The Gas Lamp

In the years before electricity was widespread, Wandsworth was filled with gas lamps - and not just on the streets and in the home; Falk's Veritas gas mantle works, for example, was situated on Garratt Lane, where it made gas mantles to hang above the open flames in street lighting.

But a lot of the gas lamps in Wandsworth weren't just for lighting - they were there to burn off the dangerous accumulation of sewer gases. A lamp-post would be set on top of a sewer (there was one at the corner of Upper Tooting Road and Trinity Road, for example), and the dangerous emissions that built up in the sewer would flow through to the flame and keep it alight. This meant you could always spot the sewer lamps - they were the ones that burnt all day as well as all night.

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Picture pending.
Story source: various, including the Glias database.