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William Murdock (1754-1839), Inventor of gas lighting

Sitter in 5 portraits
A significant contributor to the advance of technology in four major areas: steam engine design; self-propelled vehicles; machine tools and gas lighting. Brought up in his father's trade of engineering, in 1776 he secured a position with the Birmingham steam engine manufacturing firm of Boulton and Watt. He swiftly became the firm's principal pattern maker and assistant engine builder and spent the next twenty years improving on Watt's basic design. In about 1792, he began experimenting on the illuminating properties of gases. His Redruth home was the first domestic residence to be lit in this way and was followed in 1805 by the first gas-lit factory: the Philips and Lee cotton mill in Manchester.

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