The famous farting lamp of London

Posted: November 28, 2018 in History, London, UK
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Following on from my post about Frederick Winsor and the production of Gas in London, I was interested to read this post from Stephen Lidell which presents a whole different method of producing gas to light our streets.

Stephen Liddell

Last week I wrote on The Great Stink of 1868.  By chance todays post is on a related subject.  Many people will be aware that in the Victorian age, much of London was lit with gas lamps and in deed several places still are.   Less well known is that some of these lamps were powered by the gas from human sewage.

The Webb Patent Sewer Gas Lamp was invented in the late 19th century by the Birmingham inventor Joseph Webb. In London the lamps were used for two main reasons; firstly to burn off the smells and germs from London’s sewer system, and secondly as a low cost, low maintenance way to keep London lit up at night.

wp1e8f8dc3_1aPart of the original patent for the sewer lamps.

Methane was collected by a small dome in the roof of the sewer, with the gas then being diverted into the…

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