The Illumination Project: Medicine Hat's Gas Streetlights

An exciting new research project is underway at the Esplanade Archives

Medicine Hat has been known as “The Gas Town / The Gas City” longer than Alberta has been a province. Chances are you’ve seen the natural gas streetlights that line our downtown and feature prominently in both the city and corporate logos. They are a part of our identity as Hatters, and we want to talk with you about them.

Dr. Kyle Franz – he prefers to be called Kyle – is heading a new study at the Archives, located in the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Center, focused on gas streetlights and the connection between natural gas and Hatter’s civic identities.

“If you didn’t grow up in Medicine Hat, its super obvious,” Franz jokes. “Natural Gas Streetlights are everywhere. City logo, corporate logos, sports league logos…what’s with that? I’d love to know why!”

That said, we need your help!

Natural gas has shaped both our history and our civic identity. Tell us why or why not it’s important to our contemporary identity as Hatters.

If you have something to say about your memories of natural gas streetlights in Medicine Hat context please reach out to us.

The bottom line is this: We would love to hear from anyone who has memories to share – or opinions about – natural gas and identity in Medicine Hat. And, of course, we would love to talk to you about Medicine Hat’s gas streetlights, too!

Did you know?

  • Medicine Hat has been known as “The Gas Town/The Gas City” longer than Alberta has been a province?
  • Medicine Hat started small, purchasing two natural gas streetlights in 1904 for $15 each. They were so successful that by the end of the year lamps were at the corner of every major intersection in town.
  • 5 natural gas streetlights are still in service in the City: two at the Gas City Campground and three in BATUS Park.

This research project is led by Dr. Kyle R Franz. Born and raised in Southern Alberta, Kyle has worked in both the private and public sector and is an expert in collecting oral histories. As an oral historian, he is committed to ensuring that our shared history represents folks from all walks of life, not just those who were privileged enough to leave a written record. You can learn more about Dr. Franz by clicking on 'Who's Listening' in the menu to the right, then click on his name to read his academic bio, or CV.

His enthusiasm for our City's history is contagious. We know you will enjoy sharing your gas streetlight experiences with him.

How to share

  1. Use the Guestbook to share a short comment or story with us (and there's no need to register!).
  2. Prefer to make a written submission? Great! Long stories can be shared in the Story section or by email to Kyle at kylfra@medicinehat.ca
  3. Share your photos and see photos from others by clicking on 'Share Your Photo.'
  4. Have questions about the study, your rights as a participant or the project in general? Email Kyle: kylfra@medicinehat.ca

Please be sure to read the Notice of Collection statement in the menu to the right.



An exciting new research project is underway at the Esplanade Archives

Medicine Hat has been known as “The Gas Town / The Gas City” longer than Alberta has been a province. Chances are you’ve seen the natural gas streetlights that line our downtown and feature prominently in both the city and corporate logos. They are a part of our identity as Hatters, and we want to talk with you about them.

Dr. Kyle Franz – he prefers to be called Kyle – is heading a new study at the Archives, located in the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Center, focused on gas streetlights and the connection between natural gas and Hatter’s civic identities.

“If you didn’t grow up in Medicine Hat, its super obvious,” Franz jokes. “Natural Gas Streetlights are everywhere. City logo, corporate logos, sports league logos…what’s with that? I’d love to know why!”

That said, we need your help!

Natural gas has shaped both our history and our civic identity. Tell us why or why not it’s important to our contemporary identity as Hatters.

If you have something to say about your memories of natural gas streetlights in Medicine Hat context please reach out to us.

The bottom line is this: We would love to hear from anyone who has memories to share – or opinions about – natural gas and identity in Medicine Hat. And, of course, we would love to talk to you about Medicine Hat’s gas streetlights, too!

Did you know?

  • Medicine Hat has been known as “The Gas Town/The Gas City” longer than Alberta has been a province?
  • Medicine Hat started small, purchasing two natural gas streetlights in 1904 for $15 each. They were so successful that by the end of the year lamps were at the corner of every major intersection in town.
  • 5 natural gas streetlights are still in service in the City: two at the Gas City Campground and three in BATUS Park.

This research project is led by Dr. Kyle R Franz. Born and raised in Southern Alberta, Kyle has worked in both the private and public sector and is an expert in collecting oral histories. As an oral historian, he is committed to ensuring that our shared history represents folks from all walks of life, not just those who were privileged enough to leave a written record. You can learn more about Dr. Franz by clicking on 'Who's Listening' in the menu to the right, then click on his name to read his academic bio, or CV.

His enthusiasm for our City's history is contagious. We know you will enjoy sharing your gas streetlight experiences with him.

How to share

  1. Use the Guestbook to share a short comment or story with us (and there's no need to register!).
  2. Prefer to make a written submission? Great! Long stories can be shared in the Story section or by email to Kyle at kylfra@medicinehat.ca
  3. Share your photos and see photos from others by clicking on 'Share Your Photo.'
  4. Have questions about the study, your rights as a participant or the project in general? Email Kyle: kylfra@medicinehat.ca

Please be sure to read the Notice of Collection statement in the menu to the right.



If you have a story to share about gas streetlights - your own story or a family memory - please share it here. We would love to read it and may contact you for details. Please register to share a story here (right-hand menu). Thank you! 

Thank you for sharing. We appreciate your participation. We may contact you by email to set up a time to learn more. You are welcome to join in a one to one conversation with our researcher Kyle Franz. Please be sure to read the Notice of Collection regarding our use of this information. It is located on the side menu of the project page. Dr. Franz will also inform you of your rights when sharing your stories with him directly. 

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