Lebon's thermolamp was very well known in Germany and several individuals installed thermolampes. However, in 1820 Germany was still split into 6 kingdoms, 6 grand duchies, 6 principalities, and 6 duchies. Partially due to this political situation Germany still had no significant industry, lacked of men with entrepreneurial spirit. and no capital was available. "All economic strive of an individual was subjugated by an bureaucratic absolutism".  [1]. Obviously, the German Winsor went to England for good reasons. Finally, the Saxonian king ordered on 18 June 1816 the police to find a suitable location to test gas lights in the streets of Dresden. After delays because it was not considered safe for the public, Blochman was allowed to illuminate a hall in the royal castle with 18 flames. As the King was pleased with the result Blochmann now was ordered to install street lights on some of the streets and squares of Dresden which eventually was put into action on 27 April 1828, twelve years after the Saxonian King had ordered its introduction [2].

In the meantime the "Imperial Continental Gas-Association" (ICGas); was founded in 1824 in England by Sir Moses Haim Montefiore, a British financier and banker. ICGas was determined to introduce piped gas lightening in the bigger cities of the continent. The ICGas was represented by general major Sir William Congreve, who visited Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Russia to make offers to build gas works for lightening public streets and squares. The ICGas brought everything, capital, experience, technicians, and coal. The cities just had to grant permission to lay pipes into their streets and had nothing else to care about. ICGas offered to deliver the gas for the same costs as the cities paid for oil lightening, but would deliver a three times brighter light. With such a promise it was not difficult to convince cities to give an exclusive concession. Hannover was the first city in Germany to introduce public gas lightening in 1826 for about 1000 flames. [3]

A basic issue with gas distilled from coal in Germany were the costs for the transport of coal, which depending on the distance to the coal mines could be higher than the costs for the coal itself. Two friends from Frankfurt a. M., J. Fritz Knoblauch and Dr. J. Georg Schiele therefore experimented with the distillation of oil, which had been invented by Taylor in 1815. Funded with their own capital they build their own gas work in Frankfurt a. M. and started production on 18 September 1828

However, prejudice and anxieties against gas lightening, despite a street gas lantern running for free could not convince the authorities to introduce gas lightening in the streets. Running out of capital the gas work was inactive from February to September 1829. In December 1829 the oil was substituted by American resin and the business became profitable so that in July 1939 it was handed over to a share capital corporation. [4]

The ICgas was able to sign a contract with the Prussian home minister and the police on 25 April 1825. The contract was limited to 21 years. The ICGs erected a gas work in front of the Hallesche Tor, lay pipes and erected gas lamps. The first lamps illuminated the Promenade unter den Linden on 20 September 1826. Initially only public places were supplied. but increasingly the supply of private consumers increased. The increasing demand was met with a second gas work on Holzmarktstraße, reaching out to the districts east of the river Spree. [5]

However, the consumption of town gas made very little progress. In 1846, 20 years after the introduction of town gas in Berlin, only 10.000 flames in private homes and businesses were counted. The main reason was that business and social behaviour yet hasn't changed.  There still were no increased activities during evening and night hours and consequently there was no additional need for lightening. On the other hand the Imperial Continental Gas-Association drew advantages from their contracts unilaterally and did not react to the needs of the city and the public, [6] for example extending their supply into areas where profits seemed to be less promising. From 1836 on the administration of Berlin prepared for the time after the contract has lapsed. As no agreement could reached with ICGas, Berlin build two gas works which took started production and delivery on 1 January 1847. [7]  ICGas continued with heir activities, but in view of the competition of the Berliner Gaswerke ICGas was lowering their prices.  

For a detailed list of gas prices in Germany and some other countries see here




The beginnings of town gas

Town gas in France


[1] Friedrich Knapp in [10], ibid, page 14

[2] Friedrich Knapp in [10], ibid, page 14-15

[3] Friedrich Knapp in [10], ibid, page 15

[4] Friedrich Knapp in [10], ibid, page 16

[5] Gasversorgungsunternhemen in Berlin 1826-1949, Landesarchiv Berlin, Bestandsgruppe A Rep. 259, Findbuch, page II.

[6] Friedrich Knapp in [10], ibid, page 17


cityerected by
HannoverImp. Cont. Gas-Association
BerlinImp. Cont. Gas-Association


cityerected by
DresdenG.M. S. Blochmann sen.
FrankfurtDr. J. G. Schiele & J. F. Knoblauch


cityerected by
ViennaErste österr. Gasbel.-Gesellschaft v. Tschoffen - Blochmann sen.


cityerected by
Elberfeld (today a district of Wuppertal)Doignon & Blatton (Tournai/Belge ?)
Strassbourg (France)a company from Lyon


cityerected by
AachenImp. Cont. Gas-Association
LeipzigBlochmann sen.


cityerected by
Wesel (100 km north of Cologne)M. Goddam


cityerected by
CologneImp. Cont. Gas-Association


cityerected by
Lennep, today a district of RemscheidA. Sabey


cityerected by
Deutz (today a district of Cologne)T. Schaurte
Metz (France)an enterprise from Lyon
Wüstergiersdorf (Silesia, today Poland)Blochmann sen.


cityerected by
BadenJ. B. Polaillon
Frankfurt a. MainConcurrenz-Anstalt (Imp. Cont. Gas-Association
StuttgartDollfuss from Basel (Switzerland)