Panel for the History of The Gas Industry
The IGEM Panel for the History of the Gas Industry was formed in
the mid 1970s at the time when traditional gas manufacturing
processes were being closed down after almost 170 years of
continuous development. Natural gas has replaced the old gasworks,
there were nearly 1500 of these in operation at one time using over
25% of the output from the collieries in Britain. Also new
techniques for gas distribution were being introduced. The gas
industry was changing into a modern integrated utility company and
the old face of the gas industry was fast disappearing. There was a
need to save some of the history.
Nine of the gas regions had formed collections of archival
material and old appliances and created gas museums to conserve
their "heritage". The Panel proceeded to advise and support these
and prepared "collecting policies" for the museums to avoid
duplication and repetition.
There were more significant changes to the industry in the mid
1990s. which saw the regions disappear and the formation of a
central archive at Partlington and a single national museum at
Leicester. Nine museums were closed and their contents of archive
documents and artefacts were dispersed or put into storage.
The Panel decided to concentrate on producing the Historic Gas
Times, a quarterly publication available to anyone who is
interested in the history of the industry. For more details please
complete the request form, which is available here. The
Historic Gas Times consists of articles created by Panel members
and sent in by readers covering all aspects of industry history.
The first issue appeared in 1994 and gradually built up its content
from 1000 words per issue to over 8000 words. Distribution has also
increased from about 100 copies per quarter to 400 today, which are
mailed to addresses around the world.
The Panel supports the IGEM History Fund, which is a registered
Charity, and the HGT is the newsletter of the fund. Any surplus
from the donations received for the newsletter are placed into the
For more information on the history of the Gas Industry