Parlor Gas Meter
Conspicuous (gas) consumption
Rather than being placed out of sight, this 14-inch ornamental gas meter was turned into a parlor piece. It was made by W.W. Goodwin of Philadelphia, about 1867. In addition to announcing the presence of gas in the home, this meter epitomized the era's fascination with gadgetry and innovation. Though gas lights had been used in streets and public buildings since the early 1800s, it was uncommon in homes until after the Civil War. Even then, it was initially restricted to wealthy urbanites.
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