Gas streetlamp on Holliday Street first lit 200 years ago
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) rededicated on February 7, 2017 the first gas streetlamp in the country at a ceremony held at the corner of North Holliday and East Baltimore Streets in downtown Baltimore. The gas streetlamp was first lit on February 7, 1817 by BGE’s predecessor, the Gas Light Company of Baltimore.
“In 1816, artist Rembrandt Peale had a need to light his art museum so visitors could view his paintings and he later had a vision to light the streets of Baltimore,” said Alexander Núñez, senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs for BGE. “As the founder of BGE’s predecessor—the first gas light company in the country, his legacy of innovating for customers still drives our employees today. We are focused on delivering energy reliably and safely and on creating new tools that enhance our customers’ lives and businesses.”
Peale first lit up a room in his museum on Holliday Street using a ring of burning gas on June 11, 1816. Eight days later, the mayor signed an ordinance allowing the Gas Light Company of Baltimore to begin lighting the streets. That became a reality on Feb. 7, 1817, when the first gas street lamp was lit at a ceremony on Holliday Street.
“It is fitting that we remember the innovation of the past and rededicate this historic lamp at a time when the city of Baltimore and BGE are seeking opportunities to work collaboratively in the best interest of our residents and businesses, including making streetlight improvements,” said Jim Smith, chief of strategic alliances for the office of the mayor. “It is with great pride and enthusiasm that the city of Baltimore congratulates BGE on this important milestone.”
The spirit of innovation that lit the first streetlamp carries through to today as part of BGE’s commitment to advancing smart energy. From electric vehicles to solar panels to energy efficient LED lighting, BGE is constantly looking for innovative ways to embrace technology and exceed customer expectations.
BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation’s first gas utility, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.