Scottish shale Scottish shale

Lands of Westwood and Breichdykes; ownership and mineral rights

Alternative names:
Breichdyke, Briech Dyke, Dyke, West field of Westwood,
Parish:
West Calder, Midlothian
Local authority:
West Lothian
Ownership:
Captain Robert Steuart of Westwood House

Related pages: Westwood east lands | Westwood oil works (1866) | Westwood old rows | Breichdykes pits |

Breichdykes 1817.jpg

The lands of Breichdykes (also referred to as Briechdyke, Breich Dyke, or Dyke) formed part of Livingstone estate of Sir Alexander Cunnynhame. The estate of Westwood, then consisting of the farms of Breichdykes, Easter Breich, Wester Breich, Auchinhard, City, and Stepend were sold to a Mr. Wilkie in 1791. The lands of Breichdykes were sold to a Mr Smith, who subsequently sold Briechdykes along with the farms of City and Stepend (see Westwood - east) to Robert Steuart in 1844. Mr. Steuart was owner of the Carfin estate in Lanarkshire, and exploited its coal reserves. This property was sold in 1854. Captain Robert Steuart succeed his father, and remained at Westwood until his death in 1913. The land remained in the ownership of his trustees until the 1940's

A newspaper advertisement of 1764 indicates that there were well established coal pits within the lands, and these seem to have remained active until about 1830. A small sandstone quarry on the north side of the Breich water seems to have been active when the 1855 map was surveyed, and at some time during the next 40 years a clay was worked to the north of the Westwood rows. An advertisement of 1859 also mentions ironstone and limestone reserves, which might account for some traces of small scale mining shown on early maps. The minerals were again advertised for lease in 1864 highlighting the "several seams of superior bituminous shale". It might be assumed that no worthwhile offers were made, as within a year Captain Robert Steuwart set about constructing the first Westwood oil works, served by a branch from the Caledonian Railway and with workers houses built at Westwood Rows. This enterprise closed in about 1871. From about 1872 to 1898 the mineral rights were leased to Young's Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil Co. Ltd. The Fells shale beneath Briechdykes was worked from Westwood No.11 pit in the adjoining Westwood - west lands.

During the 20th century, the Dunnet shale was worked at depth beneath the lands from Westwood No.1 & 2 pits by the Oakbank Oil Co. Ltd

Related pages: Westwood east lands | Westwood oil works (1866) | Westwood old rows | Breichdykes pits

Leasee Owner Start date End date Relinquised date Full record
Young's PL&MO Co. Ltd Cptn. Robert Steuart 1876 1897 215852 (page 29)
Young's PL&MO Co. Ltd. Captain Steuart 1894 1909 1900 215852 (page 176)

Unauthorised coal working, 2013

Ruins of Breichdykes farm house.

Railways, cottages and rows

  • Sale and Lease Notices for the Westwood Estate (both east and west lands)
    • 1764 | 1765 | 1766 | 1767 | 1768 | 1769 | 1770 | 1771 | 1772 | 1773 |
      1774 | 1775 | 1776 | 1777 | 1778 | 1779 | 1780 | 1781 | 1782 | 1783 |
      1784 | 1785 | 1786 | 1787 | 1788 | 1789 | 1790 | 1791 | 1792 | 1793 |
      1794 | 1795 | 1796 | 1797 | 1798 | 1799 | 1800 | 1801 | 1802 | 1803 |
      1804 | 1805 | 1806 | 1807 | 1808 | 1809 | 1810 | 1811 | 1812 | 1813 |
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      1824 | 1825 | 1826 | 1827 | 1828 | 1829 | 1830 | 1831 | 1832 | 1833 |
      1834 | 1835 | 1836 | 1837 | 1838 | 1839 | 1840 | 1841 | 1842 | 1843 |
      1844 | 1845 | 1846 | 1847 | 1848 | 1849 | 1850 | 1851 | 1852 | 1853 |
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    • 1764
      • A00006: 03/03/1764

        There is to be set and........immediately or at Whitsunday....such number of years as parties can agree, the going coal at Breich belonging to Sir David Cunynghame of Livingstone, Baroner, lying twelve miles west of Edinburgh and within two of Bathgate, and Mid-Calder. The seam is betwixt an ell and forty inches thick, dipping one foot in six, and above 200 feet of streek from cropt to depth quite level-free. A shank upon the middle of the streek is about eight fathoms deep. For further particulars, enquire John Gray, Factor to the said Sir David Cunynghame, at his house at Livingstone-kirk.

        The Caledonian Mercury 3rd March 1764

    • 1795
      • A00007: 06/06/1795

        ADJOURNED SALE OF LANDS IN THE COUNTY OF EDINBURGH,

        To be SOLD by public roup, within the Royal Exchange Coffcehouse, Edinburgh, on Wednesday the 8th day of July 1775, betwixt the hours of one and two afternoon, THE EASTER HALF of the LANDS of HANDOXWOOD EASTER, or RASHIEHILL, with the houses and pertinents thereof, in the parish of West Calder, and sheriffdom of Edinburgh, containing 552acres, 352 of which are croft, and the rest pasture land. The projected Canal to Edinburgh will most probably go through some part of these lands, or parts in their immediate neighbourhood whatever line may be ultimately adopted; and being full of coal, iron, and freestone, this circumstance must, add very considerably to their value. There is at present a free stone quarry, of a very superior quality, open in the grounds, of twenty feet in thickness, within four feet of the surface, which can be wrought at a small expense, and where the stones can be cut of any size. The lands themselves are highly improveable. They are under rack at present at a rent of 701. and for delivery of one fat wedder, two stones of butter, md eighteen hens. There are fourteen years from Martinmas next yet to run of the prefent lease, originally granted for thirty-eight years from Martinmas 1771, and the rental may be fairly expectd at least to double at the expiry thereof. The proprietor was offered from the present tenant, several years ago, a confiderable immediate rise of rent for an additional nineteen yeers lease, and 12 per cent, for any sum he might lay out on the erection of a Mill upon the water of Briech, which runs through the lands, and which is much wanted in the neighourhood. The croft land, containing. 352 acres, may he inclosed with drystone dykes at a trifling expence, from the command of the finest stone for that purpose.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 6th June 1795

    • 1801
      • A00008: 13/04/1801

        AN ESTATE AND FREEHOLD QUALIFICATION IN WEST LOTHIAN, FOR SALE BY PRIVATE BARGAIN


        If not sold before Wednesday the 29th day of April curt. then to be exposed by public auction, in John's Coffeehouse, Edinburgh, upon that day, at 1 o'clock: THE LANDS of NORTH BRIECH, consisting of 392 Scotch acres, or thereby, all arable ground. and etwixt 8 and 9 acres of planting. This valuable property lies only about 2- hours ride to the west of Edinburgh, two miles south-west from Livingston, and about a quarter of a mile to the southward of the great turnpike road from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and a mile from the villages of Blackburn and West Calder. There is coal in the lands, and plenty of lime can be procured from different works at an easy rate, nor more than 11/2 miles distance. If it shall appear more agreeable to intending purchasers, the premisses will be disposed of so three Lots, each lying conmpactly wthin itself, and all having very desirable situations for mansion-house.

        LOT 1, The Farm of EASTER BREICH preserrtly possessed by Thomas Grahame, but whose lease expires with the present crop, when possession will be given. There are about 140 Scotch acres in this farm, all excellent arablc ground, in high condition; it is divided by stone dykes, some of thein are backed well with hedges, into five inclosures, well watered and sheltered; the public road to Hamilton forms the southern boundary, and on the east and north it is partly bounded by the Waters of Almond and Breich, both of them fine trouting streams, and the country around abounds svith game. The Vote, if wished for, will go along with this lot.

