtained by the distilla- 
tion of coal. Lord Dundonald* in 1787, lighted the hall 
of Culross Abbey by gas but no commercial application was 
made of it at this time. 




It may be seen then that a hundred years "before 
the time of Murdock or Lebon it was known that illuminat- 
ing gas could "be obtained by the destructive distillation 
of coal. Murdock and Lebon can then lay claim only to 
the fact that they made the use of gas as an illuninant 
a commercial possibility. 

Murdock made his first experiments in 1792 and 
succeeded in making illuminating gas by distilling wood 
and peat as well as coal. Later in 1798 at Birmingham 
he undertook to light the Soho Foundry, of Boulton and 
Watt, and in 1802 the whole front of the factory was 
brilliantly illuminated to celebrate the Peace of Amiens. 


Lebon, in 1799, took out a patent in Paris for 
what he described as "a new method of employing fuel 
with greater utility, either for heating or lighting ? and 
to obtain certain products therefrom." 'He gave an 
exhibition in 1802, which attracted a great deal of 
attention in Europe. He made an offer to supply the 
whole city of Paris with gas. About this tine a German* 
F.A. Winsor, made Lebon an offer for his secret process 
for Germany. Although the offer was declined Winsor 
soon discovered the process and in 1803 produced the new 
illuminant for an exhibition before the Duke of Brunswick, 
'nsor then went to London and in 1804 gave 


demonstrations in the Lyceum Theatre. A company was 
formed by him and in 1807 Pall Kail was lighted. This 
was the first successful street lighting undertaking in 
the world. He applied to Parliament in 1809 to incorporate 
this company as the National Heat and Light Company but 
due to the opposition of Murdoch: the charter was not 
granted. A charter* in a very much curtailed form was 
finally granted in 1813 and the company was known as the 
Chartered Gas Light and Coke Company* from which the 
present London G-as Light and Coke Company has grown. In 
1813 Westminster Bridge and later the streets of West- 
minster were gas lighted and in 1816 gas lighting was 
common in London although public opinion was greatly 
opposed to it. 

Ages of tradition had to be fought* supersti- 
tions and absurd prejudices had to be combat ted. Sir 
Humphrey Dayy was a bitter opponent. "You would have to 
fill St, Paul's dome*" he said* "to get as much gas as 
you need* and then it would explode." Sir Walter Scott 
said of it* "there is a madman in London who Is proposing 
to light the city with — what do you suppose? -- smoke." 
He also called it a "pestilential innovation." Hapoleon 
called the proposition to supply Paris with gas "Une 
Grande Folie." The pipes which supplied the House of 
Commons with gas had to be placed far away from the walls 
because It was thought by many that the flame came 


through the pipes and would burn the walls down. The 
members of Parliament* fearful of being burnt , would not 
touch the pipes with ungloved hands according to the 
reports prevalent at the time. Wm. Shakespeare alone of 
the writers seemed pleased with the new light. He wrote 
"This is an art that does mend nature." 


K. A. VVi^snii 


"The first gas made in Philadelphia, or in the 
United States* was manufactured by M. i&broise and Company, 
Italian fireworkers and artists, and was exhibited In 
burning lights of fanciful figures, at their ampi theatre* 
Philadelphia, in August, 1796," according to V/atson in 


his "Annals of Philadelphia." 

In 1606 David Melville of Newport? R.I.* 
lighted his house and the street in front of it with gas 
of his own manufacture." This preceded Winsor's lighting 
of Pall Hall in London but the street lighting was for 
such a short distance that it cannot be called the first 
street lighting venture in the world. Four years before* 
however j England had seen LTurdock's public exhibition at 
the Soho factory. Melville made many improvements on his 
apparatus and on March 18* 1813 ho patented his process. 

He lighted a cotton mill at '.Vatertown, Massachusetts, and 

a mill near Providences R.I. and also in 1817 he used gas 

for light house illuminating. 

On Dec. 28* 1815 gas lighting was first proposed 
for Philadelphia by Mr. James Meltartie but the only action 
that could be obtained was a protest against the introduc- 
tion and even as late as 1833 the people of this otherwise 
progressive city petitioned* "The Honorable, the Select 
and Common Councils of the City of Philadelphia," stating 
that gas was "a most inexpedient, offensive and dangerous 
mode of lighting; explosions, loss of life and great 
destruction of property have attended thi3 mode of light- 
ing." They considered gas "as ignitible as gunpowder, 
and nearly as fatal in its effects, the leakage of pipes 
and carelessness of stopping off the gas, furnish almost 
daily instances of its destructive effects, and when we 


consider that this powerful and destructive agent must 
necessarily often be left to the care of youth* domestics 
and careless people , we only wonder why the consequences 
have not been more appalling." "it is also an uncertain 
light* sometimes suddenly disappearing and leaving the 
streets and houses in total darkness," Three years later* 
however the people of Philadelphia accepted the gas with- 
out fear of its great danger. 


On June 17, 1816 the first gas company in the 

United States was founded at Baltimore, and other cities 

followed in the order named. 

Boston, Mass. 1823 

New York, N.Y. 1825 

Louisville, Ky. 1832 

New Orleans , La . 1833 

Philadelphia, Pa. 1836 

Pittsburgh, Pa. 1836 

Cincinnati, Ohio. 1840 

St. Louis, Mo. 1846 

Palls River, Mass. 1847 

Newark, N.J. 1847 

New Haven, Conn. 1848 

Paterson, N.J. 1848 

Providence, R.I. 1848 

Rochester, N.Y. 1848 

Washington, D.C. 1848 

Buffalo, N.Y. 1848 

Although the American people seem slow to accept an 

untried invention once its worth is proved they are 

quick to develop it. After its slow beginning the gas 

industry advanced by leaps and bounds until now it has an 


approximate capitalization of ^1,100,000,000 with an 
output of 190,000,000,000 cu. ft. annually to 32,000,000 
customers from 1,350 plants. The above figures are from 
Brov/n's Directory of American Gas Companies. 


It was in Baltimore on June 13, 1816, at Peale's 
Museum, on Holliday Street, just north of Lexington* that 
the people flocked in to marvel at an advertised display 
of gas lighting. The gas that was used in the exhibition 
was made in a building in Watchhouse Alley, in the rear 
of the museum, and was of the coal gas variety. 

Four days later, June 17, 1816 the first gas 
company in the United States was founded by the passage 
of an ordinance permitting Rembrandt Peale, owner of the 
museum and an artist of renown, William Lorman, a merchant, 
president of the bank of Baltimore, and the first presi- 
dent of the gas light company of Baltimore, Col. James 
I.Iosher, Commissioner to lay out the streets, and presi- 
dent of the I'echanics Bank, Robert Gary Long, an 
architect who designed the University of Varyland Build- 
ing, Peale's r/useum, Holliday St. Theatre, and many other 
large buildings in Baltimore, and William Gwynn, a Tax 
Commissioner, and editor of the Federal Gazette and 
Daily Advertiser, to form a company to manufacture gas, 


lay pipes in the streets and to contract with the city 
for street lighting. A fac-simile of this ordinance 
appears at the end of this article. 

