Gas mantles, British, 1887 and 1889.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Gas lighting was much improved through the introduction of the incandescent gas mantle in Vienna in the 1880s. In London in 1887, the 'Incandescent Gas Light Company' started selling fragile burners and mantles at high prices. The MacTear burner (left) of 1887, was one of the first and was improved upon by the Heald (bottom centre) in 1889. The pipe-clay fork (right) was then introduced, making the fitting of new mantles much easier. Mantles were 'collodionized' to preserve them during transport.