Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Murdock

Murdock, William, was born in 1754, and followed his father's trade as a millwright until 1777, when he entered the factory of Boulton and Watt at Birmingham, and was employed in fitting steam-engines at Redruth, Cornwall. Here, in 1792, he discovered the value of coal-gas as an illuminant, and, on his return to Birmingham as a partner, continued his experiments until, in 1802, the works at Soho were lighted by gas. Murdock invented many useful modifications of the steam-engine, and constructed a locomotive in 1784. He also directed his attention to the mechanical value of compressed air, and made a steam-gun. Retiring from business in 1830, he died in 1839.