Washington Gas Works

Title

Washington Gas Works

Description

During the 1840s, tired of the smell and dangers of candles and oil lamps, residents of Washington, DC regularly petitioned Congress to establish a gas company to light the city. In 1848, Congress agreed, first experimenting with lighting the Capitol dome using gas. The Washington Gas Light Company plant opened on the Mall in 1852 where the National Museum of the American Indian stands today; the site was a mixture of homes and businesses. Gas from this works illuminated Pennsylvania Avenue streetlamps and the White House, as well as local homes and businesses. The gas works remained for over 50 years.

Source

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. View original.

Date

1852 (opened)

Coverage

Physical Description

Eight main buildings and a smokestack which was 70 feet high. The walls of the building were three and a half feet thick.

Location

Maryland Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets, NW

Description

During the 1840s, tired of the smell and dangers of candles and oil lamps, residents of Washington, DC regularly petitioned Congress to establish a gas company to light the city. In 1848, Congress agreed, first experimenting with lighting the Capitol dome using gas. The Washington Gas Light Company plant opened on the Mall in 1852 where the National Museum of the American Indian stands today; the site was a mixture of homes and businesses. Gas from this works illuminated Pennsylvania Avenue streetlamps and the White House, as well as local homes and businesses. The gas works remained for over 50 years.

Date

1852 (opened)

Coverage

1830-1859

Source

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. View original.