|4.4 End products and 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.
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.
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.
||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.
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