On Feb. 5, 1817 $ the Gas Light Company of 
Baltinore was incorporated. The charter of this* the 
first company in the United States appears at the end 
of this article. The people of Europe and the 
Fhiladelphians were not alone in their skepticism about 
the innovation of lighting by other means than candles 
or wicks* as may be seen from this extract from the 
"American and Commercial Advertiser* " of Baltimore* 
December 30th, 1815: 

"Gas Lights." 

"We learn by the late English papers that 
Co vent Gardens Theater and a number of 
the streets of London are illuminated by gas 
light. They are represented as being in- 
finitely more brilliant, more illusions, and 
vastly more economical than the common 
lamp light by oil. One gas burner is equal 
to twenty common street lamps, and the sav- 
ing of expense in ail cases is very consider- 
able. A shop may be lighted by gas for only 
2d. per night. The largest room and even a 
whole street proportionately cheaper. 

"We have been induced to notice this im- 
provement by the curious circumstance that 
it was first offered by the inventor to the peo- 
ple of Baltimore about eight or ten years 
ago (t8oj or 1807), but the people of Balti- 
more then laughed at the idea. Now that it 
has been carried into effect in London, no 
doubt our citizens will look upon it 'in an- 
other light.' 

"An American inventor, it would appear, 
can have little credit in America until he re- 
ceives the sanction of the people of London, 
and then he has a chance of becoming fash- 
ionable on this side of the Atlantic." 

If the facts presented in this article are to 
be accepted without any doubt it would seem that 


Baltlmore missed being the pioneer in this new field 
merely because the people accepted the scheme with 
mirth instead of seriousness. A different opinion* 
however* is held by a gentlemen* who signs himself 
"Bob ShorVin writing to the Baltimore American* Jan. 2* 
1816, as follows: 

"Extract from the American and Commercial 
Daily Advertiser: 

Baltimore* Jan. 2*1816. 

Messrs. "Editors: - In your paper of Saturday 
there was a communication relative to the warming 
and lighting of houses by the means of gas. 

I much admire the spirit which dictated the 
communication* it was of the most liberal cast 
and had for its object the encouragement of 
genius and the improvement of our happy country . 

But* gentlemen* these objects* important as 
they are, are obtained too dearly, when purchased 
at the expense of truth. The introduction of gas 
for the purpose of light and heat is by no means 
an American invention. 

In Europe it has long since been known and 
used* particularly in Prance. A French gentle- 
man* a respectable inhabitant of this place* 
informed me that he saw a hotel in Rouen in 


Normandy warmed and lighted in the maimer alluded 
to more than twenty-five years ago* and that he 
could refer to many others who were as well 
acquainted with the circumstances as himself. 

Be so good* gentlemen* as to make this fact 
known* not for the purpose of checking genius* 
which I admire* but to give to merit its fair and 
proportionate reward. In our eagerness to encourage 
invention* let us not aporopriate to ourselves the 
applause which justly belongs to the tenants of the 
tomb. The fact is* gentlemen* we have been much 
imposed upon. 

(Signed) BOB SHORT" 
The advertisement published by Peale for his 
first display appeared in the "American and Commercial 
Daily Advertiser" of June 15* 1816* and is as follows: 

Extract from the American and Commer- 
cial Daily Advertiser, Baltimore. 
June 13, 1816. 
Without Oil, Tallow, Wick or Smoke. 
It is not necessary to invite attention to the 
gas lights by which my saloon of paintings 
is now illuminated; those who have seen the 
ring beset with gems of light are sufficiently 
disposed to spread their reputation ; the pur- 
pose of this notice is merely to say that the 
Museum will be illuminated every evening 
until the public curiosity shall be gratified. 
Rembrandt Peale. 

■ An advertisement which appeared in the 
"Federal Gazette and Baltimore Advertiser" of Wed. 
June 19* 1818 appears at the end of this article. 

The Mayor and City Council* and others in 


authority, apparently looked upon the display and its 
possibilities with favor as may be seen from the 
following editorial: 

Extract from Federal Gazette of Friday, 
June 14, 18 16, 

A communication published in the Ameri- 
can this morning notices very properly the 
exertion of the Baltimoreans to encourage 
public improvements of every useful descrip- 
tion. Instances of this liberal and praise- 
worthy spirit are now familiar in our city, 
and our constituted authorities, the Mayor 
and City Council, have evinced by their 
conduct that to the utmost extent of the means 
within their control, they are disposed to pro- 
mote and encourage whatever may tend to 
the welfare of the citizens. 

A new instance of this liberal disposition 
in the Mayor and City Council, we are grati- 
fied in having an opportunity of communi- 
cating to the public. A proposition has re- 
cently been submitted to the Mayor, by Mr. 
Rembrandt Peale, proprietor of the Baltimore 
Museum, to light the streets of this city by 
means of carburetted hydrogen gas; the very- 
brilliant and pleasing light produced by that 
means, the citizens have had an opportunity 
of witnessing for several nights past in the 
saloon of paintings at the museum. 

The proposition of Mr. Peale was sub- 
mitted to the City Council yesterday after- 
noon at an extra meeting called by the 
Mayor; and a committee of three members 
from each branch was appointed to examine 
the apparatus erected by Mr. Peale for man- 
ufacturing the gas, and to make the necessary 
inquiries as to the manner in which it was 
contemplated to light the streets of the city. 

We learn w r ith pleasure the committee was 
so fully satisfied, after a particular investi- 
gation, that they will unite in recommending 
to the City Council to authorise the lighting 
of the city in the mode proposed. Baltimore 
will therefore most probably be the first city 
in the United States that will enjoy the ad- 
vantage of this valuable discovery, which 
may be truly called high} of Science. 

On Monday, June 17, 1816, the ordinance 
which appears at the end of this article was passed with 
the following comment from the local newspaper: 


Extract from Federal Gazette, Tuesday, 
June iS, iS i 6. 

The City Council held a special session 
yesterday afternoon, during which they 
passed an ordinance authorizing the Mayor 
to contract for lighting the city by means of 
carburetted hydrogen gas, and an ordinance 
empowering "The Gas Light Company of 
Baltimore" to lay pipes along the streets, 
squares, lanes and alleys of the city for that 
purpose was also passed by both branches of 
the City Council.* 

* Taken from files of Maryland Historical Society, 

Peale's T.'useum was crowded every night during 
the time of the exhibition from April 23rd to July 22nd» 
1816. Scharf'a History of Baltimore City and County 
refers to this early period with the following rap. arks: 

"To the City of Baltimore belongs the honor 
of first adopting gas for street and general use? and the 
Baltimore Company was the first anywhere organized for 
its manufacture. 

"The first gas lamp erected and lighted on 
the streets of Baltimore was on the corner of Market and 
Lemon streets (Baltimore and Holliday Streets); this 
lamp was lighted for the first tlne» February It 1817. 

"The first public building lighted by gas was 
the old 'Hud' or Belvidere Theatre at the Northwest 
corner of North and Saratoga Streets." 

Baltimore in 1816 was not very large and was 
growing only slowly. The map of Baltimore in 1801 by 
Warner and Hanna* at the end of this article* shows its 
approximate size. Even in 1836 gas was still a great 


luxury and only two miles of mains had been laid. 