        LOT II.-The Farm of MIDDLE BREICH, immediately to the westward of the former: It contains about 119 arable acres, ornamented and sheltered with 7 acres of very-thriving planting, from 12 to 18 years old. The ground of this lot, excepting about 10 acres, is of an equal good quality with the first, and possesses the same local advantages, having the same boundary on the south, and the waters of Tailend and Almond on the north; it is divided with hedge and ditch into five fields, and is at present rented for no more than 50l. per annum, with some kain and carriages, but upon the expiry of the lease in six years, a very great rise will be got.

        LOT 111.-The Farm of WESTER BREICH, adjoining to the last Lot, and containing about. 134 acres. This farm has been two years in the proprietor's own hands, who has been at a very great expence in improving them by hedging, ditching, draining, liming, and labouring them, according to the most approved modes. Eighteen years ago the lands were set for 5s. 9d. per acre on a lease, which was brought up, but as consequence of the late improvements, three fields of the farm were let by public roup, for the present year only, at irom 3l. 17s. 6d. to 5l. per acre. Possession will be given of this lot at Martinmas first. Intending purchasers will apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor, John's Street, Glasgow ; Mr Martin, No. 5 George Street, Edinburgh, or Mess. M'Nair. and Elder, writers in Giasgow, either of whom will show a plan of the grounds. Mr Martin has powers to sell hy private bargain. The premisses will be shewn by James Watson, at Wester Breich Farm.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 13th April 1801

    • 1802
      • A00010: 16/01/1802

        FARM IN WEST LOTHIAN, to be sold by private bargain at a very low price

        REMAINING LOT OF NORTH BRIECH ESTATE, viz, the WES'I'ER FARM, two miles south-west of Livingstone. and one mile from the south turnpike road from Edinburgh to Glasgow containing 134 acres all arable, 40 of which were sown off with grass seeds last spring, the greater part being previously fallowed and limed. Twenty acres have been summer fallowed and limed during last summer, part dunged for pease and turnips, and now finished for a crop, together with other improvements executed in a superior style, and at a great expense. The public burdens are trifling. Two lime-kilns are within a mile of the property. A purchaser may have immediate possession; or a respectable tenant will give One Pound of rent per acre, for a lease of nineteen years. Apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor at Mrs Brown's lodgings, No.5, North side, George Street, Edinburgh who will furnish indubitable good rights and purge all encumbrances, to the satisfaction of a purchaser. James Watson, overseer at Breich, will show the premises

        The Caledonian Mercury, 16th January 1802

    • 1804
      • A00001: 07/09/1804

        TO BE SOLD BY PRIVATE BARGAIN,

        THE ESTATE of WESTWOOD, consisting of the following Farms: Easter and Wester Breich, Dykes, Auchinhard, City, and Stepend , containing about 500 English acres, situated in the parish of Livingstone, West Lothian, only 2 ½ hours ride from Edinburgh. A great part of these farms are sheltered with valuable plantations,- 30 years old. there are a. COAL, 5 ½ feet thick, extending over more than a hundred acres; the lands also abound with IRON STONE and a FREE STONE; the Mansion house is new and well finished, containing dining and drawing-roomns, Also bed-chambers, kitchen &c.; the offices are at a convenient distance, consisting of a double coach-house, stable, barn, hay-loft, and servants house. During the last four years very extensive improvements have been going on a upon this estate; lime and coal. is to be had within a mile ofthe mansion-house. A purchaser may have immediate possession of the farms of City and Stepends, containing upwards of one hundred and seventy English acres, (all in grass and corn) with the manslon-house, offices, kitchen garden, and the plantations surrounding said farms. The title deeds are clear and distinct. For further particulars please apply to Mr Wilkie, the proprietor; or Mr James Elder, writer in Glasgow.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 7th September 1804

    • 1805
      • A00009: 22/04/1805

        MIDDLE BRIECH. - To be Let for such term of'years as shall be agreed upon, and entered to at Martinmas 1806,

        THE LANDS of MIDDLE BRIECH, situated in the the parish of Livington, about 5 miles west of' Mid-Calder upon the road leading to Hamilton, which forms the southern boundary, and bounded upon the north by the Foulshiels Burn and water of the Almond. These lands consist of 126 acres or thereby, including about 7 acres of planting, and are divided with hedge and ditch into five fields. The ground, excepting a few acres next the road, is of as excellent quality, and plenty of lime can be procured from different works in the neighbourhood at an easy rate. Offers in writing may be made to the proprietor Mr. Moodie, No. 31. George Street and such as shall not be accepted of; will, if required, be concealed.


        The Caledonian Mercury, 22nd April 1805

    • 1817
      • A00012: 20/02/1817

        FARM OF BRIECHMILL TO BE LET.

        To LET, on a lease for nineteen years, and entered to at Martinmas 1817, THE LANDS and FARM of BRIECH- MILL, with the CORN and BARLEY MILL there to belonging, lying in the parish, and about a mile from the village,of West Calder. The farm contains 100 Scotch acres, or thereby, mostly inclosed with stone dykes, and subdivided with thriving hedges. The soil is a good loam, and partly holm land. Offers may be given in, on or before the 29th March curt. to Mr Archibald Mackinlay, Treasurer to George Watson's HospItal South Bridge Street, or James Jollie, W. S. Duke Street, Edinburgh. Edinburgh, 11th March 1817.

        The Caledonian Mercury 20th March 1817

    • 1820
      • A00013: 22/04/1820

        TO BE SOLD BY PUBLIC ROUP,

        Upon Monday the 8th day of May next, at one o'clock, upon the ground, if not previously disposed of by private bargain, THAT valuable FIELD of GROUND, known by the name of BRIECH DYKES, with the Steading of Houses thereon, part of the estate of WESTWOOD, West Lothian.

        This field measures about 68 Scots acres, 9 or 10 of which are in crop, the remainder in valuable pasture, eight years old. It is bounded by a river on the south, by a public road on the north, and on the west by a park lately sold. On the opposite side of the river is a corn mill, on the lands of Briech Mill, the property of Watson's Hospital. There is a coal in the land 5 1/2 feet thick, the crop of which was worked for many years in the adjoining field; and for which in this district the demand would be considerable. The adjoining farm has produced excellent wheat. for years. The public burdens are trifling.. Immediate possession may be had, and the arrangements for payment will be liberal. A servant will show the ground. For further particulars application may be made to D. Bain; accountant, 27 Castle Street, Edinburgh; or to the proprietor.

        The Caledonian Mercury, 22nd April 1820

    • 1836
      • A00017: 23/03/1836

        LANDS IN WEST-LOTHIAN FOR SALE

        Upset Price Reduced

        To be SOLD by public roup, within the Old Signet Hall, Royal Excenge, Edinburgh, on Wednesday 6th April next, at two o'clock afternoon, either in one lot or in three lots conveniently divided

        THE LANDS of WESTWOOD, in the parish of Livingstone, 16 miles from Edinburgh and 26 from Glasgow, containing about 354 Scots acres of arable land and about 16 of thriving plantation.

        The land is capable of great improvement and is particularly adapted for line, of which the neighbourhood affords and ample supply. One side of the property, nearly a mile in extent, is bounded by the water of Briech, which has a gradual fall of about 55 feet.

        Beside the mansion house which is a compact modern cottage with substantial farm steadings on the property. The lands abound in coal, which was wrought in a former period, and they also abound with ironstone and fireclay, which might be wrought to advantage.

        The proposed railway betwixt Edinburgh and Glasgow is intended to be carried through, or to skirt the property. The upset price will be such as to afford and ample return to a purchaser.

        For further particulars, application may be made to Mr. BAUCHOP, Brucefield, who will give directions to show the lands; Mr Roderick Mackenzie, writer, 13 John St, Glasgow; or to Robert Johnston jnr W.S, 2, Scotland Street, Edinburgh, who is in possession of the title-deeds and a plan of the estate.

