Imágenes de páginas

lar a month and were not obliged to use Although I have seen many serious acburners and could use as much as they cidents from the careless use of natural pleased.

gas, and I have gotten up the coldest The neighboring city of Bradford, which mornings in the coldest winter and found was also blessed with a company having a it all frozen, and have been obliged to monopoly of the gas supply of the city, smash up old boxes, barrels, or anywas obliged for many years to pay from thing combustible with which to build a $6.00 to $9.00 a month for gas for each fire and have even been obliged to eat a stove ; but within the last year some ar- cold breakfast for the sanie reason, yet of rangement has been made so that they all fuels for cooking and heating purposes have competition, and now gas is furnished this is the best. The amount of heat rein abundance for one or two dollars a quired can be regulated at will. There are month.

no ashes, soot, smoke or dirt of any kind. I presume the moral of this story is to For lighting purposes it is not quite beware of monopolies. Yet when I look equal to manufactured gas, yet, with the back at this distant time and see what the proper burners it is very good, while the results have been of free gas in Rixford expense is merely a nominal one. and monopoly gas in Duke Centre, I am For manufacturing purposes it is the not sure but that the balance is in favor ideal fuel, and even if the price was of the monopoly. With the monopoly double that of coal it would prove the certain restrictions were placed upon the most economical in the end for most purpressure used, upon the methods of mak. poses. ing connections, etc., while in Rixford A leading manufacturer in Pittsburgh there were none; everyone burned it to some time since told me that he was paysuit his own convenience or inconvenience. ing as much money for his natural gas I have treated cases of typhoid fever in as he did for his coal. “But," said Rixford in the middle of winter in houses he, “I dispensed with the services of in which there was not a stove or other three hundred men who were shoveling in method used for burning the gas than a coal and carting away ashes." large jet burning in the room with no From present indications the outlook for chimney or other appliance for ventilation. the future of the natural gas industry is As a result of this careless way of burning very encouraging. As we have seen, it is it, accidents were common; persons suffer- a product widely distributed. It is true ing from explosions and burns were al- that, like coal and petroleum, it will become most constantly among my patients from exhausted in time. But this is a that town. Large fires were very frequent. tingency so remote that it is not necessary While Rixford has been almost com- for this generation to contemplate. The pletely burned to the ground three or natural gas territory of Pennsylvania has four times, Duke Centre has not suffered not so far been well defined. Most of the from any very large fire-a remarkable ex- gas now utilized has been discovered acci. ception in the oil country.

dentally in searching for oil. The oil man

[ocr errors]

tle or

long ago discovered that where there were their great new building, and when natural gas inlarge amounts of gas there was usually lit

vaded the city they took the cumbersome Bar

tholdian imitation of a firebrand out of her hand, no oil, and he has consequently

substituted twenty feet of gas pipe for it, tapped the avoided gas belts in his prospecting for oil. main in the middle of the street, and now they send But since its use has became so general and

a man up a ladder every night, and he lights a match

and raises it to the pipe—and bang ! a section of the gas territory is becoming more valuable,

city is lighted as no electric light ever began to we will undoubtedly find this territory light any part of outdoors. And there over the city largely extended.

this great balloon-shaped blaze sways and pulsates In Ohio the amount of such territory al

in the wind all night, roaring like a giant's furnace.

Just so the river-side is illuminated by two great ready defined is very large, and now In- flames that jet from ordinary little tubes sticking diana is following with some of the largest out of the side of Duquesne Heights. It is wongas wells in the country.* Indianapolis

derful to see the wind catch one of these masses of

flame and wrestle with it and bear it down and roll before the end of another season will be

it over and bite great yellow and white pieces from supplied with an abundance of natural gas. it and fling them away, patches of fire that look as

We will make no attempt to prophesy if they were going to float along and keep their as to the future of this industry, but it re.

shape awhile as whiffs of steam do, but instantly

they are gone. quires no prophet to foresee that natural

This natural gas carries no odor with it. You gas is the coming fuel of the world, and cannot detect its presence even when the air is laden

with it. It leaks from mains in the Pittsburgh even though the supply should become ex

streets, and, finding a vein of sand, penetrates to the hausted, gas would be manufactured and

cellars of near houses. Several times it has hapburned in preference to returning to the pened that a resident has gone down in the cellar of use of coal ; and if means cannot be de- his house to look for something, has lighted a match vised to pipe it successfully long distances there, and has seemed to become the centre of a

convulsion of nature that has wrecked all the winthose cities located away from the gas ter- dows, cracked the walls and blown the doors off ritory will be obliged to manufacture it or their hinges. In some of the mills and in the lot lose their prestige as manufacturing cen

where the new jail is going up the gas jets burn for

There is at least one town or city this tres.

region wherein the street lights are never put out, I can not close better than by giving because it would be a waste of money to hire a lampthe first sight of Pittsburgh as described lighter after the original lighting.