The first complete gas works erected in 
Baltimore was the so-called "Davis Street Works" at 
Saratoga and North Streets, now Guilford Avenue, and was 
engineered by Mr. David Pugh. This building is now used 
as a warehouse for the H.W. Johns Maftville Co. 

The holders used for storing gas were located 
inside of bhe building. The tanks containing the holders 
were built of wooden staves held together with heavy iron 
bands. The gas was also stored in small holders of 
about 30,000 cubic feet capacity at Liberty Street near 
Fayette (now Payette and Park Avenue), the present site 
of the Knabe Piano Buildingj#at Concord and Pratt Streets, 
the site of the Coca-Cola Building. Later gas was stored 
in a more modern iron frame and brick tank holder, of 
85,000 cubic feet capacity, at Davis and Franklin Streets 
in the rear of the Calvert Station of the Northern Central 

The old works on Saratoga and Worth Streets 
were abandoned as soon as a new plant was built, in 
1847, on North Kalliday Street near Saratoga Street. 
This plant, of 275,000 cubic feet capacity, was used 


Map of Baltimore (n lfof 


until 1861 and the buildings are still standing and are 
pictured here. The tank holder was torn down in 1885 bjftf 
the remainder of the structures are used by the Independ- 
ent Ice Co. 

In 1855 a new plant was started at Spring 
Gardens, the site of. the present complete works* under 
the direction of Mr. James M. Saunders* chief engineer. 

The status of the company at this time is 
shown by the second edition of the American Gas Light 
Journal of Aug. 1, 1859. 

The capital of the company was $550, 000 , each 
share $100. The population of the gas district was 
180,000 and the private consumers numbered 8,200 showing 
that gas was becoming less of a luxury as the price 
dropped lower, being at this time $2.50 per 1000 cubic 
feet. There were 65 miles of mains at this time and 

1800 public 

lamps were supplied. 

Baltimore was now 

sixth in the 

number of consumers. 

The president of the 

company was 

Gen. Columbus O'Donnell who served from 1832 

to 1871 and 

tills period reflects* 

through the steady 


of the industry, his 

splendid work as the 

executive . 


. appreciation of his 

services to the company 

the tablet shown here was placed on the old stone retort 

house at the 

Spri ng Sa rden s '•". o rks 

by the Operatives of 


the Plant . 




President Gas Light Company of Baltimore 


The best idea of how the plants were conducted 
r-bout this time can he gained from one who witnessed, 
the development from 1836 to 1880. This is written by 
. J. A. Adams, an employee, in 1880: 

M A brief sketch of my experience and knowledge 
of the Baltimore Gas ..'orks in 1836, a period of 44 years. 

illism Mitchell n^-\ myself are the only 
persons Jbiving at this time, February 26, I860* that 
were strictly connected with the manufacturing depart- 
at of the works . -::- -:;- # 

"in 1836, I became an apprentice to the 
Baltimore Gas Company to learn the brass finishing, as 
they kept a shop for the manufacture of meters; gas 
pipe* which was made of copper, also chandeliers, 
brackets, fittings and so forth; everything which was 
used in the distribution of gas was made by them at 
their shops, as there was no manufactory for these 


articles in this country at this time, I served 
an apprenticeship of eight years. Their shop was 
situated on an alley in the rear of 53 Tforth Street* 
formerly used as E.S, Tarr's cabinet maker shop. The 
shop is still standing and is used by the Maryland 
Meter '.orks. * -"- -"- 

"The price of gas at that time was four 
dollars per thousand feet. The main pipe extended up 
North Street to Baltimore, to Eutaw, along Saratoga 
from North Street east to Gay and Harrison Streets j on 
Gay Street from Harrison Street to Marsh ; arketj along 
South Street to Pratt; up Pratt to Eutaw; on Baltimore 
Street west of Market Space to Eutaw; but did not 
cross Jones' Falls at any point at that time. The 
mains were iron pipes. The service and all pipes in 
the stores were copper. 

"There were, I believe, no dwelling houses 
that burned gas; it was used only in stores , public 
places and churches -- and in very few churches. The 
burners were reckoned IS, 14 and 18 dollar burners of 
the Argand style, and fan burners. There was no other 
kind of burners in use. The bat -wing had not been in- 
vented. The burners were known by this name because 
the consumers were charged for the amo-poit of gas used 
by the hour. If a consumer wanted to pay $12 quarter 
for gas light he was supplied with a $12 burner* and if 


he chose to pay $14 or $18 he was supplied with a 
burner correspondingly. Afterwards, as the water meter 
had been brought to perfection by Samuel Cro3sley of 
London, and the meter was considered a .correct measure 
of gas, the Gas Company of Baltimore imported the 
meters which they introduced in this city and did away 
with charging by the number of burners per hour, and 
they supplied their customers frorr that time f orward 
with gas by meter only, arid they are now used all over 
the civilized world where gas is sold. 

"The Company received applications for gas by 
contract, and Mr* Canfield, on the corner of Baltimore 
Street and Light Street, was the first applicant under 
the new system. 

"The increase of the Company's business caused 
John Rodger s, machinist in North High Street, to engage 
in the manufacture of gas meters, and employed John 
Slaney, Sr., who came over from London at his (Rodgers 1 ) 
request and made all the meters which the Company 
needed (ordinarily) for some time, "'.'hen the Baltimore 
Gas Company saw best to have the meters made at their 
own works, they secured the services of J.M. Slaney, and 
Mr. ~rs then gave up that part of his business. 

"At the early stage of the Baltimore Gas Works 
the retort-houses, purifying-house and all other 
necessary branches were on the premises, at the corner 


of Saratoga and North Streets* running back to Davis 
Street* which is now used as a malt house. The gas 
was made principally from coal and — when in an 
emergency -- wood; also rosin was use! to make a 
sufficient quantity. The consumption daily was from 
60*000 to 80,000 cubic feet* which very rarely exceeded 
80,000, sometimes 60,000. Eighty thousand cubic feet 
per night was an extraordinary consumption which caused 
the use of wood being used pretty freely — rosin also. 
They had at that tine in their retort -houses — six 
retorts in the one on Saratoga Street and eight in the 
other house -- one large "D" retort in a banch and two 
gasometers in the house on North Street of the capacity 
of 30,000 cubic feet each. There was also one on North 
Liberty Street, near Payette Street, of the same 
dimensions, and as the consumption increased they 
enlarged and improved their works. And the consumption 
of gas was introduced into New York and all the large 
cities of the Union. 

"After my apprenticeship with the Company* 
through ill-health I had to lay by for a time, and 
afterwards resumed work for them, and remained with 
the Company until 1875, and now my health has failed me 
and approaching years brings me very near dissolution 
unless an Infinite Providence Interposes, and I thought 
proper to transmit these facts to my Nephew, Thoi 


Nicholson, for a memorandum for him. 

(Signed) J. A. A 
February 26th, 1880. 

"(The writer was told by Mr. J.Q. Adams* son 
of Mr, J. A. Adams, that his father lived 25 years after 
he wrote these facts.)" 

Referring to Adams ' statements concerning gas 
meters it is well to state here that the first gas 
meter made in the United States was made in Baltimore 
by Samuel Hill. 