        The Scotsman, 23rd March 1836

    • 1845
      • A01005: c.1845

        Du Buisson's Patent

        Download full document 215336, page 327

        EXCERPTS from SPECIFICATION (1845, No. 10,726) of Michel Antoine Bertin Burin Du Buisson, for Furnace Apparatus, and Processes of the Distillation of Bituminous Substances, and Treating the Products thereof.

        To ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, I, Michel Antoine Bertin Burin Du Buisson, of Lambs Conduit Street, in the County of Middlesex, Chemist, send greetings &c., &c.

        My Invention of NEW AND IMPROVED METHODS FOR THE DISTILLATION OF BITUMINOUS SCHISTUS AND OTHER BITUMINOUS 'SUBSTANCES, AS WELL AS FOR THE PURIFICATION, RECTIFICATION, AND PREPARATION NECESSARY FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF 'THE PRODUCTIONS OBTAINED BY SUCH DISTILLATION FOR VARIOUS USEFUL PURPOSES.

        Bituminous schistus and other bituminous substances, such as clay slate (which latter is, however, more scarce), are to be met with, like coal, in large quantities in veins and masses in various parts of Europe; France and England contain very large quantities. Many attempts have been made to render bituminous schistus useful, and various means have been proposed to effect this object; in England they have all failed; while in France, on the contrary, in the extensive works at Autun, Department of the Saone and Loire, (which are partly my property, and of which I have the management as chemist), the most important results have been obtained, which place the distillation and treatment of schistus amongst the most useful and productive of chemical manufactures.

        Note.-The time necessary for distilling seven cubic yards of schistus, as above, is about ten consecutive hours, including the time necessary for charging the apparatus; it will, however, be understood that the process might be carried on without introducing steam at a high temperature into the retort, but in that case the schistus, which is a bad conductor of heat, would only receive heat from outside the conical retort; it would therefore be necessary to continue the operation for a much longer time, in order to distil the mass perfectly, that is to say, it would last sixteen hours instead of ten.

        RAW OIL OF SCHISTUS, AND OF OTHER BITUMINOUS ROCKS, PETROLEUM, &c.

        The raw oils of schistus and of other mineral bituminous substances, by being treated as hereafter described, and by fresh distillation and rectification, also hereafter described, form the following products, viz:-

        First, a volatile oil, perfectly colourless and transparent, chemically pure, having a very slight and by no means disagreeable smell. This oil may be extracted either from raw oil of schistus or other bituminous rock, from petroleum, or from any other bituminous mineral substance. This oil may be employed in various ways as a solvent, and may be used for all the purposes for which the most highly rectified sprint of turpentine is employed. That which is obtained from schistus is of a .density of from 0·80 to .0.81, water being 100.

        I have given .It the name of mineral spirit but this oil, by suitable distillation, may be divided into three oils two of which are of a density below. 0·80, and the third is of a density of from 0·82 to 0·83. The mineral spirit or oil of schistus No. 1, dissolves in alcohol in the proportion of from twenty-eight to forty per cent.; thus It is used In France for spirit lamps. It may also be used in lamps, where it is vaporized before burning, by constructing apparatus for burning the vapor, so that the burner may be heated to three hundred and two degrees of Fahrenheit · the density of these oils being from 0·80 to 0·81, their evaporating point is consequently below three hundred and two degrees Fahrenheit; but the use to which the mineral spirit or oil of schistus No. 1 can be put with the greatest advantage is its employment in lamps with a reservoir below, and with a double current of air, in which the oil rises a distance of about five inches by the capillary attraction of the wick. In this way it gives a light superior to that of gas, without any unpleasant smell or smoke; the said lamps have a glass or chimney with a diaphragm of the same diameter as the wick, and placed a little above the top of the burner (for instance, the camphine lamp, which is constructed on this principle, burns the mineral spirit very well). Moreover, the mineral spirit, on account of its purity, has this advantage over gas, that it will not tarnish the polish of metals nor spoil the color of fabrics, disadvantages which the purest gas always possesses, as it always contains some portion of sulphureous compound: Fourth, paraffine. This substance is obtained by crystallization from fat and thick oils; It is thus obtained very pure, and requires but little treatment to make excellent candles. The presence of this substance is scarcely perceptible in raw oil of petroleum, bituminous shale, asphalte, or other bituminous mineral substances · It is in schistus that It Is contained in the largest proportion. I always leave the paraffine in the fat oil No. 3, in order to render It of better quality.

        A PURIFICATION, RECTIFICATION, AND DISINFECTION OF OIL No. 1.

        This product- being intended more especially for lighting the interior of dwellings, it is indispensable on the one hand that it should be deprived of its bad smell, which would render its employment disagreeable, and, in fact, impossible .... Having now described my Invention, and the manner of carrying the same into effect, I would observe, that I claim as the Invention secured to me by the herein-before in part recited Letters Patent,-

        • First, the peculiar arrangement and construction of furnace or apparatus for the distillation of schistus and other bituminous rocks, represented in Figs. 1, 2, and 3, Sheet 1, and which consists principally of inverted cones placed one inside the other, whereby I am enabled to obtain a very extensive heating surface and a thin layer of schistus, which is thereby more effectually operated upon.
        • Secondly, the application to the said furnace or retort of jets of steam, highly charged with caloric, by introducing which inside the said retort, so as to act upon the schistus, the distillation of the schistus, which is a bad conductor of heat, is materially assisted, so that the time required for distillation is much shortened and a great economy therein produced. I also claim the application of the same principle of introducing steam inside the retorts for the distillation of bituminous schistus, to the apparatus for which a Patent was obtained in England by Mr Mollerat, of Dijon, sealed Second May, One thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, and which apparatus, with the steam pipes adapted thereto, is shown in Figs. 5, 6, and 7, of Sheet I, (the steam pipes being drawn in red).
        • Thirdly, the process, above set forth and described, for the purification, disinfection, and rectification of the bituminous oils Nos. l, 2, 3, which process is composed of the various means and apparatus herein-before explained.

      • A00015: 17/01/1845

        TO BE LET, For such a term of Years as may be agreed on, THE FARM and LANDS of WESTER BRIECH, in the Parish of Livingstone, as the same were lately possessed by Mr. Robert Shanks, situated about a mile south from Blackburn, and lying centrically between that village and West Calder, Whitburn and Livingstone. The Farm contains 151 Acres or thereby, Scotch Measure, all arable, and is of excellent soil, well sub-divided, and sheltered by tidying plantations. Entry may be had immediately to both Houses and Lands. Apply to Geo. Strang, writer, 20, Miller Street, Glasgow, with whom offers may be lodged.

        The Glasgow Herald, 17th January 1845

    • 1850
      • A01006: 06/04/1850

        IMPORTANT TO AGRICULTURALISTS

        CARBONACEOUS and AMMONIACAL MANURE

        £3 per Ton at the Works Weymouth, superior to guano and all other animalised earthy fossil saline or compost manures.

        The manufactory at Weymouth for the conversion of Bituminous Schale or Schistus into variety of useful products is so far completed as to the Proprietors to offer for sale THE CARBONACEOUS and AMMONIACAL RESIDUUM of the Schale or Schistus duly prepared for the above purpose. It consists of a combination of organic and other remains which formerly belonged to numberless generations of animals shells and plants. The Residuum contains an excess of carbon, fixed salts from the animal and vegetable matters such as Earthy and Alkaline Phosphates, Sulphates of Potash, Soda, Silicates of Alumina, Potash ,Soda and Magnesia to which is added Ammonia establishing by its valuable properties one of the most economical and beneficial ever offered to the Agricultural Public The results of the various trials and experiments have been made in the vicinity of Weymouth comparing them with other manures such as guano pigeon's horse, and cow dung, night soil, bone dust, soot, charcoal, various ashes and other calcareous and alkaline materials in combination have been witnessed by many of the first agriculturalists of the county of Dorset and many others distant counties who pronounce it one of the most important discoveries of latter years and are of opinion this manure produced by the Residuum of the Bituminous Schale or Schistus possesses all the requisite properties of the best manures which are considered essential for purposes in the present state of chemical knowledge.

