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Castlefields Mill: Gas Lighting

Image: General View of Mill for Messrs Benyon, Benyon and Bage, 1811 (Boulton & Watt pf 5 805). The view of the mill provides information on the number of burners.

Image from: Birmingham City Archives

Boulton & Watt were one of the important pioneers of gas lighting in Britain. Though the role of their employee, William Murdoch as a pioneer of gas lighting has been exaggerated, the firm began to manufacture and supply gas lighting to factories in the early 19th century. Though the first customers were cotton factories in Lancashire and Scotland after 1806, other businesses also purchased furnaces and retorts. Marshall secured equipment for his Leeds and Shrewsbury businesses in 1810 and 1811. Benyon, Benyon and Bage installed Boulton & Watt equipment at Castlefields in 1811 which cost over £758.



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