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The Victorian EyeA Political History of Light and Vision in Britain, 1800-1910$
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Chris Otter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226640761

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226640785.001.0001

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The Government of Light: Gasworks, Gaslight, and Photometry

The Government of Light: Gasworks, Gaslight, and Photometry

Chapter:
(p.135) Four The Government of Light: Gasworks, Gaslight, and Photometry
Source:
The Victorian Eye
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226640785.003.0005

This chapter studies the development of gaslight and the networks that secured it. As physical systems delivering gas to its point of illumination proliferated, questions of management became pressing. Mains and gasworks had to be inspected and maintained, while the standards of both gas and the light it produced needed calculating. The science of photometry had emerged in the eighteenth century but became particularly important when light levels, for both public and private use, required measuring. This was an extremely complicated task, and the chapter traces the institutionalization of municipal photometry and various attempts to establish minimal light levels for streetlights.

Keywords:   gas networks, municipal photometry, light levels, streetlights

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