Oakland Gaslight Co. and its successors


In Oakland, most of the metal underfoot is the product of a few companies, and I haven’t made a practice of documenting it. But on the 3600 block of Martin Luther King Way, this caught my eye. It’s surely well over a hundred years old.

Incorporated in 1866 as the Oakland Gas Light Company, this firm built its gasworks on the north side of Broadway, between 1st and 2nd Streets, and set up lamps along Broadway up to 14th Street and several blocks on each side. The city paid 22.5 cents per night for each lamp. The company merged out of existence in 1903.

I found this ancient lid from the original “Gas Light Company” in Piedmont, at 250 Sheridan Avenue. It must be the oldest object in Piedmont.


Here’s a fixture on Alice Street around 9th Street from the firm’s days as the Oakland Gas Light and Heat Company.

And this full-sized access cover is on 24th Street near Harrison.

Finally, I recorded an access cover with the same name in another post.

The Annual Report of the Secretary to the Board of Regents, University of California, for 1883-84 records dozens of payments to this company. Other references pop up from the 1870s. The company changed names a few times, grew, merged, and eventually became part of today’s PG&E.

The Oakland Wiki has a little more about the company.

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