'Introduction of Gas!!', 1815.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured engraving subtitled 'Throwing a New Light on the Subject' by George Cruikshank (1792-1878), satirising the introduction of gas street lighting. Men are shown listening to the German entrepreneur Frederick Albert Winsor (d 1830), who introduced and promoted gas street lighting in London. Prior to this, the streets were lit by oil lamps. In 1807 Winsor lit Pall Mall with gas, establishing the world's first gas company in 1809-1810. Here, people are shown decrying the disruption caused by the digging up of streets to lay gas pipes. The use of gas was initially unpopular with the general public, due largely to its unpleasant smell. Taken from a collection of prints and books documenting the early history of the gas industry amased by Sir Arthur Elton.