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The "Standard Oil Company" was established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio. John D. Rockefeller was the founder, chairman and major shareholder. Standard Oil was one of the worlds first and largest multinational corporations until it was broken up by the US Supreme Court in 1911. Rockefeller became the richest man in modern history. Click here to learn more on wikipedia.
"Water-White" refers to a specific grade of Kerosene. In 1863, the New York Petroleum Association established standards for three grades of kerosene based on color and flashpoint, called the fire test, in degrees Fahrenheit. The lowest grade was called “Straw to Dark Straw”. The standard grade was called “Standard White” and specified to have a flashpoint of 1100. The premium grade was called “Water White” and specified to have a flashpoint of 1150. By the 1890’s “Water White” kerosene usually had a fire test of 1500. A particularly safe grade called “Headlight Water White” was marketed in the 1890’s, presumably for use on carriages.
For fifty-five years, 1859 – 1914, kerosene in terms of volume manufactured as well as total value was the leading refined product of the American petroleum industry. Throughout the last four decades of the nineteenth century, kerosene was used by both the American consumer and those in Europe as an illuminant in lamps. American refiners actually exported more of their kerosene to Europe than what was consumed at home. In America, kerosene competed with manufactured gas and, where available, natural gas as a source of light in nineteenth century homes.
In the last decade of the nineteenth century, the generation and transmission of alternating current made the use of electric light bulbs feasible in American homes. In urban areas, kerosene was replaced by electric light as the illuminant of choice, but kerosene found continued use in rural America where there was no electricity till the 1930’s. New uses for kerosene were also developed. Most American farm tractors with their heavy, slow pistons burned kerosene, a cheaper fuel than gasoline, well into the 1950’s. Kerosene stoves and heaters continue to be used today.
The previous three paragraphs are excerpts from Oil150.com Click here to read more about "The Story of Petroleum."
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