STP23

    Manufactured Gas

    Published: Jan 1936


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    Abstract

    While we are this year in Philadelphia celebrating the centenary of gas service in the city, the history of gas can be traced back about 1000 yr., for the Chinese used natural gas as far back as 900 A. D. It was not until 1792 that gas was actually manufactured and used. This occurred in England. In that year William Murdock, a Scotch engineer, distilled coal in a retort, produced gas, and lighted his home with it. Therefore, for the first time the “spirit” of coal that had puzzled the early physicists of medieval times and had been called by them the ghost of coal (Van Helmont, 1609, Dutch physicist, first used the term geist, “ghost”) was put to man's use. The word “gas” is probably a corruption of the German “geist,” meaning spirit or ghost, which was the name given by the alchemists to the volatile portion of coal.


    Author Information:

    Dashiell, P. T.
    Vice-President, and Assistant Sales Manager, The Philadelphia Gas Works Co., Philadelphia, Pa

    Trembly, F. H.
    Vice-President, and Assistant Sales Manager, The Philadelphia Gas Works Co., Philadelphia, Pa


    Paper ID: STP44962S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D02.A0

    DOI: 10.1520/STP44962S


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