Herndon in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Acetylene Gas Generating Station
A blacksmith shop, operated from 1905 until 1965 by William H. Moffett, stood to the side of this building. In 1975, the shop was relocated to Frying Pan Park, where it remains today.
Location. 38° 58.269′ N, 77° 23.149′ W. Marker is in Herndon, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Lynn Street north of Station Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Herndon VA 20170, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. This is W&OD Trail: Herndon! (within shouting distance of this marker); Mosby’s Herndon Station Raid (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Herndon Station (about 300 feet away); Tracks Into History Herndon Town Square (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Herndon.
Regarding Acetylene Gas Generating Station. (From the interpretative poster inside the gas house.) This is one of the three known gas generating buildings in town. Some buildings provided gas for individual homes, while this building provided gas for street lighting as well. Because of the danger involved in the generating process, the buildings were made of concrete and specially designed to minimize the danger of explosion.
The gas generation process was simple. Calcium carbide was added to the hopper and gravity fed into the lower water tank. The carbide dissolved in the water, producing acetylene gas. The pressurized gas was distributed through a piping system to homes or street lights.
The mixing ratio was one pound carbide to one gallon of water. The carbide was recharged about once a month. This replica represents a 35-light generator. It would furnish enough gas for 35 lights, or a two-burner stove and about 30 lights.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2006, by Jeremy Prats of Afton, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,531 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 3, 2006, by Jeremy Prats of Afton, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.