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Thursday, 6 August 2009

The first gas company in the world

As time went on Winsor began to gather a body of supporters and backers around him. They launched a company to be known initially as the National Heat and Light Co. How did potential backers know if his claims about gas lighting were rooted in reality - because most of what he said in his pamphlets seems like fantasy!

In 1806 he published:

“ To be sanctioned by an Act of Parliament. A National Light and Heat Company for providing our streets and houses with light and heat, on similar principles, as they are now supplied with water, demonstrated with the patentee’s authority and instructions by Professor Hardie at the Theatre of Sciences, No.98 Pall Mall. London.

This clearly promotes a new set of ideas. It is based on the concept of a gas supply available to the public made by a central gas factory. He still claimed that the vast profits, already noted in his previous speculation on domestic supplies, were still there - in that he estimated that he could supply gas light and heat to the entire country and still make a profit of £114,845, 294.

Winsor had taken premises in Pall Mall and this became his base for demonstrations and the first offices of the new company. It has some claim to be described as a permanent gas works – in that although what was installed was a small demonstration plant, it nevertheless provided gas for lighting on a regular basis for some time.

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