lamplightFrederick Albert Winzer was a German entrepreneur living in London on Pall Mall, that city’s version of Boardwalk or Park Place. He was one of those guys who, you could say, lit up his neighborhood. Winzer had developed and patented in 1804 a method of gas lighting fueled by the burning of coal , a technology he lectured on and demonstrated that same year at London’s Lyceum Theater. Earlier fuels included olive oil, beeswax, fish oil, and whale oil.

On January 28, 1807, thanks to Winzer, Pall Mall became the first street anywhere to be illuminated by gaslight. Street lighting itself was nothing new. For centuries, citizens were required to hang out lanterns or keep lights burning in windows that faced the streets. But the new gaslights were an exciting novelty and a boon for those old lamplighters.

Linzer followed the lighting of Pall Mall with a special exhibition later that year in honor of the birthday of King George III, using gaslight to superimpose images against the walls of the buildings along his street.The use of gaslight quickly took off. By 1823, the first public gas company, the Gas Light and Coke Co., had covered 215 miles of London’s streets with 40,000 lamps.

The gaslight remained the primary means of street illumination in Europe and North America throughout the 19th century. Although they’ve been pretty much replaced by electric lighting, some gaslights remain, usually in the historic districts of older cities. (In the United States, gaslit neighborhoods can still be found in Boston, Cincinnati and New Orleans).

 

Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! ―. George Carlin

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