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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jefferson in Marion County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

First Texas Artificial Gas Plant

(5 blocks east)

 
 
First Texas Artificial Gas Plant Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 24, 2014
1. First Texas Artificial Gas Plant Marker
Inscription. Jefferson Gas Light Company, chartered 1870 for public and domestic service, used retorts--7 foot iron drums with small necks--to make illuminating gas. (One retort stood on this site.) Loaded with pine knots and rich pine wood, a retort was heated; its gas was forced into mains by use of a pressure drum.

Street lights on hollow posts, 300 feet apart, were 10-candle glass globes, lighted by a man on a ladder. These and gaslights in houses gave Jefferson--then largest inland port and second largest city in Texas--the state's first gaslight system.
 
Erected 1966 by Texas Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 8036.)
 
Location. 32° 45.373′ N, 94° 20.828′ W. Marker is in Jefferson, Texas, in Marion County. Marker is at the intersection of West Lafayette Street and North Market Street, on the right when traveling west on West Lafayette Street. Touch for map. Marker is located outside the Jefferson Carnegie Library. Marker is at or near this postal address: 301 West Lafayette Street, Jefferson TX 75657, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jefferson Public Library (a few steps from this marker); Sterne Fountain (within shouting distance
First Texas Artificial Gas Plant Marker (<i>view showing top of iron retort below marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 24, 2014
2. First Texas Artificial Gas Plant Marker (view showing top of iron retort below marker)
of this marker); Mergenthaler Linotype Typesetting Machine (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Brown-Bender House (about 400 feet away); Old Federal Court and Post Office Building (about 400 feet away); Captain William Perry (about 500 feet away); Excelsior House (about 500 feet away); Jay Gould Railroad Car (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jefferson.
 
Also see . . .
1. Jefferson, Texas.
After the war the town's economy recovered quickly. A fire destroyed practically the entire business section in 1866, but it was rebuilt within a few years. In 1867 Jefferson became the first town in Texas to use natural gas for artificial lighting purposes (Submitted on December 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. History and Chronology of Manufactured Gas.
A steady demand for manufactured gas led to expanded street and commercial lighting in America's major eastern cities in the quarter century leading to our Centennial. By 1850 towns along and bordering the west bank of the Mississippi River were sprouting gas works. The clamor for Centennial
First Texas Artificial Gas Plant Marker (<i>wide view showing street light & retort near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 24, 2014
3. First Texas Artificial Gas Plant Marker (wide view showing street light & retort near marker)
improvements led to installation of gas works at most towns of 10,000 or more residents. (Submitted on December 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. What is Manufactured Gas?.
Manufactured gas should not be confused with natural gas, the primary fuel gas of our day. Manufactured, or artificial gas, was produced through the distillation of bituminous coal in heated, anaerobic vessels called retorts. In this process, coal was broken down into its volatile components through the action of heat in a nearly oxygen-free environment. From the retort, the gases were drawn off into a device known as the hydraulic main. The gas was distributed via street mains to the consumer. (Submitted on December 5, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Iron Retorts (<i>located at the Excelsior House, 3 blocks from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 24, 2014
4. Iron Retorts (located at the Excelsior House, 3 blocks from marker)

For gas street lights 1871
gas distillation from pine knots
illuminating power 10 burning candles
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on December 3, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 3, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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