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Burrell Collection Photo Library, 1955 Survey

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A "lichtie" (gaslighter) in Park Circus, 1955.

Gas street lights were introduced to Glasgow in 1818 by the Glasgow Gas-Light Co. The Glasgow Police Act of 1866 authorised the Police Board to install lighting in streets, courts and common stairs. In 1869 the city acquired Glasgow's two gas companies and by 1870 the Gas Department had installed up 10,657 street lights and 17,284 stair lights in the city.

The first electric lights were introduced to Glasgow in 1893. By 1914 the Corporation Lighting Department was responsible for 19,437 gas and 1,541 electric street lights. As electricity became more popular, gas lights were phased out. By 1955 the Corporation maintained 7,723 gas lights compared to 33,186 electric street lights. In 2004 the once-familiar figure of the "lichtie" has faded from the public memory.

In 1955 Partick Camera Club set out to create a photographic survey of Glasgow. As the project progressed, other camera clubs joined and each was allocated a district of the city to photograph. Glasgow Museums exhibited the photographs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and at the People's Place, and in 1956 the exhibition was shown at the Palace of Art in Bellahouston Park. The photographs are now part of Glasgow Museums' collections.

Reference: 1005.97.250 / OG.1955.121.[210]

Reproduced with the permission of Partick Camera Club

gas lights, gaslighters, Glasgow Corporation Lighting Department, Glasgow Gas-Light Co, Glasgow Photographic Survey 1955, Glasgow Police Act, 1866, lamp posts, lamplighters, lichties, motor cars, street lighting

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