Gas Light--ings, a column in the Gas Journal 
for Jan. 2, 1860 says of the Baltimore Gas Light 

"Mr. Saunders sent us a prompt and full 
report of this, the oldest incorporated company in the 
United States , and one of the best therein. The stock 
is unsalable because it is unbuyable, it rarely changes 
hands, being sought eagerly for investment. The works 
are in fine order, and have been lately improved by a 
complete and extensive laboratory ." 


In 1871 a competitive company, the "People's 
Gaa >any started to deliver gas from a coal gas 
plant, of about 1,000,000 cubic feet per day capacity, 


at the foot of Scott Street. The engineer was I r, 
Charles P. )ietei?ic . 

By an a snt between these two companies 
Eutaw Street became the dividing line for their 
operations. The People's '" ay supplied the territory 
west of Eutaw Street through about 59 miles of mains 
while the Gas Light Company of Baltimore supplied the 
territory east of Eutaw Street through about 114 miles 
of mains. 

m"; ".vat"" 1 ; r T -.r - i-.ioct^ 

For the first half century that illuminating 
gas was in commercial use the men who were spending 
their time and energy for its development were con- 
cerned only with coal gas. 

In 1862 Professor Thaddeus S.c. Lowe, an 
American of Norristown, Pa., introduced an entirely 
new gas which was known as water gas. This gas is pro- 
duced by injecting steam into a generator where carbon* 
in the form of coke or coal, is being heated up to in- 
candescence. The product of this generator, a blue 
water gas without illuminatin ir, is then passed 
into the carburetor where it is mixed with vaporised 
oil to give it illuminating value and additional heat 
value. These two mechanically mixed gases then go into 


the superheater where they are permanently fixed or 
welded together "by heat and emerge as carbureted water 
gas. Professor Lowe was granted a patent In 1873 and 
the first plant was installed at Fhoenixvill .e, Pa.f in 

Tessie Ou Motay, a Frenchman* also perfected a 
similar form of water gas apparatus in America about 
this time but the process is known the world over as 

■owe process and is now more extensively used than 
• other* in the manufacture of ga.<-3 . 

Professor Lowe's first use of this gas was for 
a ballon which he used to make observations for the 
Union forces* during the Civil War* at Yorktown and 
Fair Oaks* Va., in 1862. The gas was generated on the 

The new ?/ater gas was first introduced into the 
eity of Baltimore by a new company* the Consumers' 

utual Cas Light Company of Baltimore, in 1877. 
Baltimore having the reputation of being a city of 
first things* took up the new system on a larger scale 

an any other city up to that time. An examination of 
the plant* which was situated at Lancaster Street* and 
Harris Creek, Canton* by Henry wurtz of Hoboken, N.J., 
an eminent chemist, proved it to be working excellently. 
i only recommendation to Mr. Francis H. Hambleton, the 
engineer* was that the consumers' burners, which were 


giving trouble* be changed from a non- conducting 
material to brass. He says in his report? "I have no 
hesitation in pronouncing this to be the cleanest gas 
that has come within my observation* this observation 
having been very extensive." 

Mr. William >.:. Cash was the superintendent of 
this company and it was through his knowledge of the 
process gained by his association with Proffessor Lowe* 
the inventor* that the plant was such a great success. 
At first* the capacity was 1*000*000 cubic feet per day* 
but four years later this was doubled. The company did 
not confine their 51 miles of mains to any particular 
section of the city. 

About ten days before Feb. 7* 1904* when the 
jat Baltimore fire broke out* the plant was closed 
down preparatory to dismantling. 1' "-vices 

of course were badly damaged and broken so the old plant 
was started up again to save the city from darkness. 
George Beadenkopf* the engineer* was chiefly responsible 
that the catastrophe of having the city do without gas 
was averted. 


Professor Lows 

William m\ Cosh 


Although the three companies that were now in 
existence could take care of the demand for gas the 
field was very lucrative and attracted new organiza- 
tions . 

The Equitable Gas Light Company was the next 
to enter the field, in 1882, by erecting a 1,000,000 
cubic feet capacity plant at Severn and Bayard Streets 
to produce gas from wood. Later the plant used coal 
for the distillation process. They had about 62 miles 
of mains, principally 3 inch, not confined to any 
particular section of the city. 

In 1885, the Chesapeake Gas Company was formed. 


They soon combined with the Equitable Co. and subse- 
quently shut down the plant of the latter. The 
Jerzmanowski process was used at first but the plant 
was finally remodeled to produce water gas by the 
Wilkinson process. The company had a good system of 
"as of about 98 miles and covered the best sections 
of the city. The plant was closed down in 1904 but the 
present Bayard Street Holder and Distribution Station 
occupies part of the property at this tiro. 

The Suburban Gas Company* of Highland town* 
operated rather indifferently for only a few years after 
its formation in 1903. The plant was of 100,000 cubic 
feet per day capacity and supplied gas through only 
5-1/2 miles. of mains. 

The mains of this company as well as the other 
systems mentioned have been worked into the present 
system of the Consolidated Company which covers 110 
square miles of distribution area with about 750 miles 
of mains, the largest of which is 48 inches. 


The Consolidated Gas, Electric Light and 
Power Company of Baltimore, which was formed by a 
consolidation of all of the six above mentioned old 
companies in 1906, is now being very successfully 

Peoples Gas Company of Baltimore 
Incorporated - March 9, 1860 

The Chesapeake Gas Company of 
Baltimore City 

Incorporated - March 21, 1885 

The Gas Light Co. of Baltimore 
Incorporated Feb. 5, 1817 

Consolidated Gas Company of" 
Baltimore City 
Incorporated - July 1, 1880 

The Consolidated Gas Company 
of Baltimore City 

Incorporated - May 5, 1888 

The Baltimore Suburban Gas Works 
Franchise issued July 15, 1903 

The Consumers Mutual 
Gas Light Co. of 
Baltimore City 
Inc. - way 6, 1876 

Eauitable Gas Light Co 
-of Baltimore City 

Incorporated - Mar. 6,1867 


Several Electric Cos. 
were also taken in at 
this time. 

Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power 
Company of Baltimore. 
Incorporated - June 20, 1906 


operated. All of the gas manufacturing is now concen- 
trated at the one works at Spring Gardens* where a 
complete plant with improved Lovie Water Gas Apparatus 
was installed in 1902-1903. The capacity is about 
20,000,000 cubic feet per day and even at the distant 
points of distribution* some seven or eight miles array, 
a very even pressure is constantly maintained. 

The company now occupies about 58 acres and is 
situated so that it may be expanded enough to increase 
the capacity to at least five times its present output. 
The company had a surplus, on Dec. 31, 1924 of 

The gas that is distributed to the consumers 
comes originally from the plant of the Bethlehem Steel 
Co. at Sparrows Point, through a pipe 12-l/2 miles long, 
to the plant at Spring G-ardens . Here this coke oven gas 
is purified, enriched, and mixed with water gas before 
being distributed. 