        An application for the supply to be made either to Mr W.C. Homersham, Schiste Works, Weymouth Dorset, or to C.F. Cheffins, Southampton Buildings Chancery Lane, London.

        IMPORTANT TO OIL AND RAILWAY GREASE MERCHANTS AND FACTORS

        FOR SALE at the WORKS at WEYMOUTH or may be delivered to any part of the United Kingdom, the superior product of distillation of BITUMINOUS SCHALE or SCHISTUS .

        LIQUID BITUMEN Contains

        • 1st, a volatile oil, or mineral spirit;
        • 2nd, an oil of greater density;
        • 3rd, a fatty mineral oil;
        • 4th, parafine;
        • 5th, grease, slightly alkaline;
        • 6th, tar.

        The volatile oil, or mineral spirit, is admirably adapted as a solvent, and may be used for all purposes to which the most highly rectified spirit or turpentine is employed or may be used for spirit and camphine lamps. The second oil not so very volatile, will dissolve in any propotion with seed or fish oil, of which it considerably augments their illuminating power, and prevents their becoming rancid. The third is admirably adapted for lubricating machinery, and contains the fourth, paraffine, which is easily obtained by crystallisation, and requiring but little treatment to make excellent candles. The fifth, a grease, superior to animal oil or fat for the use of carriages. sixth, tar, perfectly black, vary siccative, and which may be used generally for all purposes of varnish, and where mineral tar is employed.

        Any Further information may be obtained either of Mr. W.C. Homersham, Schiste Works, Weymouth; or of Mr. C. P. CEFFINS, 11, Southampton buildings, Chancery-lane, London.

        The Railway Times, 6th April 1850


      • A01007: 30/11/1850

        Bituminous Shale Co. Advertisements

        Excellent Manure

        MR. A. R. MARTIN, of the North Wales Chronicle Office Castle-street, Bangor, begs to announce to Land Owners, Gentlemen, and Tenant-farmers, that he has been appointed Agent, for the whole of North Wales, to the Bituminous Shale Company, for the sale of their Cheap and Excellent Manure, and will be happy to receive orders which will be promptly executed.

        The Bituminous Shale, commonly called Kimmeridge Coal or Clay, is a combination of animal and vegetable remains, found on the coast of Dorsetshire in a tract of land near Wareham, of which the above Company are lessees, Having first undergone a process of distillation, by which are produced, in considerable quantities, a Mineral oil or spirit, and Asphaltum; the Carbonaceous residuum, in a pulverized state, is carefully manufactured, with other matters, into a MANURE which has been used by numerous persons on various crops with most satisfactory results.

        It has found to be most successful where drilled in with the seed; having forcing properties which assist materially the early growth of the plant, it is strongly recommended by the company for pasture lands, clove, turnips, and all green and root crops. The very moderate price at which the Directors are enabled to offer offer to the Public this newly discovered compound (viz. £2 10s. per ton) can scarcely fail to insure its being almost universally applied, especially as it has been found in its effects to be superior to any other artificial Manure now in use. It may also be remarked, that as the Shale itself is inexhaustible, so the supply of the Manure will be uniform, and without any risk of deterioration or variation in the analysis.

        TESTIMONIALS.

        Cuthbert Johnson, Esq., one of the most recent authorities on manuring, especially notices the effect of raw unground Shale on a crop of hay, gives an analysis of the ground article, and recommands Carbonization, as adopted by the Company. William Bullock Webster, Esq., of Hounsdown, near Southampton, an eminent agricultural engineer, has spoken in favour of this Manure, as follows:

        " There can be no doubt but that the Manure made from the Residuum is most valuable, particularly for strong clay soils. I have seen such good results from it in the production of grass and all kinds of root crops, that I feel quite certain of its value. It must also, I think, be a great sweetener to a sour soil."

        Mr. James Cuthill, of Denmark Hill, Camberwell, an eminent Nurseryman and Florist, has given, unsolicited, the following testimony to the value of the Shale Manure:

        " February 8th, 1850. I am quite convinced of the richness of your Manure. The roots of the various plants which I tried with it, ran through it and out through it in all directions, but I have been thinking of a plan that would make it still richer; I shall take an early day next week and call upon you; I shall be too proud of anything I can do or find out to promote the sale of this most valuable article,"

        The following additional testimony has been published by the same gentleman in an interesting pamphlet on the culture of fruit and vegetables-

        " This year, Mr. Braithwaite sent me a cask of Schiste, a Bituminous earth, and I tried it, and found the effect excellent upon young cucumbers, melons, strawberries, and indeed, upon plants in general."

        The following letters have been received on the subject of the Manure from gentlemen who have used it to some extent; and, by their kind permission, the Directors are enabled to avail themselves of them. (COPY.)

        "Wolverton Park, 27th May, 1850. " My dear Ricardo,- I must tell you I have taken great notice of the progress of your Shale Manure. On the 24th February, I laid down on fifteen acres of Grass land, the common dressing of farm yard manure; and about the 27th of March, I covered twenty-five acres adjoining, with 5 tons 4 cwt, of your Shale Manure ; from present appearances there is every prospect of the latter being an enormous crop, and infinitely superior to that treated with the farm manure, notwithstanding the former was a month earlier on the ground. Very truly yours, PAGET."

        * Note it may be here stated, that the result of this crop fully bore out the above testimonial.

        "The Auberies," Sudbury, Suffolk, July 29th, 1850. ' Sir,-I have tried the Shale Manure on Turnips, with and without Farmyard Manure, in a field with several other experiments of different artificial Manures, and am happy to say I can report most favourably of it; those manured with the Shale having bearded from two to four days sooner than any of the others." I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, CALEDON ALEXANDER"
        "Winfrith, Dorset, July 29th, 1850. "Sir,-The Shale Manure I purchased of you has given the greatest satisfaction. I consider it a cheap and powerful manure for Turnips. I am, Sir, Yours, &c. THOMAS RANDALL." "N.B.-The quantity used was 3 cwt. per acre, with about 30 bushels of Ashes.
        " Philliols, Dorset, October let, 1850. " Sir,-I had 10 cwt. of your Shale Manure, which I drilled with ashes on 2 acres of light soil, and it produced a very good crop of Turnips. I remain, Yours truly, THOMAS INGRAM."

        The price of the Shale Manure is £2. 10s. per Ton- including bags, at the Wharf used by the Company in London. The quantity to be used is from three to five cwt. per acre, according to the nature of the soil and crops

        VARNISH PAINT.

        Mr. Martin also has to offer, from the works of the same Company, a Capital Varnish Paint, which is well adapted for private use and may be applied to Iron, Wood and Plaster, and has one great advantage-that it dries in the course of a few minutes.

        The North Wales Chronicle, 30th November 1850

        THE NEW SHALE MANURE.

        (From the North Wales Chronicle)

        We a few weeks ago drew the attention of our agriculturists to this manure, which, it realises what is presented of it by the company engaged producing it, is decidedly the best, as it is the cheapest, yet discovered. We take the following note of its preparation from the City article of the London Times, published on of November last:—

        " Sir.—The statement that appeared The Times on the 1st inst., with respect to Irish peat and Owen's experiments thereon appears to have excited great interest in the public mind, and has been observed upon a great portion of the press. The world are very apt to take cognizance of what is going on at a distance, apparently heedless or ignorant of what is taking place nearer home."

        "The object of this communication, you should think it deserving of a place, is to inform your readers that experiments, very similar character, and with a view of producing very nearly the same result's, have been for some time in operation at Wareham, in Dorsetshire, and that the company under whose auspices they are undertaken are now actually erecting in that locality 100 retorts, with a view of immediately bringing their products into the London and other markets."

