America's Historic Towns and Oldest Places
Pelham Street Lamp (est. 1805) is located in Newport, Rhode Island. Baltimore claims to have the United States’ first gas street lamp, but that claim is erroneous. Though the Maryland city did indeed have the first publicly funded street lamp, it was in Newport, Rhode Island, that the America's earliest gas street lamp first flickered to life. David Melville was a pewterer who lived in Newport. In the early 1800s, he decided to create a gas-powered street lamp to light the space outside his house. The bronze plaque and memorial street lamp are located on the little side street next to the 1 Pelham East nightclub. The light is actually on Pelham Street. The official address is 270 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840.