The following statistics will enable our readers to form som e conception of the enormous consumption of gas, and of the extent to which this branch of industry has attained. Muspratt, in speaking of the influence of chemistry, says that in England, 6,000,000 tuns of coal are annually employed for the manufacture of gas, and from 12,000,000 to 15,000,000 pounds sterling are expended in its production. In London alone 500,000 tuns of coal are annually used, producing 4,500,-000,000 cubic feet of gas, and 500,000 chaldrons of coke; of the latter, 125,000 chaldrons are consumed in manufacturing the gas, ana the remainder is sold for fuel. Upwards of half a million houses in London burn gas, and the length of the main arteries for conveying it is 1,600 milee. The capital employed in the metropolis for the production of gas is $20,-000,000. The mannfacture of coal gas for the purpose of illumination affords one of the most striking instances of the triumphs of science when enlisted in the divine cause of civilization. Looking at it as a whole, and regarding the ingenuity evinced in the construction of apparatus, the chemical skill and beauty displayed in the process, and the very valuable purposes to which it is applied —it forms one of the most beautiful, curious, and useful of our manufactures; and probably there is no subject of a manufacturing character in the present day which more engages public attention—coal gas having nOw become not a mere luxury, or even convenience, but an absolute necessary.
This article was originally published with the title "Consumption of Gas"