        "The only difference appears to be the substance upon which they work, which in this case is what has been usually called Kimmeridge coal. Its more proper appellation should be ' bituminous shale or schist,' being according to the opinions of geologists, a combination of animal and vegetable remains It is found in great quantities on a continuous tract of about four miles of land on the coast of Dorsetshire, of which the Bituminous Shale Company,' as it is called, are now the sole lessees."

        "The following are the products of the shale after it has undergone what technically termed a highly destructive distillation—mineral oil or spirits, asphaltum, grease, paraffine, the residuum, after being crushed, forming the basis of what is fully expected will prove an extremely valuable manure. As the peat, sulphate of ammonia is, found to exist considerable quantities, and also phosphate of lime. It is not intended, however, to offer these substances to the public by themselves, but to mix them with the residuum or manure, the chymical virtues of which will thereby be considerably enhanced."

        " It is not my purpose to draw any comparison, still less an invidious one, between the intrinsic merits of bituminous shale and Irish peat, or the prices at which it is possible to bring their respective productions into the markets. I firmly believe that there is full scope for both; but I think it is only fair that the fact should equally be made known that a company such as the 'Bituminous Shale Company' is actually in existence, with works abutting on a railway station, and in direct and easy communication with the metropolis, and which will be prepared before the close of the year to supply the London markets with a large quantity of mineral oil or spirit, besides other highly valuable products, at a lower price than they have ever yet been offered to the public. It should also be remembered, that as the material upon which they work is unlimited in its extent, so the supply to be drawn therefrom will be regulated and restrained solely by the demand that may. be made upon it."

        "I cannot forbear calling your particular attention to the low price of the manure, 10s per ton, which I honestly believe will prove a real boon to the agriculturist. The quantity to be used is from three to five cwt. per acre. It has been tried on various crops with the most satisfactory results, and has been pronounced by more than one eminent agriculturist to be equal in its effects to guano, phosphate of lime, or any other artificial manure now in use. "

        I have the honour to be, &c,

        "Well-wisher to both Shale and Peat."

        The Sussex Advertiser 31st December 1850

        To Agriculturists

        BITUMINOUS SHALE COMPANY, Office, 145 Upper Thames St. London

        WORKS: WAREHAM, DORSET, Manager Wm. Baldwin.

        The Bituminous Shale is a combination of animal and vegetable remains, found on the Coast of Dorsetshire; which, having undergone a process of distillation, is carefully manufactured, with other matters, into a MANURE

        Price:

        • At Nine Elms, and at any Station on the South Western Railway, including bags - £2 10s od per ton
        • At The Factory £2 0s 0d
        • At Ditto, without bags £1 15s 0d

        * Note. this deduction may vary according to the price paid by the Company for the sacks. Reference the fertilising properties of the Manure can made to the following Gentlemen, whose Testimonials appeared tins paper on the 19th inst. Viz:

        • Lord Padget, Woolverton, Hants
        • Capt. Alexander, The Auberies, Sudbury, Suffolk.
        • Rev. G. J. Fisher, Winfrith.
        • Mr. Thomas Randall, ditto.
        • Mr. Thomas Ingram. Bere.
        • Mr. J. Reader, Winfrith.
        • Mr. H. U. Coulthurst. New Inn, London.
        • Mr. J. A. Damen, Winfrith.
        • Mr. James Hart, Ash, Surrey.
        • Mr. Edwin Randall, Wareham.

        ALSO. FOR SALE. RAW GROUND UNBURNT SHALE—a manure containing all the valuable properties, derivable from Fossil Organic Matter, Coproloties &c. &c.

        Price at the Factory £2 2s.per Ton. Shale Ashes, per Horse Load £0, 5s per ton per 2 Horse ditto £0 10s.

        AMMONIA WATER 1d. per Gallon.

        For further Particulars apply Mr. William Baldwin. Shale Works. Wareham.

        The Dorset County Chronicle, 28th August 1851

        TO AGRICULTURISTS.

        The BITUMINOUS SHALE COMPANY, for the Production of MINERAL SPIRIT, ASPHALTUM, and MANURE.

        Registered pursuant to 7 and 8 Vict. c. 110. Office- 145, Upper Thames Street, London. Works—Wareham, Dorset.

        DIRECTORS:

        • H. B. Raymond Barker, Esq. 4, Garden Court, Temple.
        • Horace Green, Esq. Clapton Square.
        • J Edwin Pettit, Esq. 5, Ufton Grove, Kingsland.
        • G. S. Pickering, Esq. Clapham, Surrey.
        • W. P. Pickering, Esq.. Lincoln's Inn Fields
        • A. B. Pollock, Esq. 1, Elm Court, Temple.
        • A. Ricardo, Esq. 3. Charles Street, Lowndes Square.

        ALGERNON POLLOCK, Secretary.

        The Bituminous Shale is a combination of Fossil Bones, Shells, and Vegetable Remains, found on the Coast of Dorsetshire; which, having first undergone a Process of Distillation, is carefully Manufactured, with other Matters, into a MANURE. It has been used by numerous Scientific Men and Practical Farmers on various Crops with the most satisfactory Results. It is at once Cheap, Durable, and Fertilizing, and the Shale being itself inexhaustible, the supply of the Manure will be uniform and without risk of Deterioration. Price £2. 10s. per Ton. Freight and Carriage extra, but moderate.

        Testimonials and full Particulars may be had by Application to JOSEPH HINDHAUGH, 4B,WestmorelandTerrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Agent for the North of England and for Scotland.

        The Newcastle Journal, 20th September 1851

    • 1852
      • A01008: 09/09/1852

        These works have lately been erected Boghead, near Bathgate. They belong to Messrs J. Young &Co of Manchester ; but being conducted strictly as a secret work," little known in the district regarding the articles produced at them, and less of the means by which they are produced. Indeed, all that is known on the subject is, that in them there is used large quantities of the Boghead cannel coal, from which it is understood that oil and various other valuable substances are, by some chemical process, extracted. The following extracts from the recent publication by the Commissioners of the Reports the Jurors on the Works of Industry of all Nations, which were shown the late exhibition, will not be uninteresting to our readers, particularly those resident the district, as what is therein stated tends still farther to establish the great commercial value of the Boghead parrot coal for other purposes besides the manufacture of gas, for which it unrivalled and that it may consequently be expected that it will continue, for many years yet to come, to be a source of profit and advantage not only to the district of Bathgate, but to all those more immediately connected with it.

        In the reports as to the Stearic Manufactures," exhibited under Class 29, it is stated at page 625 of the publication alluded to—" Paraffin would much too costly to be converted into candles, made from wax, as its preparation entails a considerable loss of material; it is nevertheless desirable that it should be obtained cheaply from some source, as it is better adapted than any other substance for illuminating purposes, from its containing element besides carbon and hydrogen, which are united equal equivalents ; it is, therefore, exactly of the same composition hundred parts of olefiant gas, which gives to the ordinary coal and oil gases their illuminating power. Examples of paraffin candles are exhibited Masse and Tribouillet, in the French section; but far more interesting specimens are sent by James Young, which seem to realise the great problem which the rare sagacity of pointed out so far back ten years ago. ' It would certainly be esteemed one of the greatest discoveries of the age,' says he. 'if any one could succeed condensing coal gas into a white, dry, solid, colourless substance, portable, and capable of being placed upon candlestick, or burned in a lamp.' Now. this very problem Young appears to have accomplished, by distilling coal a comparatively low temperature, whereby he obtains instead of gas —which the product of intense heat —a mixture of liquid and solid substances, —the former capable of being burned in lamps, like sperm oil, of being used for lubricating machinery ; the latter yielding a beautiful mould candle, as solid and white any prepared from paraffin from other sources.

