Every day is somebody’s birthday or anniversary. For example, Google has a doodle up today celebrating the 112th birthday of American author, John Steinbeck. But another, in some respects more important, anniversary is coming up. According to IChemE, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, it’s been 200 years since the first commercial operation to produce and supply gas from coal began in London, UK, just over two hundred years ago. The Gas Light and Coke Company began supplying London with gas manufactured from coal for street lighting on New Year’s Eve, 1813. It marked the start of the first commercial gas production and supply operation in the world. Up to eight million people in London alone would eventually rely upon the technology to light and heat their homes for well over a century. The technology soon spread across the world with gasworks established in Baltimore, USA (1816), Manchester, UK (1817), Hannover, Germany (1825) and Rotterdam, The Netherlands (1827).
IChemE will be celebrating the anniversary at New Horizons in Gasification, the 12th European Gasification Conference, March 10-13 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. More information is here.
As for the rest of us, we could go home and make a cake—using the gas stove.