On Nov. 21, a team of six Northeastern University students fanned out all over Beacon Hill to survey the status of all of the gas lamps in the neighborhood.
The survey project was conceived of by Rob Whitney, the Chair of the Beacon Hill Civic Association (“BHCA”), as a comprehensive way to determine the working status of all of the gas lamps within the Beacon Hill National Landmark District.
BHCA decided to do a comprehensive review of all the Beacon Hill gas lamps and hired Northeastern University students to conduct the survey.
The six students then went out in teams of two and recorded the status of the gas lamps on Beacon Hill. The surveyors found there were 1,028 gas lamps within the borders of Beacon Hill.
The survey results were as follows: out of 1,028 gas lamps present on Beacon Hill, 127 do not work at all, and give off no light whatsoever. These included one gas lamp that was missing its entire gas poles and one that was missing its entire top section. A total of 901 gas lamps were working to one degree or another: 488 were entirely working; and while 413 other gas lamps were working to some degree, they were also otherwise damaged in some way, such as having missing or torn gas mantles – the three small bags in the top portion of the gas lamps that hold the burning gas – or the glass in the top portion of the gas lamps was broken.
Source: Northeastern study