        The reporters have not, as yet, been able to obtain a fuller account of the economical bearings Mr Young's process; although, according to a statement furnished to them, 100 parts of cannel coal from Bathgate yielded parts of oil, and 10 parts of paraffin. The reporters, however, confidently hope, that this truly beautiful discovery will not meet with similar difficulties as the plan proposed some years ago for making paraffin candles out of Irish peat. If coal paraffin can actually obtained in sufficient quantity and at moderate cost, may witness another revolution in the process of illumination; and the brilliant discoveries of Chevreul, but lately threatened by the splendour of the electric light, may be eclipsed by the general adoption of solidified coal-gas candles." Besides this very favourable statement the reporters, awarding prize medal to Young for the paraffin and oils exhibited him (and which he extracts from the Boghead gas-coal), state their report, at page 43—" The process adopted by Young is one of great importance, which has only been fully developed since the jury made its awards. By distilling the cannel coal of Boghead, near Bathgate, in Scotland, at the lowest red heat, Young obtains a quantity of oil amounting to about per cent, of the weight of the coal. This oil, after rectifying off a small portion of its more volatile part, is exceedingly well adapted for lubricating machinery. It does not oxidate in air, and is equal to the best sperm oil for the purpose stated, being a rich solution of paraffin more volatile oils. It is difficult to estimate the advantage, in a variety of points of view, of so valuable a discovery." We may add that Mr Young's manufactory is carried on under a patent, dated 17th October, 1850, wherein the mode in which he treats the gas-coal and its products to accomplish the extraction and purification of the oil, paraffin, &c, are very particularly specified.

    • 1854
      • A01009: 11/03/1854

        Winding up of the Bituminous Shale Co.

        Tuesday March 7

        The Bituminous Shale Company v Cassell re the Joint Stock Companies Winding up Acts 1848 and 1849 and The Bituminous Shale Company ex parte Green

        Practice - Winding up order - Matter adjourned for reference to chief clerk in chambers

        The above claim and petition came on for hearing together under the following circumstances. In the year 1848 a company was formed for digging working and obtaining a certain mineral or substance called schistus or bituminous shale black stone Kimmeridge coal or any earth clay mineral or other like substance whatsoever or to extract distil manufacture and produce therefrom certain oils pitch gaseous unctuous carbonaceous and other products and to sell and dispose of the same By an indenture of partnership dated the 29th Aug 1848 it was provided amongst other things that the several persons parties thereto being or becoming shareholders in the capital of the company should constitute or be a joint stock company within the meaning of the Acts of the 7th and 8th and the 10th and 11th of her present Majesty under the name of the Bituminous Shale Company and that the capital of the company should consist 20,000l to be divided into 500 shares of 50l each but which capital might, by two extraordinary general meetings of not less than two thirds in number and value of the shareholders, be increased by the issue of new or the augmentation of the present shares to a sum not exceeding 40,000l or be decreased to a sum not less than 20,000l That two successive extraordinary general meetings might by resolution to be passed at the first meeting and confirmed at the second by the like majority of shareholders increase or decrease the capital of the said company within the limits above mentioned and might authorise the directors to sell or otherwise dispose of any shares in the capital of the company which might have become forfeited in any other manner than by non-payment of calls or to borrow any sum or sums of money on bond or mortgage for the purposes of the company not exceeding in the whole 5000 and likewise might determine upon the dissolution of the company subject to the clauses therein contained.

        The Board of directors had power from time to time to rent take lease or purchase any lands buildings and premises for carrying on the business and works and also to apply for and take on behalf of the company on such terms as the board of directors should approve any lease of land or ground containing bituminous shale or schist or other like substance and any licence or other power or authority to dig work or remove bituminous shale or schist and all materials and substances applicable to the purposes of the said company The board directors were also empowered from time to time at their discretion at such prices and upon such terms as they should think reasonable to cause all or any of the hereditaments and premises goods and chattels for the time being belonging to the company to be sold parted with or otherwise disposed of for the benefit of the company and the board of directors were directed to cause the works buildings and premises and all the funds and property of the company to be assigned and vested in the names of not less than two trustees The deed was executed by forty five persons representing as stated by the petitioner 404 shares. The company received the certificate of complete registration on the 26th Sept 1848. Calls to the extent of 45l a share were made and the sums received on account of such calls amounting to 19,220l were expended in various works towards prosecuting the said scheme.

        By an indenture dated the 10th Feb 1849 a piece of land situate in the parish of St Martin, Wareham the county of Dorset together with full power for said company their successors and assigns to cut or root up any trees which then were or during the lease thereby granted might be on the said thereby demised premises and to all or any of the then existing houses, hedges &c. and to make and construct such houses and buildings fences &c as the said company their successors or assigns should think fit was demised Henry Charles Sturt to certain trustees their executors administrators and assigns from the 25th then last for the term of ninety nine years trust for the said company, their successors and assigns, and to be dealt with as they should determinable nevertheless as therein mentioned the rent of 45l 18s. 9d. payable as therein. And in the said indenture was contained a that the said company should pay to the said Charles Sturt a further sum of 91l 17s 6d clear all deductions upon their giving notice of the said demise. The said company also purchased at the same time, for 700l the buildings then standing on the said piece of land. Various buildings and machinery were erected the above mentioned plot of land by the at a cost of 10,000l.

        In the year 1852 the affairs the company becoming embarrassed they applied William Henry Smith for a loan of 2000l for purpose of paying off certain debts and liabilities then due from them and by a deed dated the April 1852 in consideration of 2000l advanced by the said William Henry Smith the above premises were, by the direction of the said company, granted to the said William Henry Smith his executors administrators and assigns for the residue of the term of ninety nine years except ten days with proviso for redemption on repayment of 2000l and interest at five per cent.

        On the 14th Dec 1852 an extraordinary general meeting of the company was held whereat it was resolved that as it appeared on investigation that the liabilities exceeded assets of the company by more than 500l, the Bituminous Shale Company should be forthwith dissolved and that immediate steps should be for the winding up of the company and the directors were authorised with all convenient speed to wind the affairs either by calling up contributions privately or by petitioning the court under the Act. By another extraordinary general meeting of shareholders held on the 13th Jan 1853, it resolved that the minutes of the proceedings at meeting of the 14th Dec should be adopted and confirmed. A list of the then debts and liabilities of the company together to the sum of 9164 7s 11d was laid before the meeting. In the month of July 1853 by certain articles agreement under the common seal of the dated the 13th July 1853 and made between company of the one part and Edwin Edward of the other part the company agreed to sell the said Edwin Edward Cassell agreed to purchase for 3000l the said piece of ground comprised in the lease together with the buildings plant and machinery subject to certain printed conditions of sale thereto annexed as far as the might be applicable to a sale by private contract were not varied by the agreement the 3rd 8th & 9th conditions being struck out the purchase to completed on or before the 20th Sept 1853 up which time all outgoings were to be discharged the vendor and if the purchase should be not completed the purchaser to pay interest at 5 cent from that time until it should be completed.

        The abstract of title was to be delivered to the purchaser on or before the 10th Aug 1853. The agreement was executed by Cassell. By the 5th condition of sale thereto annexed it was amongst other provided that the purchaser should not be entitled to call for the production of the lessor's title nor he require any other evidence of the covenants conditions in the lease having been performed up the completion of the purchase than the of the receipt for rent up to the 25th Dec then Upon payment of the purchase money and the observance and performance of those conditions sale on the purchaser's part the purchaser have a proper assurance executed to him at his expense but the trustees of the company should be required to enter into any other covenant than covenant that they had not incumbered In pursuance of the agreement an abstract of title was to the purchaser's solicitor on the 10th who on 12th compared it with the original deeds and on 18th Aug requisitions were delivered which company s solicitor answered on the 29th. On 9th Sept 1853 the purchaser's solicitor further requisitions which were answered on following day. On the 16th Sept the solicitor wrote to say that the answer to the requisitions was not satisfactory. A correspondence followed and on the 15th Nov 1853 a claim was riled by company against Edwin Edward Cassell to specific performance of the agreement. The claim was set down before the MR but was transferred by leave to VC Stuart's Court on the 20th Feb last.

