The history of human inventions goes hand in hand with the development of human progress and industry as a whole. The thousand-year history of horse-drawn carriages and candle lighting has evolved rapidly over some three hundred years, passing through certain intermediate stages. In the evolution of lighting such an intermediate stage, connecting the ancient torch with the Edison lamp, became a gas horn. Currently, he evokes literary associations with Victorian England and Po novel. Meanwhile, the first gas lamp appeared on the continent.
When did he appear?
The gas horn owes its origin to Philippe Lebon, a French engineer and natural scientist. In 1790 he engaged in the processes of distillation of dry wood. Analyzing his own experiments, one day a scientist threw a handful of dry sawdust into a glass vessel. So, Lebon selected a gas that burned with a bright even flame, far exceeding the light devices available that day.
For some time Philippe Lebon experimented with a new gas, and soon he patented his discovery. The day when the gas horn appeared (of course, the first and primitive), and is considered to be a new milestone in the life of gas lighting. But before the industrial commissioning of new lamps, almost a century remained.
The second half of the XIX century is characterized as a worldwide industrial breakthrough in science and technology. The old invention - a gas lamp - received a second life. Science again returned to the idea of using gas lighting.
The idea to use gas for street lighting belonged to King George IV of England, and at that time still Prince of Wales. The first gas horn was lit at his residence Carlton House. A couple of years later - in 1807 - gas lamps lit up at Pall Mall. This British street was very busy and demanded an unremitting traffic control already in those distant times. Pell-Mell became the first street in the world to be lit by gas.
At that time the gas horn was a rather dangerous device - the lighted gas left the unprotected end of the gas pipe. Soon, to protect the burner, a metal lampshade with several apertures was built. By 1819, for lighting in the English capital, 288 miles of gas pipes were laid, which supplied gas to over 50,000 lanterns. The London initiative was also taken up by other industrial centers. Over the next ten years, most of the central squares and streets of major European cities have already been covered with gas. To light the lanterns was entrusted to specially trained people - lanternsmen.
This ancient and honorable profession was quite dangerous - the lanterns often exploded, mutilating others. Nevertheless, there were quite a few people wishing to risk their lives on a daily basis - lanterns received remuneration from the London treasury and had good views on pension provision in the event of an accident.
The standard gas horn became quite common - it was successfully used to illuminate streets in the dark. In London, even a lantern with two gas horns was installed. It was used in strong fog, in the evening and at night. The light from the gas in such a lantern passed through colored glasses and duplicated the commands of the regulator, without which the lively movement of wagons, cabs and riders would have completely stalled.
The second generation
The second birth of the gas horn was in 1886. The new invention was externally indistinguishable from the old familiar - kerosene lamp. The company AUER weight was patented such a lighting device, and for a long time it was called "Beak of Auer".
The next stage in the development of lighting devices was an invention patented in 1890. The Auer Von Welsbach lamps gave the world a dazzling white light, not compared to the artificial light of the past. A stunning effect was achieved thanks to the glow of incandescent microscopic carbon particles, which was present in the products of combustion and stayed in the glow grid.
The use of innovation has made it possible to reduce the spread of traditional ways of lighting houses: the candles and glass screens for fireplaces are gone, and the production of famous kerosene lamps went down a bit. Everything said that the era of lighting has moved to a new level of development.
Development of Auer
Thanks to the patent, the new design of the gas horn since 1892 became the exclusive monopoly of Auer. The patent for the gas horn of the new design allowed the manufacturer to successfully develop a network of its representatives in the Old and New World, not forgetting the most remote corners of the earth. Engineers Auer did not stop there and continued to work on the problem of using the properties of gas for domestic and industrial purposes. In parallel with the spread of lighting, the company's management has taken up the problem of heating. It was thanks to the transition to another industry that the company experienced an electric boom and remained one of the largest in the world of gas engineering.
Gas lighting and electricity
At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, gas lighting was widespread in the cities of the Old and New Worlds. It seemed that the day when invented the gas horns, was a turning point in the life of mankind. Nevertheless, the sun of the gas lighting rolled off quite quickly: the first electric lighting devices replaced the gas flame. First, the changes affected street lighting, and then gas lamps were gradually dismantled in private houses and public institutions. At the present time, the quaint lanterns of the gas era can only be seen in museums dedicated to the past of cities and states of that distant era, for example, in the German Technical Museum (Germany) or in the Gas de France Museum (France).