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 ati

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

Coalbrookdale Company

Coalbrookdale Company

An iron foundry set up by Abraham Darby in Shropshire. Can you guess what the Coalbrookdale war memorial is made of?

Group, Engineering

5 memorials
Frederick Handley Page

Frederick Handley Page

Aircraft designer and manufacturer. His company manufactured the Halifax bombers used in WW2.

Person, Aviation, Engineering, Transport

1 memorial
Basil Mott

Basil Mott

Civil engineer. Born in Leicester. 1902 formed the firm Mott, Hay and Anderson. His many projects include extending the Central London Railway, the building of escalators on the London Underground ...

Person, Engineering, France, India

1 memorial
Sir Owen Williams

Sir Owen Williams

Engineer. Born Evan Owen Williams. He was appointed chief consulting civil engineer to the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley. Later he was the principal engineer for the Gravelly Hill Interchang...

Person, Engineering

1 memorial
François Hennebique

François Hennebique

Engineer and builder. One of the early innovators with reinforced concrete initially in Brussels. In 1892, he patented a reinforced-concrete construction system. The first building erected using th...

Person, Architecture, Engineering, France

1 memorial