        The Law Times, vol.22 no. 571. 1854., 11th March 1854

    • 1855
      • A00014: 04/04/1855

        FARMS TO BE LET.

        FARM of CITY, in the Parish of Livingstone, near West Calder, containing about 100 Imperial acres, the greater portion of which is tile-drained; and The FARM of BRIECH DYKES, part of the same Estate, containing about 220 Imperial acres, two-thirds of which have been recently tile-drained, and the remainder will be also done if required; are both to be Let for Nineteen Years, with immediate entry, and the ploughing done for this crop. The gardener at Westwood, will show the Lands, and all further particulars may be obtained from the Proprietor, there, or at 32, Royal Terrace, Edinburgh.

        North British Agriculturalist, 4th April 1855

    • 1858
      • A01010: 06/01/1858

        The Bankruptcy of William Brown & Co.

        Bankruptcy Proceedings, Sheriff Court – Tuesday 5th January

        EXAMINATION OF WILLIAM BROWN & CO.

        The bankrupt was examined today before Sheriff Sir Archibald Alison, Bart. Present- Mr. James M'Clelland, trustee ; Mr. Stevenson, of M'Grigors & Stevenson, law agents in the sequestration.

        Mr. William Brown, oil and colour merchant, Stockwell Street, interrogated by Mr. STEVENSON - I have been a merchant since 1813. On1st January, 1840, my eldest son James was admitted a partner, and my second son, Charles , on 1st January 1841. I have carried on business in connection with my sons since these dates My capital was £12,800 of my own in the business when my Son James was admitted a partner, independent of my private fortune. My business was then profitable. It might be worth from £2,500 to £3,000 a year. Generally speaking, my business has continued to be profitable down to this date.

        Apart from my general business I had a good deal of speculation in connection with railway stock, oil, tallow, cotton, and corn. My loss on oil was £5,000; on tallow £9,000; on cotton and other produce, £3,800; on corn £2,200. Between 1845 and 1852 there was a loss by speculating in railway stock of £19,900. These transactions were all on account of the firm. Produces a state of affairs in 1856, the result being, after deducting the securities held by the banks as against their own claim it showed the liabilities at that time to have been £43,134. Valuing the bank stock and other property we hold at the price of the day it amounted to £46,266, showing a balance in our favour of £3142. The state of affairs now made up in 1857 by Mr. M'Clelland prior to the date of sequestration, as at 12th November showed my liabilities to be £71,909. The assets at the same date were £31,282 showing the deficiency as between 1856 and 1857 to be £ 40,547. The chief part of it arises from the position of the Western Bank. There was a loss of £2,300 on the Sperm Oil Company; and the shares held by me in the Western Bank were valued at £18,675, beside 103 shares held by me in connection with the transaction with J&J Wright, which were valued at £8,600; but are no valueless. The deponent thinks that if the Western Bank had not stopped their insolvency would not have taken place. Has a house belonging individually to him in Athol Place, Glasgow and another in Wemyss Bay. Both of the houses are vested in trustee by marriage settlement. The Athol Place house was burdened with a heritable bond for £1,800. That £1,800 was expended by me in building the house at Wemyss Bay

        Interrogated by Mr.WRIGHT, for Mr. Robert M 'Cowan - I was a partner of the Sperm Oil Company. The company was formed in June, 1856. It was to endure, according to the contract, for seven or ten years. James M'Kenzie, presently residing at Largs, John Bain of Morriston, and ourselves, were the partners, Our share was one third. The capital was £9000. The works were at Cambuslang. They were leased by the company. They adjoined the Clydesdale Chemical Works. I was a partner of the Clydesdale Chemical Company. The operative part of the Sperm Oil Company was managed by Mr Carlyle. I was frequently there myself and superintended the works. -,My firm were the managers along with other parties. Wm Brown & Co. took charge of the counting house department. I signed bills for the Sperm Oil Company Wm.Brown & Co, were the parties. The capital contributed by the partners for carrying on the works of the concern was either £7500 or £7000. Wm. Brown & Sons contributed none of that sum. The company made an article for fine machinery called hyper-sperm oil. I cannot state how much was made per annum. The Clydesdale Chemical Company came into existence in July, 1855. The partners were John Bain of Morriston and my own firm holding two-thirds. I agreed to advance £2,000, one-half in cash and the other in apparatus. I did so.

        • Mr. Brown here declined to answer certain questions as to the value of the patents of the Clydesdale Chemical Co., alleging that Mr. Wright had no right to question him as to the property of other people, and that he had ceased on his insolvency to have any connection with that company.
        • Interrogated - where the Clydesdale Chemical Co. erected works for carrying on their business?
        • Deponed - They were erected at Cambuslang, contiguous to those of the Hyper-Sperm Oil Co.
        • Interrogated: - What they made in those works?
        • Deponed; - Railway grease and paraffin and other oils. Wm Brown &Co. superintended the manufacture.
        • Interrogated - Who took charge of the counting house and sales department of the company's chemical business?
        • Deponed. - My firm did, so up to the time I ceased to be a partner.

        Mr. WRIGHT (so far as we could gather, for the proceedings again resolved into a whisper, as if only a private confab had been going on, in which we, as representing the public, had no concern) here desired to go into a line of examination as to the conduct of the affairs of the Clydesdale Chemical Co. after Mr. Brown had ceased to be a partner. Mr. STEVENSON. objected to this course as irregular, and tended to compromise third parties who were not here present He contended that Mr.Wright was entitled to get information as to the affairs Wm. Brown &Co but not to go into the affairs of other and solvent parties. His (Mr. Wright's) object seemed to be to get, in an indirect form, the information not bearing on the affairs of Wm. Brown & Co., and therefore irrelevant to the present examination. Interrogatory and objection recorded to await the decision of the Sheriff at next diet.

        The Glasgow Herald 6th January 1858

    • 1859
      • A00002: 19/03/1859

        MINERAL FIELD TO BE LET.

        SEAMS of SMITHY and other COALS, FIRECLAY, IRONSTONE, and LIMESTONE, in the Estate of Westwood, extending to upwards of 230 acres, lying in the Parish of Livingstone, and about a mile distant from the Bathgate and Morningside Railway, are to be Let. A good Seam of Smithy Coal, upwards of 5 feet in thickness, with several smaller Seams of good quality, and well adapted for the manufacture of Coke, have been opened up in different parts of the property. Two of these rest upon Seams of good Fireclay, suitable for making Ovens, or any other purposes. There are also several Seams of Ironstone, amounting altogether to some feet in thickness, and which may be seen at the outcrop, with Lime, and dense stratum of Pitchy Bituminous Shale. For farther particulars and terms, application may be made to the Proprietor, Robert Steuart, Esq. of Carfin, Moray Place, Edinburgh; or Thomas Sprot, Esq., W.S., there.

        The Falkirk Herald, 17th March 1859

    • 1860
      • A01146: c.1860

        Paraffin lamp manufacturers in Scotland

        "Paraffin Light Manufacturers", as listed in Glasgow Post Office Directories

        1860 and 1861

        • none

        1862

        • Rowatt Thomas & Sons, 253 Argyll St., D Anderson & Co. Agents

        1863 and 1864

        • Robinson, Donald & Co. Bothwell Lane, West Campbell St.

        1865

        • Binning, Robert & Sons, 108 St Vincent St.
        • Paraffin Light Company, 7 South Fredrick St.
        • Robinson Donald & Co. Canal Bank Port Dundas.
        • Young, John, 14 East Nile St.

