Environmental Threat
Site Characterization
Man. Gas Processes
Plant Wastes
Contamination Threat Modes
Residuals - Components
Sources of MGP Liquid Effluent
FMG Plants in the US
Parallel MG Technologies
Think you've found a gas works?
Locating and Confirming a Site
Locations of US Gas Plants
FMGP In The News
FMGP In The Arts
Coal-tar Site Litigation
Related sites on the Internet
Literature of Manufactured Gas
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Legal Considerations

Chronological Sequence of Events in the History of
Manufactured Gas and Related Technologies

(see bottom of page for further chronology links)

  18th Century

 1703 Swedes and colleagues raise price on naval-stores pine tar to British Royal Navy; Crisis ensues.
 1719 First street lamp at Boston, USA; Installed by Eliakins Hutchinson; Selectmen order more.
 1726 Dr. Stephen Hales generates gas with Newcastle coal and burns the animal-bladder-stored gas.
 1733 Sir James Lowther finds gas ("damp") in his mined coal pits; Exhibits such before the Royal Society.
 1739 John Clayton reports to Royal Society on Experiment Concerning the Spirit of Coals.
 c. 1745 George Dixon amuses his child with heated tea kettle of coal, producing gas.
 1755 Natural gas found seeping from "springs", at Charleston, West Virginia, USA.
 1756 Benjamin Franklin fosters bill in the Pennsylvania Assembly bill for street lighting, by oil, at Philadelphia.
 1759 One George Dixon alleged to have discovered coal-gas for illumination, in England
 1763 Paris has 6,500 oil street lamps in place.
 1765 First commercial proposal to illuminate unidentified English town with street lamps.
 1766 Johann Stauf constructs coal-tar distillery at Saarbrucken; Coke, tar, lampblack & sal ammoniac. Cavendish discovers hydrogen as a separate gas; Named later by Lavoisier. Paris, France, universally replaces pitch-pots with tar oil lamps on main boulevards.
 1767 Bishop of Llandaff conveys generated gas in tubes, makes coke, and purifies gas for burning.
 1772 Major coal trade on River Tyne, England.
 1774 Joseph Priestly experiments with maunfactured coal-gas.
 1775 General George Washington encounters "burning spring" in Kanawha Valley, Charleston, WV. French missionaries report "pillars of fire" in Ohio River Valley.
 1780 Prof. Felicae Fontana breaks steam into a flammable gas (today's water gas), at Milan, Italy.
 1781 Lord Dundonald, receives English patent on closed coke oven for recovery of other products; Begins commercial recovery of tar and light oils in England.
 1782 Argand burner introduced for oil lamps, later utilized for manufactured gas lamps
 1783 Montgolfier Brothers set coal-gas-filled balloons to flight in France
 1784 Prof. J.P. Minckelers, University of Louvain, Belgium, distills powdered coal to inflate balloons and to light his lecture room in 1785. Lord Dundonald installs gas lights at University of Louvain. British Parliament passes act forbidding trade combinations formed by coal-owners, lightermen, and ships masters; To prevent constraint of coal trade; German chemist, Dillers, in England, produces fireworks incorporating coal gas.
 1786 Dr. Pickel, Prof. of Chemistry, Wurzburg, Germany, lights laboratory with dry distillation of animal bones.
 1787 Admiral Lord Dundonald, lights his estate, Culross Abbey, Scotland, as well as collecting coal tar; both methods recognized as patents.
 1789 French Engineer Philippe Lebon discusses illumination by gas produced by carbonization of wood. Bishop of Llandaff, experiments with gas of pit coal, noted in Watson's Chemical Essays, London.
 1792 First gas lighting for illumination, home of William Murdock, practical Scotts steam engineer, on long-term assignment installing mine-dewatering steam engines, at Redruth, Cornwall.
 1795 Murdock casts unpatented iron gas retorts at Smethwick, Birmingham, Soho Foundry of Boulton & Watt; Also invents gas holder, purifier and gas distribution and illumination burner system.
 1796 First U.S. gas lighting experiments, M. Ambroise & Co., immigrant Italian fireworks makers, at Philadelphia, PA.
 1797 Murdock removes briefly to Old Cumnock, Ayershire, Scotland and lights his premises there.
 1798 Murdock constructs gas works; lights shops of Boulton & Watt, his employer, at Birmingham; 300 cf gas holder; Additionally constructs gas plant and lighting at Phillips & Lee factory at Salford, UK.
 1799 LeBon receives French patent on wood-gas generation; Installs gas plants and lights at Paris; Receives French 15-year patent on coal-gas engine powered by coal gas. Faro (gambling casino) of Le Havre, France, illuminated by gas made from resinous wood.
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