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.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1900.
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. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Herndon Blacksmith Shops (here, next to this marker); The W&OD Railway and Jim Crow Laws (within shouting distance of this marker); This is W&OD Trail: Herndon! (within shouting distance of this marker); The Big Fire (within shouting distance of this marker); Herndon Station Raid (within shouting distance of this marker). 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.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 14, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2006, by Jeremy Prats of Afton, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,785 times since then and 59 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.