Light: Gas Light in Queen Square, c.1863

Queen Square c.1863 <br> Photo courtesy of Public Archives and Records Office

Queen Square c.1863
Photo courtesy of Public Archives and Records Office

Originally, Charlottetownians used tallow candles and whale oil lamps for their home lighting.  In the streets, torches and lamps would light the way. Gas lighting was introduced to North America in 1816 and many cities, including St John, New Brunswick used the “new” technology. It would take a little longer for it to catch on in Charlottetown, however.  In 1853, a bill to incorporate the Charlottetown Gaslight Company was passed. City Council was not happy with the new gas lighting as it was not illuminating their meeting sufficiently – indeed it was often going out – so they were reluctant to expand the program to include street lighting. It would be six more years before gas lights began to be installed on city streets.

 

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