The record of this company is that for its 110 
years service it has never failed in supplying the people 
of Baltimore with gas. This is truly a record to be 
proud of. If the company could pass through such a dis- 
tressing catastrophe a3 the great Baltimore fire without 


rnarring this record the consumers should certainly have 
no fear of any Interruption in their gas supply in the 
future . 



1. Views of the old gas works 

2. An old print of Baltimore 
3 . Peale' s I.'useir . 

4. Extract from Federal Gazette of the 1816 

5. Original Charter of the Gas Light Company of 
Baltimore . 

6. Statement of Stocks and Effects arid their Invest- 
ments* June 1, 1823 . 

7. Vortical Section of Coal Gas Plant, 1815. 

8. Chronology of the Early Development of Gas 
Light i 

9. Varying Costs . 
10. Bibliography. 



Saratoga and North Streets, now 
Cruilford Avenue. 

Krcnt View 

Side View 


Nortn Hollia&y Street, near Saratoga 

ri>« |IJi I li i 

□ |Q | □ | □ | □ 1=| [=1 k 1=3 

Front View of Retort House 

Side View cf Retort Houte 



Hoi ii day Street from Saratoga 




Old Purifying House 


G-eneral View of % or Jib 



Bear of Betort House 

Old Engine Boom 


Fmm Satbtt 

Central Section of Baltimore City is 1369 
Showing, A— Dads Street H aider; B— Holiday Street HoLJer 

Vf $f Baltimtr* 



On June 17, 1916 a Tablet was placed on 
Peale's Museum. The inscription on it is as follows: 

Peale' s 
Baltimore Museum 
A Pioneer Art* Historical, and Scientific Museum 
Erected 1818 by Rembrandt Peale 
Gas Lighting Demonstrated June 18* 1816 
Occupied as City Mall, 1830-1875 
Rembrandt Peale 
Distinguished Maryland Artist* Naturalist, and Technologist 
Founded the First Gas Company in America June 17, 1816 
This Tablet Commemorates 
1816 American Gas Centenary 1916 
Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power 
Company of Baltimore 


K l!M uKAN l.i I 1*1 A I I 



****** /w w 


From an old print in the collection of the Pcabod)' Institute 

Peal© ' ^ Museum 

as it appears to-day 


From the Federal Gazette and Baltimore Advertiser 
Wednesday, June 1°, 1816 

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• '. W, artnch oriht CQeuJuSl 
i-i'.i, I9rh Ji;tif„ t :i'". 

i""ir to 


Win i'ah.f ji*<:.f Manufacturing 

i Untl) i ir --ir, ■ Mfj ; 

COTTON r.'/.'.V. 

. r every p,. M31 

bef ffijat 

■ . 

, thtii, *nd 



Frtttl thr filei t/tfit Ftdtral Gaxttti in ptrfessian tftht Maryland H{tt*rkal Seiiftj 

F4f-Simiic of act vtrtisi! merit oi the i.3i6 ordinancr; gra tiling a franchise to the Gas Light Company 

o( BalTtmore and. of Rcmbratidt Pcale T s advertisement o( the display 

of ft* lighting at his Museum. 


Original Charter of the Gas Light Company, of Baltimore 

The first gas company in the United States 

This pioneer Charter devolved upon the Consolidated Gas Electric 
Light and Power Company of Baltimore 


Chapter CCLI 

An Act to Incorporate the Gas Light Company of Baltimore 
Lib. TH. No. Si Fol. 41 j 

I. Be IT enacted, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That 
Rem brand t Peale, William Lorman, James Moshcr, Robert Cary Long, 
and William Gwynn, and all such persona as shall associate with them 
by becoming stockholders in the manner hereinafter provided, their suc- 
cessors and assigns, shall be and they are hereby made and constituted 
a body politic and corporate, by the name, style and title, of The Gas 
Light Company, of Baltimore, and by that same name, style and 
title, shall have continual succession, and shall be able and capable in 
law to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, to answer and be 
answered, in any court of law or equity, and to make, have and use, a 
common seal, and the same at pleasure to alter or renew; and generally 
to do and perform all such acts, and make all such contracts and agree- 
ments, and purchase, lease, hold, use and possess, such lands, tene- 
ments, hereditaments, goods and chattels, as may be necessary for carry- 
ing on the manufacture of, or for procuring or collecting Gas or inflam- 
mable air, and preserving, using, and distributing the same, as a mean 
of giving light, or for any other useful purpose, or for lighting with Gas 
the streets, squares, lanes and alleys, and the houses, and other build- 
ings and places in the city and precincts of Baltimore, or elsewhere, 
within this state; or for carrying on any manufacture necessary for con- 
verting to useful purposes the products of any substances which may be 
employed in making or procuring Gas, and for disposing of the same; 
Provided always, that the said company shall not, at any one time, 
hold or possess real and personal estate together above the value of 
one million of dollars, without the consent of the legislature being first 

a. And be it enacted, That the capital stock of the said com- 
pany shall be divided into shares of one hundred dollars each, and until 
the sum of one hundred thousand dollars shall he expended or invested 
as capital, as is hereinafter described and defined, the number of shares 
shall amount and be limited to eleven hundred; of which number one 
hundred shares shall be set apart to be assigned to the above named 
Rembrandt Peale, over and above his proportion as a member of the 
company, as a compensation in full for transferring to the Gas Light 
Company of Baltimore, so far as respects the city and precincts of 
Baltimore, the patent right assigned to him by Doctor Benjamin Kug- 
ler, of Philadelphia, to use his improvements in the mode of manufac- 
turing, collecting and using, carburetted hydrogen Gas, and also for 

Chapter 23 r 

Passed February j, 



Capital Stock. 

Affair j to be managed 
by j£*l*# directors. 

Election oj directors. 

the right to use in the said city and precincts, all improvements in the 
mode of collecting, manufacturing, and using Gas, which have heen 
or shall he invented or discovered and published, or patented, by the 
said Rembrandt Peale, upon which one hundred shares no payment 
shall be required; and the remaining one thousand shares shall be and 
they are hereby equally divided and apportioned to and among, and 
vested in the said Rembrandt Peale, William Lorman, James Moslier, 
Robert Cary Long, and William Gwynn, two hundred shares to each 
of them in his own distinct and separate right, the amount thereof, or 
such part of the amount of the proportion of each, as shall not have 
been advanced or paid to the use of the company before the passage 
of this act, to be paid by them respectively to the treasurer of the com- 
pany, at such times, and in such instalments, as a majority of the board 
of directors hereinafter mentioned shall require; and all dividends of 
profits, when made, shall be apportioned equally on the said eleven 
hundred shares, and paid to the respective owners thereof, until the num- 
ber of shares shall be increased in the manner authorised by this charter. 

