The Launceston Gas Company was formed in May 1858 after a public meeting at the Cornwall Hotel. The company obtained land on the Esplanade near the North Esk River and William Falconer was appointed superintending engineer. The gasworks and offices were built in 1859. The gas was obtained from coal which was roasted in retorts and stored in airtight gasometers. Gas street lamps were lit for the first time in April 1860. There were initially 123 gas lamps. The Mechanics' Institute in Cameron Street was the first building to be supplied with gas lighting. By June 1860 238 homes were connected to the gas mains. The use of gas spread quickly; by 1900 3,500 houses were connected to 60 kms of gas mains. Gas was still used for cooking and heating in the 1970s. The change to butane saw the end of coal gas in the late 1970s. In 1984 the company's name was changed to the Gas Corporation of Tasmania. In 1988 the company was sold to Boral and the manufacture of gas ceased.
Peter Cox, 'The Launceston Gas Company' in Way Back When: People, Places, Events; and Thomas Gunn, 'The Launceston Gas Company' in The Companion to Tasmanian History.