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Relations of the city of Berlin to the different public industries

Full text: Berichte aus Anlass des Besuches der englischen Kommission zum Zweck des Studiums städtischer Einrichtungen im Auslande im Juni 1905 (Public Domain)

with as the first municipal establishments of a chiefly in- 
dustrial character, viz. the gas-works and the water-works. 
Gas-Works. The public lighting of Berlin was, till 1826, 
effected by oil-lamps. On the 1st of January 1826, the 
government authorities — for till 1875 the streets of the 
town were government property — granted to an English 
Company of the Imperial-Continental-Gas-Association the 
privilege of providing the town of Berlin with gas for 
21 years, that is up to the 1st of January 1847. The muni- 
cipal authorities had not been consulted about the matter; 
but it had been stipulated that they should have a chance 
of either renewing the contract such as it was, or of altering 
it when it expired. The privilege authorized both the 
lighting of the town and the gas-supply in private houses; 
moreover the Association should be entitled, even after the 
expiration of its contract, to further use the pipes and tubes 
belonging to it, and to continue furnishing private houses 
with gas when required. The reason for granting such a 
privilege to a foreign company was that the German industry 
lucked at that time all experience which was requisite in 
the manufacture of gas. 
When a short time before the treaty expired, the muni- 
cipal authorities examined the question to decide whether 
it was .advisable for the city to found gas-works of their 
own, there were many that cautioned against the risk of the 
new expensive venture and called attention to the compe- 
tition of the English Company. 
Nevertheless it was resolved that municipal gasworks 
should be built, and as early as 1847, January 1st, two 
establishments for making gas were opened, able to furnish 
gas for 2090 public jets and 823 private ones. The fear 
of the competition of the English Company proved to be 
groundless; on the contrary, the the rivalry of the city 
works had this happy result that the English Company was 
forced to lower the price of gas from 35,3 to 17,7 Pfennig 
per cubic meter. As the city of Berlin promised its 
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