Gas Supply

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Operators involved in Gas Supply are those supplying gas through mains systems.



Gas powered manufacturing works were first separately listed in the Victorian Statistical Register in 1878, when 24 installations were recorded. Half were located in the central City of Melbourne municipality and the remainder scattered across three inner suburbs and the country towns of Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Geelong and Hamilton.
In October 1879, the Victorian Government exempted “Engines of which gas is the direct motive power” from the general 25% import duty levied on steam engines and general machinery. This action, together with the new “Otto Silent” design, appears to have had an immediate impact, with the number of gas-powered factories increasing rapidly from 29 in 1879, to 41 in 1880 and 76 in 1881. By the mid 1880s, Victoria had over 150 factories employing gas engines, representing about 13% of all mechanically powered manufacturing works.
The most significant early concentration of gas engines occurred in the printing industry with printing works, stationery and account-book manufacturers accounting for 75% of all gas engine powered manufacturing works recorded in 1878. Although this percentage would decline over subsequent years, a decade later in 1888, the printing industry still contributed 43% or 106 of the 255 gas-powered manufacturing works in Victoria. The early adoption of gas engines in printing works followed similar trends in the trade in Britain and the United States. The introduction of continuous rotary printing presses, ruling machines (for printing account books and ledgers), power guillotines, binding machines and ink-mixing machines around this time all generated a new demand for mechanical power in printing workshops. Whilst most of the machines were designed to be either manually or mechanically powered, the introduction of a small engine provided immediate benefits in reducing the wages required for manual labour an increased output. [1]

The People

Ballarat Gas Company

Bacchus Marsh Gasworks

Maryborough Gas Company



See Also



  1. M. S. Churchward. ‘Gas Engines in Victorian Industry, 1870—1950.’ 3rd Australasian Engineering Heritage Conference 2009, page 3.

Further Reading

External Links

--Beth Kicinski 11:39, 26 August 2014 (EST)

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