Boston Gas Company, "Illuminations"

The Boston Gas Company archives are a collection of documents, memorabilia, and photographs dating from the company’s founding in 1822 until today. Housed at Boston College’s Burns Library, the collection’s most impressive aspect are the photographs, hundreds of which date from the dawn of photography, and provided the inspiration for the book “Illuminations.”

“Illuminations” tells the story of the company that literally laid the foundation for much of what is modern Boston. But it also illustrates much more. The photography captures a city emerging from the era of gaslight, while the text traces the social and economic progressions of a predominantly immigrant working class as it moves from the sidelines to center stage in America.