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An English copper “Camberwell” pattern street lantern,
the square section tapered body with cupped spinnings a cylindrical chimney vent atop the tented roof constructed from opaque enamelled panels, all raised on a four-pronged chair-iron, the electric lamp-holder wired from the base,
The Camberwell was one of the earliest patterns of copper gas-lanterns made to light the Georgian terraces of the South London borough and beyond. An elegant design they were somewhat notorious for over-heating and expolding - not many survive.
The first display of gas street lighting in London, in the world, involved a publicity stunt by an eccentric German: Frederick Winsor (an anglophile, born Winzer, he had changed his name on moving to London). In 1807 to mark the birthday of Prince George, soon to be Regent, Winsor lit up part of the north side of Pall Mall using his own design of gas lanterns. The Prince, as a result, was later to give his patronage to gas and Winsor went on to form the Gas Light and Coke Company. The light from the gas lamps was far superior to that of its humble predecessor the oil lamp and that night in St. James it caused delight to those that flocked to see it.
The Monthly Magazine commented that,
"...from the success of this considerable experiment, hopes may now be entertained that this long talked of mode of lighting our streets may at length be realised. The Mall continued crowded with spectators untilnearly 12 o'clock and they seemed much amused and delighted by this novel exhibition."
The Gas Light & Coke Co. followed, and became a huge success, but Winsor was later pushed out. He was to die in obscurity in Paris in 1830. His gravestone reads: "At evening time it shall be light", Zach XIV, 7".