'The Triumph of Gas Lights', 1810.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by R Spencer, published by R Spencer (Great Ormond Street, London) 19 April 1810. Under the illustration of a great gas street light shining brightly in the sky is a poem which is taken from Moore's Almanac for the year 1811 'And it shall come to pas that Mr Winsor's Patent Gas will very soon eclipse the moon and when that's done put out the sun'. The German entrepreneur Frederick Albert Winsor (d 1830), 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. The use of gas was initially unpopular with the general public, due largely to its unpleasant smell.