Even I, Dr. Bulb, can be nostalgic. Today I thoroughly enjoyed reading an article in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette about the city’s 27 remaining working gaslights.
William Murdoch invented gaslights around 1792 in Britain and the technology spread quickly. Until then, the best outdoor lighting technology was hanging lanterns with candles from poles. By the time Edison invented the incandescent lamp, gas lighting was a well-established industry, with manufacturing of equipment and infrastructure to support the gaslights.
Eventually gaslights were replaced with incandescent lamps and then with high-pressure sodium (HPS). Today, HPS is the dominant street lighting technology, but is being steadily replaced with LEDs.
The world may be pushing forward with energy efficient LEDs, but gas lights like the ones in Worcester still provide us with a sense of our history. Here’s to nostalgia.
Photo by T&G Staff, Steve Lanava
Gaslight on Farnum Street in Worcester, MA