Gas Light & Coke Company
From London's Ghost Acres
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1812 to 1949
Gas Light & Coke Company (sometimes known as Chartered Gas Light & Coke Company) was established in 1810. By 1823 the company operated three major works in London: one at Horseferry Road/Great Peter St in Westminster and two in Shoreditch, at Goswell St/Brick Lane and on Curtain Road. These gasworks were “annually consuming 20,678 chaldrons of coal, producing 248,000,000 cubic feet of gas, and lighting 30,735 lamps through 122 miles of gas mains” (The National Archives).
Gas works were used to produce and store flammable gas. Coal was largely mined in Britain but also shipped in from Russia, Germany, Sweden, and Norway. None of the original three Gas Light & Coke Company works were close to water or railways, so the coal was brought in by road and then burned to create the gas, which was then purified and put into the gas holders until needed for consumer use. The process also created coke, tar, ammonia, and sulphur as by-products.
Gas Light & Coke Company produced gas used for lighting homes and streets.
Under the The City of London Gas Act 1868, Gas Light & Coke Company absorbed many other London gas works companies, including Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company (The National Archives).