Gas Shut-Off Valve


Delivered by: On Loan from the Hall of Gowanus, Feb. 17, 2018

Material: Iron


Year: c. 1870

Location discovered: 

History: In the late 19th century, three manufactured gas plants in Gowanus turned coal into gas, which was then piped into the brownstones of the neighboring residential areas such as Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. In the process producing the gas, a side product called coal tar was created which dripped over decades into the ground surrounding the canal and which is now the main pollutant of the canal. The oil slick looking surface is the coal tar bubbling up from the bottom of the canal. 

A note on the Hall of Gowanus:

The Hall of Gowanus is a community-curated archive of Gowanus artifacts that was founded by Proteus Gowanus Interdisciplinary Gallery in 2007. Now under the stewardship of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, the archive is in need of a permanent home in Gowanus.