Once I got a moment I stopped at looked at the lamp in the corner this morning. It has been in the museum for a while yet I never look at it. At one time it lit up the station platform aiding the inspector and guards to catch fare dodgers and find dropped coins when the passengers had passed through. It is amazing to think we used to light all our lamps by gas! Houses, churches, theatres and pubs were all gas lit. This gave the benefit of also warming the place up but made the people drowsy somewhat. That must have annoyed many a preacher and aided many a pickpocket I suspect.
The daily round of what we called in Edinburgh, 'the Leerie,' who went around with a long pole with a wee light on the end opening each lamp, lighting the wick and passing on to the next. All over the land men wandered about with their pole, kids chasing them asking for a shot at lighting the lamp, a job mostly occupied by aged men, possibly unfit for any other purpose. How long would it take to light a town during the 19th century, especially when some 'Jack the Ripper' type was urging you to hurry up so he could get on with his er, occupation.
Some gas is still in operation, Buckingham Palace is lit , outside, by gas lamps, as are the royal parks and Covent Garden area! Berlin has some 44,000 lamps in operation as have some areas in the USA. With the privatisation of gas I suspect to have gas lit streets today would quadruple a towns costs! Today the street lights around here go off between midnight and five am to save cash. The railway must have been more atmospheric in those days. Mist, gas light, steam engines, the mixed aromas, nothing like that exists today sadly.
Interesting to note Google offered a hummingbird for 'earth day, yesterday Charlotte Bronte's birthday was commemorated but nothing was on show for the risen Christ. Google deliberately avoids Christian festivals although all sorts of obscure American personages and scientific ones are on offer. Militancy at work, certainly not 'equality.'