Esoteric London

No. 197: Wardrobe Terrace, EC4

Posted in Uncategorized by esotericlondon on November 30, 2010

Wardrobe Terrace, London, EC4. Photo © Roger Dean 2010

Curiosities of London – John Timbs, 1867:

Although the Chinese have, for ages, employed natural Coal-Gas for lighting their streets and houses, only within the present century has Gas superseded in London the dim oil-lights and crystal-glass lamps of the preceding century. Dr Johnson is said to have had a prevision of this change; when, one evening, from the window of his house in Bolt Court, he observed the parish lamplighter ascend a ladder to light one of the glimmering oil-lamps: he had scarcely descended the ladder halfway when the flame expired; quickly returning, he lifted the cover partially, and thrusting the end of his torch beneath it, the flame was instantly communicated to the wick by the thick vapour which issued from it. “Ah!” exclaimed the Doctor, “one of these days the streets of London will be lighted by smoke!”