5. And be it enacted, That the affairs and business of the Gas 
Light Company of Baltimore aforesaid, shall tie conducted and man- 
aged by a board of five directors, and by such officers and agents as 
they, or a majority of them shall appoint; and the said Rembrandt Peale, 
William Lorman, James Mosher, Robert Cary Long, and William 
Gwynn, are hereby appointed and constituted directors of the said com- 
pany, and authorised to act as such, until, by transfers of the stock, or 
additional subscriptions pursuant to this charter, the number of stock- 
holders shall be increased to ten, or upwards, and until the first Tues- 
day in June thereafter, and the election of a board of directors by the 

4, And be it enacted, That on the first Tuesday in June next, 
after the number of stockholders in the Gas Light Company of Balti- 
more aforesaid shall amount to ten or upwards, and on the first Tues- 
day in June annually thereafter, the said stockholders, or so many of 
them as shall attend in person or by proxy, at the place which shall have 
been appointed by the board of directors for the purpose, shall elect, 
by ballot, from among the stockholders, five directors, to serve for one 
year and until the next election; the ballots shall be received and counted 
by such two or more judges of the election as shall have been appointed 
by the board of directors; each stockholder shall be entitled to vote in 
person or by proxy, one vote for every share of stock he shall hold at 
the time of the election ; and the five stockholders who shall receive the 
greatest number of votes shall be declared duly elected directors; notice 
of the time and place of holding each election shall be given to the 
stockholders in such manner as the by-laws of the company shall pro- 
vide; and if from any cause an election of directors shall not take place 
on the day so appointed, an election may be held on such subsequent 
day, within thirty days, as the directors then in office shall appoint and 
notify as aforesaid, or at such time as the by-laws of the company shall 




5. And be it enacted, That the directors hereby appointed, and 
those which shall be elected as aforesaid from time to time, or a majority 
of them, shall have power, and they are hereby authorised to appoint, 
at their pleasure, from among the stockholders, a president of the com- 
pany, who shall possess such powers, perform such duties, and be en- 
titled to such compensation, as the hy-laws made in conformity to this 
charter may provide; to fill all vacancies which shall be caused in their 
own board by death, resignation, removal from the state, or ceasing to 
be a stockholder; to appoint a treasurer and secretary of the company, 
or vest both offices in the same person, for such time and on such terms 
as they may think proper; to appoint or employ, and in their discretion 
to dismiss or remove, so many factors, agents, clerks, and other persons, 
as the affairs of the company may in their judgment from time to time 
require; and to do and perform or authorise all such acts, and make, 
revise, alter or annul, all such by-laws and ordinances, rules and regu- 
lations, not inconsistent with the laws of this state, or of the United 
States, as the said board of directors, or a majority of them, may deem 
convenient, useful or necessary, for exercising or carrying into effect the 
powers above enumerated, and all other powers, rights and privileges, 
granted to or vested in the Gas Light Company of Baltimore afore- 
said, or in the directors thereof, by this act, or by any ordinance of 
the mayor and city council of Baltimore; and in general, for the bet- 
ter managing and conducting the business and promoting the interests 
of the said company, or for the improvement of the natural and lawful 
advantages of the property, rights and privileges, vested in or owned by 
the said company, in as full and ample a manner as any corporate body 
within this state may or can do. 

6. And BE IT ENACTED, That all costs and expenses which have 
been or shall be incurred by the said company, in purchasing or pro- 
curing lands and houses; in procuring the necessary materials for erect- 
ing buildings; in making, procuring and fixing, or fitting for use, machin- 
ery, utensils and apparatus; and in making and laying the pipes for 
conveying the Gas through and along the streets, squares, lanes and 
alleys, of the city and precincts of Baltimore, together with the wages 
and other charges paid, and which shall be paid to the officers and 
other agents for superintending and performing the same, shall be 
deemed and considered an expenditure or investment of the capital of 
the said company; and, when the sums so expended or invested as capi- 
tal shall amount to one hundred thousand dollars, it the directors, or 
a majority of them, shall deem it useful or necessary to employ a fur- 
ther amount of capital for the uses and purposes authorised by this 
charter, they may from time to time, in such manner and on such 
terms as their by-laws shall provide, receive subscriptions for, or sell 
and dispose of, so many additional shares of stock over and above the 
eleven hundred herein before authorised, as they shall think necessary, 
not to exceed in the whole five thousand five hundred shares; the amount 
of such additional shares to be used and invested as capital in the man- 
ner and for the purposes herein before described. 

*Thgir Po-Tvers. 

Expenses of company 
to be considered as an 
investment of capital. 

Certificates to be issued 7. And BE it enacted, That certificates under the seal of the 

to stockholders. company shall be issued to each oi' the stockholders for so many shares 

of capital stock, from time to time, as shall be equal to the amount 
actually paid by him, or to which he shall be entitled; and each stock- 
holder may sell or otherwise dispose of, and transfer, any share of stock 
for which he shall have obtained a certificate; but the certificates for 
the one hundred shares to be set apart for Rembrandt Peale, on which 
no payment is required, shall not be issued until the first day of June 
in the year eighteen hundred and eighteen, unless authorised by a res- 
olution of the board of directors. Every person who shall become 
the owner of one or more shares of the said stock, by purchase and trans- 
fer, or by devise, or operation of law, shall thereupon become a stock- 
holder in, and a member of the Gas Light Company of Baltimore 
aforesaid, within the intent and meaning of this act ; and every person 
who shall be divested of all his stock in the said company by transfer, 
or by operation of law, shall thereupon cease to be a stockholder; and 
the said shares of stock, as to all legal purposes, shall be considered per- 
sonal estate, and shall be assignable by transfer, and the certificates 
therefor renewable in case of loss, in such manner and under such re- 
strictions, as the by-laws to be made by the directors may provide. 

Rights &c. eranted by ^- And be it enacted, That all and singular the rights, perniis- 

fify council to company sions, power and privileges, granted to the Gas Light Company of 

■vested m them. Baltimore, by an ordinance of the mayor and city council of Balti- 

more, passed on the nineteenth day of June, in the year eighteen hun- 
dred and sixteen, entitled, "An ordinance to provide for more effectu- 
ally lighting the streets, squares, lanes and alleys, of the city of Balti- 
more," are hereby vested in and confirmed to the Gas Light Company 
of Baltimore, as incorporated by this act; and the said company hereby 
incorporated, shall be authorised, entitled, and bound to do and per- 
form, all acts, and subject to all restrictions and penalties authorised 
and permitted, required or imposed, by the said ordinance, as fully to 
all intents and purposes, as if the said company had been incorporated 
before and at the time of passing the said ordinance. 

Stock answerable for 9- And be it enacted, That all the property, estate, and joint 

contracts of company. ' stock of the said company, shall be bound and answerable for any con- 

tracts or engagements made or liability incurred by the directors there- 
of, or through their agency, or by their authority; but the stockholders 
shall in no wise be answerable or liable therefor in their individual 
capacities, or private estates; and the service of any judicial process 
upon the president, or any one of the directors, shall be a sufficient 
service upon the corporation. 




1 June 1823 

Fae-simile of a Statement ol Stocks ami Effects and their Investments — 
Gas Light Company of Baltimore 


[Trantcrifi of the fac-sitnSle on the opposiic page] 

Statement of Stocks and Effects and their Investments 
1 June 1823 

£56, 5 98.92 . , . Factory , for Cost of Erecting Buildings & 

Machinery, etc F. 15 

1,355.65 . . . Gas . . ' for Cost of Making Gas, proceeds 

of Coke, etc F. 1 o 

468.95 . . . Merchandise . . for Loss by fixing up Store 


Stock, for 519 shares @ $ too . . . Fo, 30 51,900 
5 o — c. G, Boehtu bal' cc for Shares 
50 — J. I. Cohen, Jr. do 

100 — D. Raymond do 

4. 78 W. Gwynn . halance of acct. 

