Established in 1953 and located in Minneapolis, MN

Did You Know? – A Little Gas Company History

1.  In our company’s early years,  45 men were employed to light gas lamps in Minneapolis at night fall and  to extinguish them in the morning.   They were housed overnight on call, in dorms,  because if the moon became visible to illuminate the city they were required to put out the gas lights to save on fuel.  Conversely if clouds appeared and cover the moon they had to re-light these gas lamps.

2.  A Minneapolis ordinance was approved in 1871 to prohibit people from  hitching their horses to the gas company’s gas light posts.  Too many horses, when frightened, were damaging the gas lamps atop the posts showering glass fragments down the street.  The ordinance was generally ignored.

3.  Busiest day of the year for gas company employees in the 1920’s?  It was Thanksgiving Day.  Gas lighting had gone by the wayside replaced by electic lights and home heating by gas had not yet taken hold.  The company’s Gas Works would be manufacturing gas at maximum capacity to supply all the homes preparing Thanksgiving dinner.   Additionally company servicemen were on call to repair gas ranges that broke down while preparing the meal.

4.  On November 12,1931, ground was broken for the Linden Service Center at Linden and Lyndale Avenue, next to the garage built a year earlier, and the storage gas holder that had been there for many years.

5.   A very common method of suicide in  the first half of the 20th century was by putting one’s head in a gas oven.  This concerned the gas company greatly with records kept of suicides by gas in Minneapolis and proposals made to resolve this horrible problem.  How was this suicide method possible?  Manufactured gas (our main source of gas supply through the mid 1950s) contained amounts of carbon monoxide that could kill a person if inhaled in large amounts.  Pipeline natural gas, which replaced manufactured gas, does not contain carbon monoxide,  and thus eliminated this source of suicide.