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Heritage Register

Building Details
Name Welsbach Gas Lamp
Address: 85 Front Street
Architectural Style: N/A
Building Use: N/A
Year of Construction: 1880
Builder or Architect: N/A
Protected Heritage Property: No

Heritage Value Statement
In the Victorian era most cities were illuminated by gas light. In 1817 Baltimore became the first city in North America to have gas street lights installed, but it was a number of decades before the technology improved sufficiently to become inexpensive and reliable. One of the great advances was a gas mantle invented in Heidelberg in 1885 by Carl Auer von Welsbach, a pupil of Professor Robert von Bunsen. Welsbach made a hood of finely woven long-staple cotton, saturated in rare earth oxides, that, when ignited over an upright Bunsen burner, provided illumination without a flame, and doubled the light level with half the amount of gas. The Welsbach mantle proved to be popular, and provided stiff competition to electrical illumination.


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