669. 67 J. Moslier . . . . do . . 

89.39 K- C. Long . . . do . . 

Wm. Lonuan Son do . 

j. Donnell & J. Moslier . Rent 

340 — Remb't Peak due for Gas Rent 

470 — Ruhens Peale . . . . do . 

C. Winchester . Collector & Clerk . '* 14 
( — 37 First Independent Church "1 
18.51! — .90 V. Snyder .... I Small 

\ 15.— P. G. Robinson . . f Debts " iS 

F. 32 
. Fo, 30 

Acct. Fo. 25 

. . Fo. 1 

H 2I 

" 6 

2.25 H, Allen 
T. Towson 

P. Poultney 
W. Brooks . . 
T. Poultney & Son 
R. E. Ruthven . 
House & Woolen 
j. Mom . . . 
J. W. k E. Patterson 
A. McDonald, Jr. 
F. Cry . . . . 
Y. Brown , . . 
H. Price . . . 
Balto. Water Co. 
C. Constable & Ci 
J. Brooks, Ex'r for F 

J. Carnighan & Co, 
306.40 Warren & Wood 
J. Carnighan . 
D. Pngh . . . 
31,55 Jno. Talbot 
1,818.33 Coke, Coal, Tar, etc. on hand & Rent 

to 1 June 1823 


■ • j 
Chimney Cap 
Tinning, etc. 
Paving . 

do & Lumber 
Rent S: Repair 
rede rick Snyder, 
Claim £280 
Paints, etc. . 
Gas Rent 
Cement, etc. 
Wages , 
Gas Rent 







35 5-73 

5- — 


20. — 

57- — 

30- — 
25. .50 
4 1 . 64 


3 I. 21 


$12,472. 16 

*S9.+ a 3-S a 

$51. 9°° 


Errors Excepted 

Balto. 1 June 1823. 


■ IkiMM(^i 

, Section of a Coal Gas Plant, as Buii/r Aiiotn 1S15, Embodyixg thr PwiwCiFLHS Uskd Today 
Copied from AccurcTs Practical Treatise, 1815, and King's Treatise on Coil Gas 



754 Dr. Joseph Black discovered carbonic acid gas (carbon dioxide). 

755 Coal discovered in Ohio, U. S. A. 

760 Theory of Specific Heat, and of Latent Heat, propounded bv Dr. Steven 

762 Oil street lamps first lighted in New York City. 

766 A gold medal offered by the French Academy of Science as a prize for the 
best essay on street lighting, won by Lavoisier. 

767 Hydrogen discovered in water by Henry Cavendish. 

774 Oxygen discovered by Joseph Priestly in England, and by Charles Scheelc 
in Sweden. 

775 The composition of atmospheric air discovered by Lavoisier. 

776 The water lute (water seal) invented bv Priestly. 

781 A patent granted to the Ear! of Dundonald for distilling coal. 

All the products of distillation were mentioned except gas, 
781 The gas holder invented by Lavoisier. 
784 Jean Pierre Minckelers lighted gas distilled from coal as a demonstration to 

his class in the University of Lou vain. 
790 Anthracite coal first mined in Pennsylvania. 
792 William Murdoch distilled coal in an iron retort and conducted the gas seventy 

feet through tinned iron and copper tubes to light his house and grounds at 

Redruth in Cornwall. 

797 Murdoch lighted with gas his house and office at Old Comnock. 

798 Murdoch lighted with gas one of Boulton and Watt's shops at Soho, near 

799 Murdoch invented the u D" slide valve (used in steam engines and gas meters.) 
799 (Sept.) Philippe Lebon (in France) patented a "Thermolampe" for the pro- 
duction of gas by distillation from wood, coal, etc. 

801 Lebon lighted with gas his house and gardens in the Rue St. Dominique, 

802 (Apr.) Murdoch gave a public display of gas lighting at Soho to celebrate 
the Peace of Amiens. 

803 Frederick Albert Winsor began experimenting with Lebon's gas apparatus 
at Hyde Park, London. 

804 Murdoch built gas works and lighted Boulton and Watt's shops at Soho. 
804 (May) Winsor obtained first English patent for gas-making apparatus. 

804 Winsor gave a public display of gas lighting at the Lyceum Theatre, London. 

805 Murdoch built gas works and lighted the cotton mill of Messrs. Phillips & 
Lee at Manchester; nine hundred burners were supplied. 

805 Samuel Clegg built gas works and lighted the cotton mill of Mr. Henry 
Lodge, near Halifax. 

806 Edward Heard patented a process of using lime as a purifier. 

806 David Melville, in Newport, R. I., lighted his house with coal gas. 

806 (Dec.) Lead pipes were laid in Pall Mall, London, bv Winsor. These were 
the first gas mains laid in a public street. 

807 (Jan. 28th) One side of Pall Mall lighted with gas. 
807 (June 4th) Both sides of Pall Mall lighted with gas. 

807 (July 1 2th) First meeting of gas stockholders (proposed National Light & 
Heat Company, London). 


i S 2 3 The Boston (Mass.) Gas Light Company established, 

1824 (Jan. 19th) Broadrneadow patented the exhauster. 

1825 The gas governor invented by Samuel Crossley. 
1 825 New York Gas Light Company established. 
1825 Benzole discovered by Faraday. 

1825 First gas lamps in Brooklyn, New York. 

1 828 First gas works in Boston, Mass., built on Hull Street. 

1829 (Jan. 1st) First gas lamps in Boston lighted in Dock Square. 

1 830 Manhattan Gas Light Company established in New York. 

1 832 Meters first manufactured in the United States by Samuel Hill, in Baltimore, 

1833 (Mar. 19th) A dry meter invented by James Bogardus, an American engraver, 

was patented by Miles Berry. 
1833 (Oct. 1 2th) The Telescopic Holder patented by Hutchinson, engineer of 

the London Metropolitan Gas Company. This holder was invented in 1824 

and described in Creighton's Encyclopedia. 
1835 Gas meters manufactured in New Yoflc by Young, and in 1836 by Samuel 

1840 Meters adopted by the London and Westminster Gas Light and Coke 

1843 Wm, Richards made a dry meter with two diaphragms, two slide valves and 

a dial, which, with minor improvements, is the meter in use today. 
1 846 Gas meters made legal in France. 

1849 A company formed in Boston, Mass., by Mr. George Darracott, to manu- 
facture meters. 


1807 London, England. 
1816 Liverpool, England. 

1816 Baltimore, Md. 

181 7 Manchester, England. 

1 81 8 Sheffield, England. 
Glasgow, Scotland. 
Edinburgh, Scotland. 

1 8 19 Birmingham, England. 
Bristol, England. 
Paris, France. 
Brussels, Germany. 

1822 Munich, Germany. 
Belfast, Ireland. 

1823 New York, N. Y. 

1825 Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

Hanover, Germany. 

Ghent, Belgium. 

Rotterdam, Netherlands. 
1827 Berlin, Germany. 

