Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 144,997 pages of information and 230,624 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1849 The Great Central Gas Consumers' Company was formed by Deed of Settlement, backed by the Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London following petitions against high gas prices.
It was proposed that the company would build a works to provide gas at 4 shillings per unit when the other companies charged 7 shillings.
1850 The works at Bow Common were engineered by Mr Croll who was also contractor. A noticeable feature was the process, devised by Croll, of employing waste heat from one set of retorts to fire another.
1851 the company gained statutory powers via the The Great Central Gas Consumers Act 1851.
1857 Alexander Wright was appointed consulting engineer
Although successful in reducing the price of gas, the Great Central suffered because of it - Bow Common works fell into disrepair.
1860s One of 13 gas companies supplying gas in London
An act of embezzlement by an employee finally compelled the company to sell to the Gas Light and Coke Co.
1926 The works were almost entirely rebuilt.
1954 the works were used in a large-scale trial of accelerated carbonisation, and were still in operation three years later.