Statues and Monuments: Frederick Winsor

Frederick Winsor was born in 1763 in the German principality of  Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel. In his 30s, he relocated to London to further his interests in technology. In 1807 he started a gas-works and lit one side of Pall Mall with gas lamps. Having been refused a charter for his gas company he relocated to Paris, but he could not repeat the success he had achieved in London. He died in Paris in 1830.

The company Winsor founded, The Gas Light and Coke Company (GLCC), was granted a charter shortly after Winsor left for Paris and continued to operate. It took over many other local gas supply companies during the next 120 years. In 1949 it was nationalised and became a major part of one of the 12 new Regional Gas Boards, which would eventually become British Gas.

A plaque in Pall Mall commemorates that first large-scale use of gas illumination of a road in 1807. Another memorial to him is Winsor Road in Beckton in east London, a road that led to the Beckton Gasworks, the largest such plant in the world for many years, which was opened by the GLCC in 1870. It ceased operation in 1969 when the requirement for manufactured Gas had been replaced by Natural Gas supplies.


  1. Thank you for the post. It’s amazing how far we have gotten and now everything is taken for granted. My thanks to all the great inventors! MZ

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