Via Maggio , september 1845, Leopoldo, one of his most valuable dignitarys, some tuscan scientist, everyone gathered around the light post provided by gas instead of oil, the big novelty that it has been introduced in the city.Dismay and amazement should have been the most popular feelings in that group of people astonished by the light that permitted to read the"Gazzetta of Florence"from a distance of 7-8 meters.
On the news papers of that time was wrote down the chronicle of that unforgettable evening,"The white light is steady, that lanterns spread and the absolute absence of the bad and feared smell, were the main reasons overwhere the amazement and satisfaction of the people emerged, that more than once gathered to enjoy this new and brilliant sight".
That from the distillation of coal and wood it was possible to draw a gas with a light capacity, it was known since the 16th century.For long time nobody thaught in exploiting it, if not for laboratory experiments or used to blow up aerostatic baloons.Later on some english factory plants started to receive light source meanwhile gasses new epoch was closing.But in Italy there wasn't coal and the illuminating gas struggled to find a steady place, thanks to the merit of technicals and money that came from the foreign countries our streets became more suitable and practicable at night. The distallation workshops had come to life almost everywhere on the peninsula encouraged by a regular need to illuminate, the charm of prestige and the scientific progress had always been an invincible attraction.
The italian cities were passing through a very important moment of their middle-class transformation process, this last one included the pubblic light illumination which assumed an absolutely fundamental valence.In Florence, besides everything, to all was added the possibility to value the enchanting architectual and artistical beauty's, of which the city was filled.The beggining wasn' t simple, the quantity of investments required, the degree of complexity of the implants, the obstacles to find the "know how"and at last - not certainly a secondary element - the dependence from England for the supply of coal that had sensitevely weighed on the first budgets of the gas industrials.The mediocre quality and the weak light power of the new and bad smelled fluid provided by the gasometers located in the preunification stages, due to the fear of explosions did not have a clear and regular diffusion.It was France the first one to ask the license in bulding a workshop for the production and distribution of gas such as in Florence as in many other italian cities.The big Duke, flattered by the possibility in maintaining his territorial position respectively to the other European capitals, for what concerns prestigious, assigned the license to proceed.So for the first time even to common people had been givin the chance to explore the night life, in first time only for rich people, later with the public gas illumination the prerogative was enlarged to everyone.
In the first months of 1839 the monopoly of the pubblic illumination in Florence had been guaranteed, for twenty long years, by a french group-Cottin, Jumel and Montgolfier Bodin that appeared in the contract text, supported by Jean De Frigière de Bruì, Pierre Franquet and Charles Blanchet those who stayed in the shadow.At the basements of the agreement it had been established the condition that, to no one else could never be givin such an oppurtunity; in the following contract of 1854 the monopoly will defently become formalized and will weigh such as hard sandstone above the pubblic illumination story of Florence.What obatained by the Lyonnaise was anyway allinied with the Italian situation.