Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company

From London's Ghost Acres

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1821 to 1876

Located in



Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company began in 1821 with gas works set up in Shoreditch, St Pancras, and Fulham by 1824 and new works built at Bromley-by-Bow in the early 1870s. A gas holder built in 1830 on the Fulham site is still standing today, the oldest known gas holder in the world. Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company became the leading gas company in London and merged with Gas Light & Coke Company in 1876 to form an even larger company. As electricity became more prominent, the use of coal gas diminished, and the discovery and use of natural gas put the coal gas industry out of business (Pedroche 2013).

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. The coal was shipped in on a barge up the river or on trains 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.

Imperial Gas Light & Coke Company produced gas used for lighting homes and streets and were also suppliers of gas for the occasional hot air balloon.

51.47623, -0.18601 Fulham

51.47692, -0.186 Fulham

51.53352, -0.0606 Shoreditch

51.53426, -0.12642 Pancras

51.5226, -0.00443 Bromley-by-Bow