An important development in the history of education was the spread of gas lighting in the early 1800s. This followed the invention of coal gas by the British engineer, William Murdock, in 1792. Gas lights were much brighter than oil lamps. They illuminated whole rooms adequately at night and evening classes sprang up. As education for most people at this time was very limited, studying after work was the only way to improve their learning.
At the same time, gas burners and ovens gave people a powerful and reliable source of heat for cooking.