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Monday, 18 January 2016


The ancient Chinese made the first practical use of natural gas for lighting purposes around 500 B.C. where they used bamboo pipelines to transport and carry both brine and natural gas for long distances.

During the late 18th century there were several successful attempts in Europe to derive gas from coal for lighting. A Scottish engineer William Murdock (1754–1839), who was employed by the firm of Boulton and Watt, was one of the first to achieve a sustained practical application.

By 1794 Murdoch was producing coal gas from a small retort containing heated coals with a three or four-foot iron tube attached, through which he piped the gas before sending it through an old gun barrel and igniting it to produce light.

The first industrial factory to be illuminated by gas was the Philips and Lee cotton mill in Manchester which was fully lit by Murdoch in 1805.

Murdoch never made any money from this invention because of his failure to obtain a patent.

"A Peep at the Gas-lights in Pall Mall", a humorous caricature of reactions to the installation of the new invention of gas-burning street lighting on Pall-Mall, London

London was the first city in the world to adopt gas street lights in 1807. Baltimore was the first city outside England ten years later.

The phrase "In the limelight" means the center of attention. In the early days of theater, a limelight was a device used to brightly illuminate the front of a stage, which put the main performer in a spotlight. The light was made by focusing a flame at a cylinder filled with lime that was projected through a lens. Lighting technicians had to be creative in the days before electricity.

The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires was built by Thomas Edison. It begun service at Roselle, New Jersey in 1883.

Modern neon lighting was first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show on December 3, 1910. His neon lamp worked by means of "glow discharge" tubes that generate light when an electric current is passed through the rarefied gas within the tube.  With the introduction of inner fluorescent coatings, the fluorescent light was developed and began to replace the incandescent lamp in industrial and some home-lighting uses.

A motorist in San Francisco was nearly killed on August 3, 2015 when a corroded lamp post suddenly toppled and crashed onto his car within inches of his head. The corrosion was caused by dogs and people urinating on it.

Moonlight towers are lighting structures designed to illuminate areas of a city at night. Austin, Texas is the only city in the world known still to have light towers.

North Korea appears pitch black at night based on NASA satellite images. Entire streets shut down, and people go to bed early with nothing else to do in the darkness. South Korea use 10,162 kilowatt hours per person a year compared to North Korea who only use 739. 

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