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Tyne and Wear HER(1611): Whitley Bay, Watts Road, Promenade, Sewer Gas Lamp - Details

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N Tyneside

Whitley Bay, Watts Road, Promenade, Sewer Gas Lamp

Whitley Bay


Gardens Parks and Urban Spaces

Street Lamp

Gas Lamp




Joseph Webb, a Birmingham man, invented a sewer lamp in the 1890s, primarily to destroy sewer smells and germs. Contrary to popular belief, however, these lamps do not burn sewer gas, but ordinary town gas. The updraught created by the flame's heat conducts the sewer gases up through the hollow column and over the three or four lighted mantles, where they are purified before being released into the atmosphere. 10 lamps survive in Whitley Bay and Monkseaton, most or all probably dating to between 1900 and 1910. The legend "The Webb Lamp Co. Ltd." is on the door plate of each example. This is an intact example with complete glass lantern.




<< HER 1611 >> P. Syder, 1973, Shedding light on a Victorian light shedder, Gas World, 22/29 December, 1973 T. Henderson, 1993, Lighting up for the way we were, The Journal, 15 December, 1993 I. Ayris, 1992, Sewer Gas Lamps in Whitley Bay and Monkseaton; North Tyneside Council, November 2008, Register of Buildings and Parks of Special Local Architectural and Historic Interest SDP (Local Development Document 9); Brian Singer, Northumbria University, September 2015, Investigation of paints from objects on Whitley Bay waterfront for Kier North Tyneside

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