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I’ve Got Gas January 30, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in inventions, nostalgia, science, steampunk, Wild West.

Part and parcel with steampunk has to be the gaslight era (Victorian times up through 1920 or so). This style of streetlamp goes into the Art Deco era nicely (a style I am fond of)

This was a major step forward, bringing light to darkness and allowing commerce after sundown. Or perhaps more legitimate commerce rather than what was likely being conducted under the murk of night. Anything that lengthens the work day increases commerce of all kinds.

It is strange how we roll forward, progress-wise, but always seem to spin our wheels. 1792 was the first use of gas for lighting and proved to be the best illumination until the late 1800s when electricity brought us the now-banned light bulb for basking in brilliance during the nighttime around 1892. With solar, wind and biomass pretty much not going to make a dent in our energy generation problems, and nuclear still shunned because of The China Syndrome and fear mongering over Three Mile Island, we are left with coal (clean coal doesn’t exist and coal gasification is dangerous) and natural gas.

Gas. Just like they burned in the gaslight era. This time, the fuel produces steam to power the turbines to generate electricity. Only some modern fixtures are near as lovely as they used to be.

Methane (natural gas) might be easily constructed using nanotechnology. All that’d be required of the replicator is some feedstock from carbon and hydrogen. Carbon we have plenty of. The hydrogen production is one of those technologies waiting for a breakthrough (maybe coupled with wind turbines?)

Oh, and the title of the blog? Yes, I have gas–my furnace and water heater.




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