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Tyne and Wear HER(1612): Whitley Bay, Park Road, Sewer Gas Lamp - Details

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N Tyneside

Whitley Bay, Park Road, 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.




<< HER 1612 >> 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); English Heritage Advice Report 23 December 2011; Charlie Steel, The History of Monkseaton Village

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