1828 Boston, Mass. 

1829 Dresden, Germany. 

1832 Louisville, Ky. 

1833 Vienna, Austria, 
New Orleans, La. 

1834 Havre, France. 

1835 Caen, France. 
Amiens, France. 
Bologne, Italy. 

St. Petersburg, Russia. 
Lyons, France. 

1836 Philadelphia, Pa. 
Pittsburgh, Pa. 

1838 Nantes, France. 

Leipsic, Germany. 

1840 Cincinnati, Ohio. 
Montreal, Canada. 

1841 Manchester, N. H. 
Sydney, Australia. 

1 844 








Toronto, Canada. 
Halifax, Canada. 
Hamburg, Germany. 
Madrid, Spain. 
Rouen, France. 
St. Louis, Mo. 
Falls River, Mass. 
Breslau, Germany. 
Newark, N. J. 
New Haven, Conn. 
Paterson, N. J. 
Providence, R. I. 
Rochester, N. Y. 
Washington, D. C. 
Buffalo, N. Y. 
Quebec, Canada. 
Norfolk, Va. 
Cleveland, Ohio. 
Detroit, Mich. 
Syracuse, N. Y. 
Utica, N. Y. 
Chicago, 111. 
Columbus, Ohio. 
Hartford, Conn, 
Worcester, Mass. 
Kingston, N. Y. 
Hamilton, Ohio, 
Indianapolis, Ind. 
Memphis, Tenn, 
Buenos Ayres, Argentina. 
Brockville, Canada. 
Rome, Italy. 
Heidelberg, Germany. 
Milwaukee, Wis. 
Belleville, 111. 
Nice, France. 
St. Joseph, Mo. 

San Francisco, Cal. 

Toledo, Ohio. 

Ottawa, 111. 


Vera Cruz, Mex. 


Atlanta, Ga. 

Melbourne, Australia. 

Warsaw, Russia. 


Scranton, Pa. 

St. Paul, Minn. 

Copenhagen, Denmark. 


Tasmania Island. 


Portland, Ore. 


Malta Island. 


Shanghai, China. 

Hong Kong, China. 


Smyrna, Asiatic Turkey. 


Alexandria, Egypt. 


Bombay, India. 

Rio Janeiro, Brazil. 

Christchurch, New Zealand, 


Moscow, Russia. 

Kansas City, Mo. 

Los Angeles, Cal. 

Oakland, Cal, 


Ceylon (Island), 

Omaha, Neb, 


Stockton, Cal. 


Leeds, England. 


Yokohama, Japan. 

Minneapolis, Minn. 


Tokyo, Japan. 

Montevideo, Uruguay. 


Seattle, Wash. 


Cologne, Germany. 


St. Johns, Newfoundland. 


Tacoma, Wash. 

1887 Spokane, Wash. 

(From Gas Institute Neivs, April i, 1912) 

By W, R. Morgan, San Francisco, California 

(From Pacific Gas and Electric Magazine) 



No other necessity of household use has been 
so cheapened and improved during the last century as 
has gas . 

"Coincident with an increase of 1700$ in the 
amount of night lighting, not including fire light* of 
an American city family* in average circumstances , 
using gas for lighting, there has come a reduction in 
the cost of the years' lighting of thirty-four per 
cent or approximately $7.50 per year; and that the cost 
of lighting per unit of light — the candle hour — is 
now but 2.8$ of what it was In the first half of our 
century ." 

These facts by Mr. V.'alton Clark the President 
of the Franklin Institute are proved by the tables 
given below prepared by the Gas and Electric TTews of 
Baltimore. President Wagner of the Consolidated 
Company says, "The new gas rates give to the people of 
Baltimore a Gas Service which for lav/ cost, uniformity 
of quality, and pressure* and dependability and 
adequacy of supply has never before been equalled in any 
•unity ." 



7^r^/(?j of y&/ ~ y//rf fdj-d ? 



Ga 'J T/fawtfeftiff. Cg/rd/? /% user //&#/*& 
far 0/fe ce#£ > //7c/6>t?//?y swa/frf £&#/?<? e> 

//r £a/t/we, 4fd frv/rr /8<36- A9/6. 



5 « » i 

I £ 

— * ► 

Per} a 4 





J> erm at/ _ o T ^-yi 

sic remit e / -m -3 -*-x 

0*4 Sas 


S6790 & a/ ar#/&&<? AM6AKS-4? &tf&rti*f 

/Zfcr/ftjs <?f 77's*re* 



ifcrVJc/f? a 

# (res ft* 


/?e/#?/ye &sts ^er j/&*r &j%f$*&& /«v- 

J/6. £8 

7. 03 ?s 6.04 

Cost J***" '/*** iGmiTfM rf*ttt» 


1836, $1 1.00 per burner per quarter; about S4.00 per M cti. ft. 1841, $4.00 per M cu. ft. 

From September 1864 to November 1870, 

From November 1870 to November 1876, 

From November 1S76 to March 1878, 

From March 1878 to July 1, 1880, 

From July 1880 to January r.S8i, 

From January 1881 to March 1883, 

From March '883 to October 15, 1884, 

From October 188410 July '8S5, 

From July 1885 to February iKS(J, 

From February 1886 to June 1 8 % 8, 

From June 1888 to June 15, 1900, 

From June 15, 1 900 to Sept. 1, '9°5> 

From Sept. 1, 1905 to July 1, 1910, 

Froni July 1, 1910 to July 1, 191 3, 

From July i, 191 3 to January 1, 1916, 

From January 1, 1916 to February 1, 1916, 

From February 1 , 1916 to Date 


•Plus 1; cents for Government Tax. 









per M 

piT \! 

per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 
per M 

cu, ft.* 
cu, ft, 
cu. ft. 
cu, ft, 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft. 
cu, ft. 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft, 
cu. ft. 
cu, ft, 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft. 
cu. ft. 



.Dr. Frank Johnson Goodnow, President of Johns 
Hopkins University, 

Arthur Grahm Glasgow* Consulting Engineer* 
London . 

Charles P. Steinmetz* President of the 
Illuminating Engineering Society. 

J.E. Aldredi Chaiiroan of Board of Directors of 
the Consolidated Gas Electric Light and Power Co. of 
Baltimore . 

Articles by these men appeared in the Baltimore 
Gas and Electric News . 


lis and Rowan "Fuel and its Application" 
(London 1889) 

Samuel S. ",'yer "Producer Gas and Gas 
Producers" published by the "Engineering and fining 
Journal" (li.Y.) 

F. Fischer* "Chemiche Techologie der 
Brennstoffe (1897-1901) "Gasformige Heigstoffe" in 
Stohmann and Kerl's "llandbuch der techisihen chemie* 


4th edition. 

Georg Lunge, a German Chemist. 


Walton Clark* Pres . of Franklin Institute 
Philadelphia, "The History of Gas Lighting." 


George Beadenkopf, Chief Engineer of the 
Consolidated Co. up until 1923, 

"History of Gas Lighting in Baltimore" 

American Gas Light Journal 

Reports of Inspector of Lights and ""eters 
in Baltimore . 

Various Articles published in the Baltimore 
Gas and Electric News from time to time.