On November 14, 1857, the first gas light in Grand Rapids was lit by Francis B. Gilbert, president of the Grand Rapids Gas Light Co. The event “caused a crowd to gather at Canal and Pearl Streets” because of “the novelty of artificial light illuminating the darkness.”
The company sold a million cubic feet of gas to a hundred customers in its first year. The gas company survived competition from electricity to later join the Michigan Consolidated Gas Company.
Nov. 14, 1857 : First gas light in Grand Rapids, Michigan Every Day By Patrick Sullivan and Carole Eberly.