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1838 Northern Liberties Gas Works


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Stock Code NLG1838

  Unissued certificate in this Philadelphia-based gas company. This is an original certificate from when the company was established in 1838, capitalised at $200,000. Black and white certificate with black ornate border on the left hand side.

Certificate size is 26 cm wide x 14 cm high (11" x 6").

A perfect personalised gift for someone who:

  • works or worked in the gas industry

Framed Price : £90.00

Certificate Only Price : £45.00

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The company was organized under an ordinance of the District of the Northern Liberties in 1838, with an authorized capital of $100,000, divided into shares of $50 each. In 1844 it was incorporated with its capital stock limited to $200,000. Its purpose was to ‘construct and maintain suitable works for the manufacture of high carburetted hydrogen gas from bituminous coal and other substances, for the purpose of public and private illumination in the district of the Northern Liberties, or in streets dividing that district from those opposite.’
This plant is noteworthy because it was the first to extract gas from native supplies of bituminous coal along the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny rivers. 
Inventor Joseph Battin was appointed superintendent of the Gas Works, by the Board of Managers of Northern Liberties in 1841. He contributed much to gas technology by perfecting a machine for breaking and screening coal in his own shop near the gas works. Battin obtained the first U.S. patent granted for a ‘coal-breaking machine’ in 1843. Further refinements on the breaker caused Pennsylvania coal land operators to sign lucrative agreements with him. 
Northern Liberties remained the only private gas company after the 1854 Consolidation of the municipalities in Philadelphia County. 
It operated until 1956 when the Philadelphia Gas Works absorbed it.

© Roy E. Goodman and David G. Orr, Ph.D., Workshop of the World (Oliver Evans Press, 1990).



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