NPR: Carrying The Torch For London's Last Gas Lamps

An NPR article about London's last gas lamps.

Rich Preston/NPR

"In the United Kingdom, British Gas employs 30,000 workers. Five of them could be said to carry a torch that has been burning for two centuries. They are the lamplighters, tending to gas lamps that still line the streets in some of London's oldest neighborhoods and parks.

"London still has about 1,500 gas lamps. The group English Heritage decided to preserve them after almost all the others were replaced by electric lamps. These look almost exactly the same as when they were first installed 200 years ago. They're just a little taller to accommodate modern traffic.

"The gas lamps that still stand in London are now protected by law. If one is knocked down, it is replaced with an exact replica. They cast a calming, mellow light, maintained by these few remaining lamplighters — literal keepers of the flame."


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