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Archive for Thursday, November 1, 2012

100 years ago: Not enough gas heat on first chilly morning

November 1, 2012

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Nov. 1, 1912:

"'Better get some coal or wood to burn.' This same warning that has been so oft repeated by gas officials, and by the city administration, was again heard this morning. But this time from a far different source and in a far more forceful manner. Experience spread the warning in the Lawrence homes this morning. The experience of getting out of a warm bed into a chilly atmosphere of the room and the discouraging results of an attempt to warm up with a gas stove. A little flicker followed the efforts and a tiny flame that seemed to be doing its best to master the situation as it sputtered about seemed to be the only result. The gas was going low, perhaps it would give out entirely, and this on the very first day of winter. Rather a discouraging outlook for a gas supply this winter, it must be admitted, and there seemed to be little hope for anything better while colder weather would no doubt make conditions even worse.... The shortage was felt this morning in north and northwest Lawrence. Many housewives found themselves without a sufficient fire to cook their breakfasts this morning while it was almost impossible to warm out the house with the gas that was obtainable. Those who had already supplied themselves with coal or wood for just such an emergency made preparations for using it while many of those who had not hastened to the phone to order a ton of coal. And the coal dealers did a flourishing business this morning.... At the gas office this morning it was stated by the gas officials that there was little chance of better conditions during the present cold spell. With the return of warm weather it was stated that the gas pressure would resume something like its natural condition.... It was claimed that the pressure at every distributing station had been cut to five pounds in an effort to make an equal distribution of all gas that could be obtained. Other towns in the state experienced the same shortage. Topeka and Kansas City felt the cut while cities farther away felt it even more. St. Joe and Atchison and Leavenworth were shorter than Lawrence, Ottawa, and other cities nearer the fields.... In the distance there is some relief in sight, according to the officials of the Kansas Natural. They hope to have completed a pipe line to more southern fields by this time and they believe that when they are able to draw from these wells they will be better able to cope with the cold weather and the demand for gas by the consumers."

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