523 Argyle Ave.

DSC00564

William W. Moore (1897) – Montreal Gas Company. A beautiful gated home.

From: http://www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca/english/collection/elect4.cfm (this link is currently not working)

“While production of electricity was still at an experimental stage, coal gas was being used in large Canadian cities, mostly to light the streets. In 1837, the Montreal Gas Lighting Company installed street lights in Montreal and, in 1841, the Toronto Gas, Light and Water Company (which became Consumers’ Gas Company in 1848), introduced them to Toronto. Gas light, generally controlled by municipal corporations, spread to Halifax (1843), Quebec City (1849), Kingston (1850), Hamilton (1851) and Ottawa (1854).

The use of coal gas caused many problems. Lamp lighters became increasingly busy maintaining the streetlamps. They had to check the flames constantly as they could be extinguished with the slightest breath of wind. Consumers complained that the lanterns were dirty and smelled bad; the gas lamps were left unclean and sometimes were not lit at all or for limited periods of time only, causing safety problems when it was dark.

This dissatisfaction with gas lighting and other factors prompted the gradual introduction of electric lighting to Canada’s cities in the 1880s. With the United States so close, American inventions quickly penetrated the market and entrepreneurs like Charles F. Brush, Thomas Edison, Elihu Thompson and Edwin James Houston took an interest in marketing their products in Canada.”


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