Lambeth gas works: 1872

Gustave Doré

 
Lambeth gas works: 1872
4 0 c m
 
30cm
actual image size: 22cm x 28cm

Full image caption

An illustration of Lambeth gasworks from 'London: a Pilgrimage' by Blanchard Jerrold and Gustave Doré, 1872. In nineteenth-century London gas was manufactured from the distillation of coal. The illustration shows coal being heated in retorts (closed fireclay cylinders, often of a D-section) to drive off gas that is then purified and stored in gasholders. Coal gas consisted mainly of methane and hydrogen plus carbon dioxide, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. Gasworks created smoke, dust and noxious smells and waste products. They were therefore usually sited in the poorer areas of London.

© Museum of London

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