Wolverhampton like almost every other town in the country, was and still is, totally dependant upon its gas supply. Many of the early innovations in coal gas lighting and production took place about two hundred years ago. Gas was the first form of useful energy to be widely distributed, even predating our water supply. Gas was originally distributed as part of a Government scheme to make our towns and cities safer places to live in, by improving the inadequate street lighting of the day. Industry was quick to realise the benefits of gas lighting and also found other applications where heat was needed. Throughout the 19th century many uses were found for the new energy source and new ideas patented. The following sections tell the story of gas from its early years to nationalisation, concentrating on the first century. 


Return to the Services Hall Proceed to Beginnings