Irons and hair curlers powered by gas, Polish inventors and pioneers of modern industry, innovative applications of natural gas in transport and the energy sector – you will find out about all this and more at the Virtual Gas Museum. The project is run under the auspices of Polska Spółka Gazownictwa – the national operator of the gas distribution system in Poland, which belongs to the PGNiG SA Capital Group, while Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is the Museum’s honorary patron. The Museum was launched on 11 September 2019.
The Virtual Gas Museum (VGM) provides a wealth of knowledge about the past, the present and the future of the gas industry and natural gas. Its dominant content are illustrated virtual exhibitions focusing on the origins of gas light and household gas appliances, the very first promotional campaigns encouraging clients to purchase gas-powered lamps and devices, and even the history of gas meters. VGM is also an extensive database of approximately 150 exhibits which can be found according to item category, the date of creation, the name of the manufacturer or its author. These exhibits include such unusual objects as gas refrigerators, irons and hair curlers, a wide-ranging collection of gas meters or devices found in traditional gasworks.
Visitors to the website can become acquainted with biographies of inventors and entrepreneurs pivotal to the development of the gas industry, articles and interviews with VGM experts and the gas map of Poland showing, among others, the last gas street lamps illuminating Polish cities. A valuable section of the website are lesson plans dedicated to teachers and students of primary and secondary schools. The ready to use handouts and additional materials enable the discussion about gas and gas-related aspects from the perspective of history, chemistry and geography.
The Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, holds honorary patronage over the project.
– I am extremely happy that thanks to Polska Spółka Gazownictwa we are able to open one of the most interesting museums in Poland, and quite likely in Europe. The Virtual Gas Museum is a platform fit for the 21st century, which takes full advantage of the most up-to-date technical and multimedia solutions, enabling us to visit a world that no longer exists. I am convinced that especially young people will find the virtual museum a very attractive alternative to conventional history lessons, and the museum’s extensive collection, accessible using a tablet or a mobile phone, will be a perfect example of combining tradition with modernity – wrote Jacek Sasin, Deputy Prime Minister in a special letter to the event’s participants.
The patron of the Virtual Gas Museum is Polska Spółka Gazownictwa, which belongs to the PGNiG SA Capital Group.
– PGNiG supports numerous initiatives which benefit Polish science. The Virtual Gas Museum is an example of a unique, state-of-the-art website dedicated to information and education. Here, the history of the gas industry blends with its future. Only few people know that at the beginning, gas was generated from coal in traditional gasworks and was known as town gas or illuminating gas. From the start of the 19th century, more and more cities were illuminated with street gas lamps. Starting with the 1830s, the first gas-powered devices, such as cookers, refrigerators, heaters and ovens, were becoming popular household appliances in many homes around the world. The increasing popularity of gas introduced many changes to both domestic and social life. The new fuel enabled the birth of modern cities. We are very happy that now all this information will be available in one place for anyone interested in the subject – explained Robert Perkowski, Vice President of the PGNiG Management Board for Operations.
– The Virtual Gas Museum is yet another educational project of Polska Spółka Gazownictwa, which conforms with PGNiG’s strategy. Recently, we have successfully implemented campaigns such as “Connect, because every breath matters” and “Natural gas – safe and secure”. It is only natural that as the largest operator of gas distribution networks not only in Poland but also in Europe, we carry out educational activities aimed at everyone residing in Poland. Natural gas is the environmentally friendly fuel of the future. Therefore, our aim is to provide information on the most important outlooks and innovative applications of gas in the energy and transport sector. This knowledge is of crucial value to the Virtual Gas Museum – adds Marian Żołyniak, President of the Management Board of Polska Spółka Gazownictwa.
This online project, in an accessible and attractive way, will illustrate the role played by the increasing popularity of gas in the development of societies of the turn of the 19th century. It will also point to the future potential of natural gas.