Seeing the light

Hello, it’s great to be here early for once instead of rushing around at the last-minute. I hope you’ve all had a good week. I’m looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and Monday off, when I will try to catch up on some of my writing projects (she says with fingers crossed)

Thanks to Renee Heath for the photo prompt this week and a special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for her continuing support, diplomacy and encouragement.

Copyright Renee Heath

Copyright Renee Heath

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

Seeing the light

Frederick watches the crowd gathered on the pavement.  They are getting restless. Some shout concerns, about their safety, loss of their livelihoods. Not many seem supportive of his demonstration.

‘You’ll blow us all to kingdom come, you mad German!’

‘It’ll never work!’

‘What about the poor candlemakers?’

His wife tightens her grip on his arm.

At 9pm the gas is turned on. Pall Mall is lit up from end to end; the crowd roars approval, some even come to shake his hand.

‘Listen to them now liebling, no need for your fears.  You should have more faith in your husband.’

Artist unknown. Courtesy of National Gas Museum

Artist unknown. Courtesy of National Gas Museum

and now for the history bit…

In 1807, Frederick Winsor, a German born entrepreneur, demonstrated the use of gas to light streets, in London’s Pall Mall. Fifteen years later almost every large town in Britain, as well as Europe and North America, had a gasworks. The company he founded – The Gas Light & Coke Company, continued to supply most of the gas in London, until the industry was nationalised in 1949.  Read more at The National Gas Museum website.

For more stories click on Mr Frog 



54 thoughts on “Seeing the light

  1. I like the glimpses of people’s reaction before and after his demonstration. Many great innovations frightened people before they saw their value.
    I also liked that people’s curiosity got the better of them – they were there to watch even at the risk of being blown to kingdom come 🙂


  2. Super job, Dee! Enjoyable historical fiction. The gas light was a HUGE deal back in the day. My favorite part is where the crowd roars. I could see this happening like in a movie! Cool.


    • Thanks Kent (or is it Ken, I’m never sure which you prefer).
      I think is must have made an enormous difference to everyday life, not always good as I remember reading somewhere that gaslight in factories meant workers could/had to work longer hours.
      Pleased you liked it.


    • Dear Rochelle

      Thank you. I enjoyed the bit of research for this once I had the idea, and I’m really pleased that you like it.

      Take care



  3. Very nice story! 🙂 The only thing I would recommend is putting the whole of the descriptive parts in past tense (not the dialogue). Whatever the tense is (simple present? present continuous? maybe a mixture of both) made for more difficult reading for me. I find that past tense verbs read stronger. Maybe that IS just me. 😉 In any event, I liked the story (and the history lesson) very much.


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