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The Fulton Gas Works gasometer

From Jeff Eastman:

The gasometer was the device that held the gas after it was produced and before it got piped out to the customers. This is perhaps the most noticeable structure on the Gas Works site because it is several stories tall but its purpose remains a mystery to the observer. The gasometer worked like a collapsible cup that might be used on a camping trip. There are large cylindrical rings at the base of the structure (thus why the ground is raised below the gasometer) and a metal lid on top. When enough gas was produced, one of the cylinders would rise out of the ground, and when the gasometer was full, the whole collapsible structure would rise up to the top of the steel frame.

On a pointer for reddit/r/rva, here is is a short video about gasometers:

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An undated photo of the Fulton Gas Works and Chimborazo from the special collections at the Library of Virginia.
An undated photo of the Fulton Gas Works with the gasometer expanded with gas. From the special collections at the Library of Virginia.

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TOP PHOTO by Adrianna Gallow

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7 comments

Lee 12/05/2016 at 8:34 AM

Interesting

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David Conmy 12/05/2016 at 8:47 AM

I know this site has some major brownfield clean-up issues; but, if and when the site is restored back to productive use, I hope there’s some way the gasometer and some of the other buildings can be preserved/restored. They’re some of the more iconic structures in the East End of Richmond – the gasometer, itself, even makes me think of some sort of public art/modern sculpture.

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Juliellen 12/05/2016 at 11:10 AM

The gasometer structure at Fulton Gas Works has become a signature element in the landscape, along with the Fulton Gas Works building and sign. An osprey pair nest on the top of the structure.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 12/06/2016 at 11:43 AM

Yes, it would be a shame to tear it down since it is a remnant of a bygone era which was an important part of the local infrastructure.

John, did you change web page software? The post entry has a different layout and no way to log in by Facebook.

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John M 12/06/2016 at 11:52 AM

@Eric – yep. The plugin that I used for that piece is no longer supported. I’m in the process of seeing how it recreate some of the features from that. I’ll probably post about it when I’ve figured it out more.

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Eric S. Huffstutler 12/06/2016 at 12:07 PM

Thanks, John. I have also noticed the new software does not allow you to create spaced paragraphs but runs them into a single string.

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coqui 12/07/2016 at 7:57 PM

Very cooool!
Thank you Jeff Eastman and John Murden for the research, the information and cool video, So many layers to this landscape that surrounds us in this oldest part of Richmond.

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