Gas industry timeline

1667 Thomas Shirley described an inflammable gas seeping from coal measures near Wigan.

1684 John Clayton produced coal gas from the destructive distillation of coal and stored it in bladders.

1727 Carlisle Spedding lit his office at Whitehaven colliery with methane from his coal mine.

1792 William Murdoch lit his house at Redruth, Cornwall by gas produced in an iron retort

1801 Philippe Lebon demonstrated gas lighting publicly in Paris.

1806 Gas lighting installed in cotton spinning mills by William Murdoch in Manchester and by Samuel Clegg in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire.

1807 Frederick Winsor demonstrated gas street lighting in Pall Mall, London and London’s Golden Lane was lit by gas produced at a nearby brewery.

1814 Frederick Accum wrote the first authoritative text book on gas manufacture.

1817 Samuel Clegg developed the gas meter.

1824 Tate invented the telescopic gasholder.

1826 James Sharp installed an experimental gas cooker at his house in Northampton

1855 Invention of the Bunsen burner by Robert Bunsen

1856 Pettit and Smith produced the first practical gas fire

1870 T S Lacey patented the first prepayment gas meter

1887 The incandescent gas mantle was invented by Carl Auer

1923 Thermostatic controls on gas ovens introduced

1949 Nationalisation of the gas industry.

1953 Gas first manufactured from oil in reformer plants

1964 First shipment of natural gas from Algeria arrived in Britain

1965 North sea gas discovered in the West Sole field

1968 Natural gas conversion programme starts at Burton on Trent

1976 Natural gas conversion programme completed

1986 Privatisation of the gas industry, creating British Gas plc

1997 British gas plc split into Centrica and BG Group

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