Saturday, May 9, 2009

follow the trail of grates

the australian gas light company introduced the use of public gas to city streets in 1841. fifteen years later it was turned on for public home use in melbourne [sydney was a little behind].

since the discovery of natural gas [1900], old town gas which was generated through the burning of fossil fuels has since been replaced. it took over sixty years from the first public experiments after the initial accidental discovery in queensland to widespread distribution throughout the country.

dotted around our streets are these branded steel grates testament to the early forefather companies who helped shape very different looking cities to what we see today. there are literally hundreds of different variations, all gorgeous in their own utilitarian aesthetic, documenting a tiny historical urban chapter.

with the rapidly changing inconstant city face, one day they just might not be there anymore, these humble icons underfoot of yesteryear.

do you know the way to shell beach?

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