From the Richmond Dispatch, 2/14/1863, p. 2, c. 3
The City Gas Works. - The city gas, for some weeks past, has given, most of the time, a rather dim and unsatisfactory light. Its quality is said to be effected by the want of retorts, the latter not being supplied in sufficient quantities to insure a good article of gas. The needed articles, we learn, have been received, and the city will no doubt soon rejoice in an ample supply of good gas. A description of the gas works, which are located at Rocketts, may not be uninteresting to the reader: The retort-house measures 122 feet by 55 feet, is of brick, covered with a roof of corrugated iron, supported by wrought-iron rafters and girders, ventilation top. In this there are twelve block of benches of retorts, three to a bench. Near by is a coal shed 122 feet long,, 38 feet wide, 12 feet high under the joists, brick and tinned roof, capable of storing 40,000 bushels of coal. Near by are the washers, consisting of four tiers of 18 inch cylinders 18 feet high, and the condensers, formed of 40 tiers of 10 inch pipe 20 feet high. The purifying house is 66 feet long by 34 feet wide, of brick, and iron roof, and divided into two rooms. In the larger of these are four dry lime purifiers, measuring 15 feet by 10 feet, which have in them five sets of screens for layers of lime. The gas is received into these for purification. It goes thence into the metre and afterwards in the street main. In the purifying-house is the station meter, 9 ½ feet in diameter, 10 feet in length. This metre is capable of registering 400,000 feet of gas in 24 hours, and weighs 12 tons.