Gas Worker

Gas Worker. Stephen Adam. 1877-80. The Maryhill Burgh Halls, Glasgow. Click on image to enlarge it.

It is possible to suggest other firm locations for many of the Adams’ stained glass panels, by looking at the evidence provided by industrial archeology, notably John R. Hume’s The Industrial Archeology of Glasgow (1973), which is still extremely useful forty years after publication, and other sources such as old O.S. and other maps. For example, The Gas Worker would undoubtedly have worked in the Dawsholm Gasworks, opened in 1872 and owned by Glasgow Corporation and actually just across the River Kelvin from Maryhill and thus within Glasgow city boundaries. Glasgow’s provision of services like these was used as an argument for the city’s annexation of Maryhill in 1891. The panel not only shows the workman in his industrial clothing but also the process of production from coke oven to gas retort to storage tank, the latter detailed down to the iron rivets. The workman used as a model for this panel quite possibly took part in the gas workers’ strikes in the 1880s leading to the New Unionism amongst unskilled and semi-skilled workers of that decade. The gas works was demolished in 1968. — Ian R. Mitchell

Photograph courtesy of the Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust and Glasgow Life/Glasgow Museums. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Gossman, Lionel. “Stephen Adam’s Celebration of Industrial Labor.” Victorian Web.

Last modified 3 June 2016