Francois Micheloud's Homepage | En FRANCAIS s'il vous plaît
How John D. Rockefeller dominated the Oil Industry for 50 years


4.4 End products and retailers
The retailers

Once transformed in usable products, oil had to find buyers. Some refiners had their own retailers, but most used wholesalers or placers who distributed kerosene and lubricant among grocery stores.

End products

People realized quickly that they could make many products from oil. The waste from the first distilling soon found a use as raw material to make by products which could be very useful. Nevertheless, most of the production was still used to make fuel, first lamps and then for engines.

Pub 3.GIF (40863 bytes)

Standard Oil Advertisement


Also known odorless oil, this is the result from a distillation of oil which removes its aromatic elements. It took the place of whale oil and natural gas, and before electricity came kerosene was the main source of lights for households, powerful and odorless, much cheaper that traditional fuels which had a rotten smell (try to burn cooking oil in your kitchen with a paper fuse to see what it was like)

Many byproducts from oil distillation could be made useful. For example, lubricants, which oiled all kinds of  machines.
Gasoline Kerosene was soon supplanted by a more volatile substance, made possible by new methods of distillation. Production of gasoline increased every year and in 1911 it was more than that of kerosene, thanks to the development of the automobile industry. That year Henry Ford built  1'680'000 vehicles...

Apart from fuels and lubricants, many other substances were made from oil, like Vaseline, naphtha, tar, but they are less important in our story.

Click for next page


Table of contents


Francois Micheloud's Homepage