1823 – The Gas Works Bill passes through parliament. As a result the Belfast Gaslight Company obtains statutory powers to produce and distribute coal gas. On Saturday August 30, 1823, large crowds assemble to see the lighting of the streets for the first time:
‘At first gas light was unsuitable for ordinary domestic use, it was best in open areas and large rooms where ventilation was not a problem. The light was pungent, hot and expensive. Improvements in the manufacturing process brought prices down and produced better light, but for a long time gas in the home meant installing ventilation grills in cornices and ceilings.’
How times change.
How quickly we forget.