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148 > Page 148 of City of Louisville and a glimpse of Kentucky / Young Ewing Allison.

Tle ISAuisOille Gaes C npajy. f -ia G HE LOUISVILLE GAS COMPANY was chartered in 1836, and a year or two later began to distribute gas to the citizens of Louisville. The original charter granted the exclusive privilege of making gas in the city of Louisville for thirty years. In 1869 the charter was renewed with the exclusive privilege for twenty years. This privilege was granted in view of the fact that the city owned about one-third of the stock and got its streets lighted at actual cost. The company has been in active operation for fifty years, and during that time has made gas continuously except for two nights in February, ISS3, when the flood put out the fires and the city was left in total darkness. In the following year the water rose higher by several inches, but precautions had been taken and the company did not have to stop work. The capital stock of the company is now 2,500,ooo, of which the city owns goo,ooo. The city elects four of the nine Directors. The officers are George W. Morris, President; Thomas L. Barret, Vice-President; A. H. Barret, Engin- eer; W. P. Lee, Treasurer; E. S. Porter, Secretary; John S. Morris, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer. The Directors are George W. Morris, John M. Atherton, Thomas L. Barret, A. H. Barret, J. L. Smyser, and the following gentlemen on the part of the city: James A. Leach, Harry Bishop, E. W. McDonald, and John M. Robinson. Mr. Morris succeeded the late John G. Baxter to the Presidency of the company in April, 1885, having been a Direc- tor active in its affairs for ten years previous to that time. Since Mr. Morris has come into the office, the policy of the company has been broadened and efforts have been made to satisfy the demands of the public in every possible way. The quality of the gas has been greatly improved and the service been in many ways rendered more efficient. The capacity of the works has been continuously increased, and, within the last two years, the company has spent 150,ooo in introducing modern machinery and improvements. The manufacture of gas by means of these improvements is too intricate to be gone into here. It is only necessary to say the company keeps apace with the times and furnishes the citizens of Louisville with as fine an illuminating gas as is made anywhere in the country, and that the service is as nearly perfect as it can be made. Mr. Barret, the engineer in charge of the works, has had long experience in gas man- nfacture and is thoroughly skilled in his science. Louisville is not as large a consumer of gas as its population would lead one to suppose, the wide spread of the city TE LOtUSvLLE GAS COMPANS WORKS making it at present impracticable to lay mains to some of the out-lying districts. These are illuminated by means of oil lamps in the streets. But as fast as a district becomes sufficiently settled, the gas company lays its pipes. The annual product is 375,ooo,0xx cubic feet, to make which there is a consumption of over a million bushels of coal, the coal used being Pittsburgh with some Cannel mixed with it to give the gas a greater illuminating poser. The productive capacity of the works is two million feet of gas per day, the maximum consumption being 1,6oo,o00o feet. This capacity is to be greatly increased within the next year or two. The company employs 15o men. exclusive of those engaged in laying pipes in the streets. There are 125 miles of street mains, and new ones are constantly put down in localities to which they have not hitherto been extended. There are 3,000 street lamps in the city, for lighting which the city pays no tax whatever. Throughout the city there are 7,5o0 consumers, and there are about io,ooo service pipe connections, going from the mains to the houses. At the gas works are two enormous holders, and another is located in Portland. A fourth one will be built w-:thin the near future. These great tanks cost something like Ioo,ooo each, and on account of this expense in building them it would be poor financiering to store gas for future consumption, it being much cheaper to make the necessary supply frontl day to day. Of course, the LoUmsvILLE GAS COMPANY, like every similar institution, has come in for its share of abuse from the public. Where is the gas company that has not But within the last few years the complaints have grown less and less frequent as the service has been improved by means of modern machinery and through the efforts of the officers and directors, who have studiously endeavored to avoid all cause of grievance. There is no more capable business man in this community than Mr. George W. Morris, and no man has the confidence of the public to a greater degree. 148