Event    From 28/1/1807 

first gas-lit street in the world

Categories: Engineering, Transport

The first public street lighting with gas was demonstrated in Pall Mall by Frederick Winsor in 1807. In January he lit the street and in June he put on a special gas-lit exhibition here, celebrating King George III's birthday. Lighting streets using gas quickly became very popular and there were once more than 60,000 gas lamps in London. Although most have been converted to electricity, there are still about 1,600 remaining, mainly on landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. The Picture Source website gives a good history of gas street lighting.

Some lamps were lit by gas from sewers and one of these, in Carting Lane, still works. IanVisits has a good post on it.

Other firsts: IanVisits has a post about the first shopping street in the UK to be lit by electricity. And the Savoy Theatre was the first public building in the world to be lit throughout by electricity.

Londonist has a terrific post about early electric lighting events in London.

2022: Londonist report that these lamps are under threat: Save London's Gas Lamps: Campaign Grows To Keep Our Heritage Glowing.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
first gas-lit street in the world

Commemorated atInformation

First gas-lit street

City of Westminster Pall Mall. The first street in London to be lit by gas, ...

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Frederick Winsor

Plaque unveiled by Councillor Carolyn Keen, Lord Mayor of Westminster. At the...

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Other Subjects

Bertie Wilson

Bertie Wilson

Senior Assistant 2nd Engineer on the RMS Titanic. A full résumé of his life can be found on the Encyclopedia Titanica website. He is also commemorated on the Engineers Memorial, Andrews East Park,...

Person, Engineering, Tragedy

1 memorial
Frederick Winsor

Frederick Winsor

Gas engineer. Born Friedrich Albrecht Winzer (Anglicised as Frederick Albert Winsor) in Brunswick, Germany. He studied the technology of gas street lighting in Paris. In London he founded the Gas L...

Person, Engineering, France, Germany

1 memorial
Sir Ralph Freeman

Sir Ralph Freeman

Civil engineer.  Born 88 Rendlesham Road, West Hackney.   Worked on Sydney harbour bridge.  Died at home, Graden, Hendon Avenue.  Picture at: Flickr (copyrighted).

Person, Engineering, Australia

1 memorial
Institution of Civil Engineers

Institution of Civil Engineers

A professional body committed to supporting and promoting professional learning, managing professional ethics, safeguarding the status of engineers and representing the interests of the profession ...

Group, Engineering

3 memorials
John Henry Hesketh

John Henry Hesketh

Second Engineer (Refrigeration) on the RMS Titanic. A full résumé of his life can be found on the Encyclopedia Titanica website. He is also commemorated on the Engineers Memorial, Andrews East Par...

Person, Engineering, Tragedy

1 memorial