Währing gas works (Vienna), around 1850

Source: Technisches Museum Wien
This lithograph of the Währing gas works is one of four views of historical Viennese gas works. They document the gas supply to the city in the 19th century.

The plant is also known as the Döbling gas works due to its position in today's 19th district. It mainly supplied town gas to the districts of Hernals, Währing and Döbling between 1856 and 1910.

This lithograph by C. Waage bears the original title ‘Währing Gas Works Vienna, erected by The Imperial Continental Gas Association’, and was printed by Josef Stoufs in Vienna in 1856. It is part of the historical archive of gas engineering, which also includes plan drawings such as ground plans, cross sections and detailed drawings of the gas works.

From the early 19th century, several countries tried to obtain gas from the combustion of hard coal and other raw materials. The coal gas produced in the city gas works was primarily used for public lighting, and was therefore also known as illumination gas or town gas.

The first Viennese gas works were the result of private initiatives and produced gas from oil. The first ‘gas-generating establishment’ was founded in 1828 in Rossau by a pharmacist, who also founded the ‘Österreichische Gesellschaft zur Beleuchtung mit Gas’ (Austrian Society for Gas Illumination). A gas works was set up in Fünfhaus in 1840. After two years, the London ‘Imperial Continental Gas Association’ (ICGA) took over the site in Fünfhaus, and that in Rossau in 1844. The ICGA converted these plants and by 1879 had established further gas works in Erdberg, Döbling (Währing), nearby Südbahnhof station, at Tabor, in Floridsdorf and Hütteldorf.

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Viennese city administration decided to end the monopoly of the ICGA and took control of the Viennese gas supply themselves. Construction started on the new town gas works in Simmering in 1896. Today, its ‘gasometer’ is known as a shopping centre with apartments and offices.

Inv.Nr. BPA-006313/11

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