After having left England, Winsor arrived 1816 in Paris and tried his luck with similar, if not worse results. His company projects were to illuminate the Passage des Panoramas, the Palais de Luxembourg, and the facade of the Odéon theatre. He finally abandonned the company he had created and left the sharholders with the equipment that was of no use for them [1]. Antoine Pauwels (1796-1852), founder of a chemical enterprise, who had experimented with coal gaz and had illuminated his factory in Faubourg St. Denis, was approached by some of the shareholders if he was interested in the equipment. He agreed and founded in 1820 a new comapany of which he was the director. The comapny managed to illuminate the Chamber of Paris, the Odean theatre and some private houses. Motivated by this success the shareholders decided in 1821 to create a second company for building a big gas work on the right of the river Seine. [2]. Within a short time a share of 1000 Francs was traded at 6000 Francs [3].    

No sooner that the work for a gas work in Faubourg Poissonière had started, unexpectedly competitors emerged. The French king created a gas work, originally intended to illuminate exclusively the opera, but was later sold to a ccompany that chose the name "Compagnie Royale" (Royal Company). This company lined up to illuminate the ccity. An English company obtained authorization for a gas work at the gate of Courcelles. Three enterprises were now competing and the authorities divided between them the districts to be illuminated. [4]

Responding to complaints of residents that the works would be disturbing, the administration considered in September 1823 to withdraw the authorizations.  

Obviously in 1821 the Paris adminstration saw a need to regulate the conditions under which private companies could develop a gaz distribution network. For example article 3 of the relevant regulation [12] stated:

"... the gaz pipes should be placed the closest possible to the buildings only on one side of the road which is opposite to the side of the road where the water pipes are running ... or in the middle of the road at equal distance to the water pipes if the water pipes are running on both sides of the road" 


[1] Antoine Pauwels, "Réponse par M. Pauwels fils ainé, gérant de la compagnie franciase d'écalirage par le gaz aus reproches faits contre sa gestion", Paris, 1827, Imprimerie de Setier, Cour de faontaines, N° 7, p. 2.

[2] Antoine Pauwels, ibid, p. 2

[3] Antoine Pauwels, ibid, p. 3, foot note

[4] Antoine Pauwels, ibid, p. 3

[5] Antoine Pauwels, ibid, p. 4

[12] BAP 7131. Pièces diverses relative à l'établissement des conduites pour l'éclairage au gaz dans Paris, Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1848, p. 3

[13] Jean-Pierre Williot, "Naissance d'un reseau gazier à Paris au XIXe siècle : distribution gazière et éclairage" in Histoire, économie et société, 1989, 8e année, n° 4, pp. 569-591;