Timeline: 1st September 1909
The Government's plans to transform the way we light our homes and offices took a new step today, with the announcement that the sale and import of gas mantles is to be banned.
For several years, the so-called "light bulbs", originally patented by Messrs Edison and Swann, have been gaining in popularity. Proponents of electrical lighting have claimed that the new technology provides safe and efficient light, free from the fumes and soot associated with gaslights and candles.
However, these is some resistance to the spread of electrical lighting. "The light is too sudden," claims a Mr Hughes, a farrier from Hampstead. "One activates the switching mechanism and suddenly the room is flooded with white light. I much prefer the gradual increase in illumination to be experienced with the gas mantle. And as for the price - I understand the Maxim company will be charging a half-shilling per bulb. It will never catch on, mark my words."
It appears that these fears will not be easily allayed, however. A spokesman for the London Electric Company commented thus: "We need to progress finally into the 20th century. There must be no delay. The incandescent light bulb is our future. And, once we have moved to safe, clean electric light, I see no reason why we would ever need to change."