Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,518 pages of information and 233,949 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Swan Village Gas Works

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19th century: the first works of the Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas Company

1950s Swan Village Gasworks, represented the contribution that gas makes to civilised life. The public supply of gas began long before that of electricity and for a century it was unmatched as a source of illumination. In that field it has since had to yield supremacy to electricity. But in the house it is fully competitive for heating, cooking and refrigerating; and in industry it very much retains its own field of usefulness, besides others in which it competes with electricity and with alternative fuels. The retort house of the new Swan Village Gasworks at Birmingham was a typical example of the clean design of modern 1950s gas works buildings. In the retort house there are four benches of Woodall-Duckham continuous vertical retorts, and the installation included complete coal, coke and ash handling plants, producer gas dilution plant, and four waste heat boilers. With a throughput of 530 tons of coal a day the installation gave a daily output of some 8,500,000 cubic ft. of gas at a calorific value of 475 B.Th.U. [1]

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