This new fuel is valued in manufactures because by Julian Ralph, the clever “German Bar

of the intensity and evenness of its heating properber" of the New York Sun :

ties. One manufacturer said that in his opinion it A great yellowish white speck low down in the will presently double the wealth-producing power distant horizon ahead is the first sight one sees of

of the industries in and near Pittsburgh by improvPittsburgh. That speck is a flame forty or fifty feet ing the quality of every product in the development long and half as wide. It is the advertisement of a of which heat plays a part. For use in dwellings gentlemen's furnishing goods store on Smithfield and offices it seems equally desirable. I only saw it street, the Broadway of Pittsburgh. The enter- in use in one house. There I saw it in an ordinary prising brothers who keep the store had a figure of cylindrical stove. A pipe emptied the gas in at the ** Liberty Enlightening the World" on the corner of bottom of the stove where it used to be customary to

keep the ash pan. + The Consumers' Gas Trust of this city has At first, when the owner turned on his new fuel already fifteen gas wells completed, some of which and dropped a match in at the stove door, the top show a pressure of fifteen pounds at the mouth of lid was shot into the ceiling, the door flew across the well with the pipes all open.

the room and the dampers blew out. He is an in



[ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


genious person. He got a lot of bricks, broke each farm, improving himself meanwhile in one in two, put the half bricks in the stove so that

such intervals of leisure as he could they looked like big coals, turned on the gas and chuckled to see how, as he expressed it, he had find with the limited advantages afforded "fooled the stove into thinking he had returned to by the common school system of that the old-fashioned way of getting heat.”. It fooled period, supplemented by a laudable me also, for when the gas had been lighted in the ambition and determination to acquire stove for a few minutes the bricks became red-hot and looked precisely like coals.

an education. A. R. BAKER. In the spring of 1864, however, the

innate activity of his nature asserted E. M. HUKILL.

itself, and the yearning for a wider In casting about for a typical repre- career than the narrow limits of a sentative of the large oil and gas produc- farm afforded led him to abandon ing class of western Pennsylvania, atten- the home farm and to remove his tion is at once arrested by E. M. Hukill, mother and her family to the neighesq., of Pittsburgh, who was and is a boring village of Odessa, while the pioneer in both fields of production and lover of agricultural pursuits started a perfect cyclopedia of information upon out into the world to carve out fame every point concerning both of those and fortune for himself. Naturally he wonderful gifts of nature to the favored drifted to Philadelphia, the metropolis people of this region. Mr. Hukill was of the little world of which he had one of the original producers in the hitherto been a part, where he soon once famous Oil Creek field away back found employment in a clerical cain the days of '64, and has always kept pacity. But the routine character of in the van in developing new territory, his new-found occupation was no more until, to-day, like Alexander of old, he compatible with his active temperais sighing for new worlds to conquer, al- ment, fired as he was at this period though fresh from the conquest of that with ambition to make a fortune, than hitherto terra incognito, the Green was the farm life so recently left behind, county (Pennsylvanja) oil field covering and accordingly, in the fall of the same a strip of territory many miles in ex- year the oil craze attracted him to the tent. But of this achievement more new field in western Pennsylvania, from later on.

which time his career may be said to The subject of this sketch was one of have begun. ten children of Gideon E. Hukill and Mr. Hukill went to Oil creek, VeSusanna McMurphy, and was born in nango county, the then seat of actual New Castle county, Delaware, in 1840. operations in oil, early in November, Until the age of twenty-four he re- 1864, reaching there with but seven mained at home, during the last eight dollars and fifty cents. But with the years of which time he, as the head of demands for labor that then obtained, the family, his father having died in the young man speedily found employ1856, directed the operations of a large ment, working at first as a day laborer

« AnteriorContinuar »