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When was natural gas first used?
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When was natural gas first used?

September 30, 2023
Natural gas has been utilized since ancient times, with the Chinese using it as early as 500 B.C. for lighting and heating. Read more!
The history of natural gas

We have come a long way in extracting and using natural gas, from ancient civilizations lighting fires to today's advanced technologies powering homes and industries. How and when was natural gas first used in industry and at homes?

When was natural gas discovered?

Natural gas was discovered between 6000-2000 BC. Historians found proof from early writers about petroleum and natural gas fields in the Baku region of Azerbaijan. 

Around 500 BC, they made the first natural gas pipelines from bamboo in ancient China. They used natural gas to boil saltwater so they could make salt brines. 

Natural gas was first used in homes in the 1st century AD in Persia. Gas was seeping through the earth’s crust and was struck by lightning. The lightning produced a flame that never extinguished. The King of Persia built his royal kitchen next to it to utilize the flame.

In the 8th century, the Greeks built a temple of Apollo over a flaming natural gas vent. The temple was called the “Oracle of Delphi.”

The first gas utility was founded in 1816 by renowned painter Rembrandt Peale. He originally funneled natural gas through a pipe to light his museum and gallery. Later on, Natural Gas was used to light the streetlamps of Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1821, William Hart became the father of natural gas by digging the first successful natural gas well. It was only 27 feet deep.

How long has natural gas been used?

Natural gas was first used in the industry in ancient China, where they used it to make salt by boiling water. So, it has been used for more than 2,000 years now. But globally, it started spreading in the 18th century. Since then, natural gas is everywhere!

In the 18th century, Europeans used natural gas to light streetlamps and factories. In the 19th century, natural gas became more popular in industry because it was cleaner and more convenient than coal.

When was natural gas first used to heat homes?

When was natural gas first used in homes?

Natural gas has been used for a long time, but it was in the 19th century that people started using it in homes and industries. This happened because people wanted a cleaner, safer alternative to coal and wood for cooking and heating.

The first natural gas pipelines for homes were built in the United States around the 1930s.

People were happy to have natural gas in their homes because it was easy to use and did not make as much smoke or dirt as coal or wood.


To sum it up, natural gas was used in industry long ago, even in ancient China. But it took until the 20th century for it to become common in homes, especially in the United States. It made life a lot easier and cleaner for people. Natural gas is still the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel.