Did apartments in Moscow have natural gas in the years 1917 to 1930? If so, were they supplied by utility pipelines underground?

I am curious because underground utility pipes are expensive to build and maintain. I'm not even sure there were any long-range gas pipelines back in the early 1900's Russia. However, in all my reading, I don't think I've ever heard of electric stoves/ovens in Moscow. Natural gas seems ubiquitous and Russia seems very fond of it. Therefore I wanted to ask this explicit question.

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    There are other options apart from electricity and natural gas: wood, coal, butane bottles. The first two were the usual fuel for older equipment.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 22:42
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    I suspect that given the prevalence of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_heating#Russia there was no need to plumb residences with gas. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 1:11
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    @aaronbrick District heating on a mass scale was introduced when a large house building programme was launched in 50-60's. I never heard of district heating in 30's. By the way, many of these new districts also got gas for cooking purposes.
    – ach
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 9:51
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    In 30's most cooking in cities was done on kerosene. Kerosene was often mentioned in Russian literature works of the time as one of the basic commodities for urban dwellers.
    – ach
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


Like most large cities, Moscow had a coal gas supply during this period. Coal gas is made, naturally enough, from coal. There's a short history of the Moscow gas system online. To summarise:

The initial system was put in for street lighting in 1865, by entrepreneurs from England and Holland. By 1905, there were over 215 kilometres of gas pipeline, 8735 gas lights in the street, and 3720 private consumers. In 1914, gas production was 18.7 million cubic metres per year, and in 1941, it was 176.1 million cubic metres per year, with 62,300 apartments connected. That was a fairly small proportion of the housing in Moscow. I suspect most of the gas was used by industrial plant, since there was plenty of that in Moscow. In 1946, there was a start on constructing natural gas pipelines. From 1948, liquefied gas was sold in tanks. In 1957, the production of coal gas in Moscow ended.

  • Thanks. Can you give a source for the last part, about the 1946 natural gas pipeline?
    – DrZ214
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 21:15
  • It's all from the same source: I just used a new paragraph for the new era, post-war and natural gas. Now merged. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 21:17

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