        1866

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 South Fredrick St.
        • Robinson Donald & Co. Canal Bank Port Dundas.
        • Young, John, 14 East Nile St.

        1867

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 South Fredrick St.
        • Robinson Brothers. Canal Bank Port Dundas.
        • Young, John, 14 East Nile St.

        1868

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 South Fredrick St.
        • Robinson J & E, Canal Bank Port Dundas.
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and 11 East Nile St.

        1869

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 South Fredrick St.
        • Robinson J & E, Vulcan Oil Works Young,
        • John, 222 Gallowgate, and 11 East Nile St.

        1870

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 69 St Georges Place
        • Robinson J & E, Vulcan Oil Works, Port Dundas
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas

        1871

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 69 St Georges Place
        • Robinson J & E, Vulcan Oil Works, Port Dundas
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas

        1872

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 69 St Georges Place
        • Robinson J & E, Canal Bank, Port Dundas
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas

        1873

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 69 St Georges Place
        • Robinson J & E, Canal Bank, Port Dundas
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Wright and Butler, Birmingham, agents J.C. Black, 57 Oswald St.

        1874

        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 69 St Georges Place
        • Robinson J & E, Canal Bank, Port Dundas
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Wright and Butler, Birmingham, agents J.C. Black, 57 Oswald St.

        1875

        • J.C. Black, 57 Oswald St. agent for Wright and Butler, Birmingham
        • Lang Jn & Co. 106, 108 London Rd
        • Robinson J & E, Canal Bank, Port Dundas
        • Wright and Butler, Birmingham, showroom 57 Oswald St
        • Young Henry, 21 Biship St.
        • Anderson Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 69 St Georges Place

        1876

        • Lang Jn & Co. 106, 108 London Rd
        • Taylor, James Jnr. 124, 126, 128, Trongate
        • Wright and Butler, Birmingham, showroom 57 Oswald St
        • Young Henry, 21 Bishop St. Anderson
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 13 Dundas St.

        1877

        • Lang Jn & Co. 106, 108 London Rd
        • Taylor, James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 13 Dundas St.

        1878

        • Taylor, James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • Sherwood, Issac Jnr. 163, West Nile St.
        • Watt, Chas. & Co. 30 West George St.
        • Young, John, 222 Gallowgate, and Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 West George St.

        1879

        • Lyon & Co. 40, St. Enoch Sq.
        • Taylor, James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • Watt, Chas. & Co. 30 West George St.
        • Young, John, Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 West George St.

        1880

        • Crossan Thomas, 84 Parliamentary Rd
        • Potts, Wm & Henry, 25 Renfield St.
        • Taylor, James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • Watt, Chas. & Co. 30 West George St.
        • Young, John, Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 West George St.

        1881

        • Crossan Thomas, 84 Parliamentary Rd
        • Potts, Wm & Henry, 25 Renfield St.
        • Taylor, James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • Young, John, Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 West George St.

        1882

        • Potts, Wm & Henry, 25 Renfield St.
        • Taylor, James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • Young, John, Forth St, Port Dundas
        • Young John jnr., 105 Bothwell St.
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 West George St.

        1883

        • Bow Wm, 91 High St
        • Geo Murray, 261 Buchanan St.
        • Philips, Rich, 45 Robertson St.
        • Potts, Wm & Henry, 25 Renfield St.
        • Richmond, Thomas, 225 High St & 86 Gallowgate
        • Taylor, James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • The Birmingham Lamp Co. agents Richard McKay, 266 Argyll St.
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 West George St.

        1884

        • Bow Wm, 91 High St
        • Geo Murray, 261 Buchanan St.
        • Philips, Rich, 45 Robertson St.
        • Potts, Wm & Henry, 25 Renfield St.
        • Richmond, Thomas, 225 High St & 86 Gallowgate Taylor,
        • James Jnr. 61, 63, 65 Mitchell St.
        • The Birmingham Lamp Co. agents Richard McKay, 266 Argyll St.
        • Young's Paraffin Light & Mineral Oil Co Ltd, 7 West George St.
      • A01011: 08/03/1860

        The opening of George Bennie & Co.'s foundry

        Perhaps there is no city in the kingdom the commercial enterprise of which has been so rapidly developed as that of Glasgow. We do not require to go back a century for the purpose of inviting the manes of our tobacco lords and rum princes to survey in astonishment the city of their posterity. Even the "oldest inhabitant," although he may be able to spin many strange yarns to our wondering youngsters, is not required as a witness in this case. The man whom you meet at every corner can tell you of the almost miraculous changes which coal, water, iron, and energy have wrought upon Glasgow, and even young men can point with the gravity of patriarchs to districts, which they remember to have been composed of flowery fields and meadows, sacred to the worship of Ceres and Flora, but which are now covered with ship-building yards and iron foundries, with clouds of smoky incense arising to the smithy god Vulcan,

        One of these foundries, on an extensive scale, has just been opened in Great Wellington Street, Paisley Road. We do not intend it to be understood that this establishment possesses features of a character so remarkable that it may be set down as one of the lion of the city. The district in which it is situated is filled with works of considerable magnitude, which could scarcely find room in any other quarter. But the foundry of Messrs. George Bennie & Co. is an important addition to their number, and possesses facilities, especially for turning out large and heavy castings, which are very rarely to be found. Mr. Bennie expects to turn out castings weighing from one to 50 tons. The premises occupy fully an acre of ground; and the shop for heavy castings measures 150 feet by 50, giving an almost unexampled working area. The works are driven by a 20 horse-power engine, an exceedingly neat piece of mechanism, from the Eglinton Engine Works. In the heavy castings shop one furnace has already been erected, and is now in operation; it is built to contain 10 tons of metal, and another is in process which is expected to contain 15 tons. In this shop there are also four very large stoves for drying the moulds previous to casting.

        We had the pleasure of witnessing the filling of a few moulds, on a recent visit to the premises. The blast was communicated by Russel's improved fans, the speed of which comes up to 1500 revolutions per minute; and these fans possess this very great advantage, that they make little more noise than the humming of a hive of bees, pleasantly com- paring with the very great din which is created by the usual appliances. The method by which the blast is supplied was also on an improved principle, the air being admitted by a single pipe casing of plates, which proceeds like a band round the furnace and plays upon the fire at three points with great force. In a comparatively brief period, surprising to a stranger, the molten iron began to run from the furnace at a glowing white heat, and with a stream so continuous that the workmen were scarcely able to carry it away cleverly enough. At one end of this room or shop, there has been erected a very powerful crane, the beams of which are constructed of solid oak and which will raise 25 tons, and a second is to be erected at the other end of the shop expected to lift 30 tons. This shop communicates with the yard by two massive gates, and in the yard there is to be placed a third crane, sufficient to lift 15 tons, to assist in clearing the heavy casts from the shop, and getting them upon the waggons.

        Every improvement, indeed, which the long practical experience of Mr. George Bennie could have suggested has been applied to the new work George is the son of Mr. James Bennie of the Caledonian Foundry, and is commencing business in the establishment which we have been describing. We trust that his experience and assiduity will give success to his new undertaking.

        The Glasgow Herald, 8th March 1860

      • A01012: 03/11/1860

        Binney & Co. v. Clydesdale Chemical Co.

        Selected extracts relating to oil operations in Dorset.

        Report of Jury Trial

        Tried before the Lord President and Jury, Edinburgh, November 1860.

        Evidence for the Prosecution

        17. MR ROBERT MARSHALL,

        Clerk to Messrs Russel & Son, Falkirk.

        Mr Shand.-

        Have you been sending coal to Wareham in Dorsetshire within the last year or two ?

        We have sent considerable quantities to Wareham lately.

        To Messrs Humphreys and Co. there ?

        Yes.

        18. MR SAMUEL CLIFT,

        Manager of Tar Distillery, Manchester

        Mr. Gordon:

        You know that there are some works at Wareham in Dorsetshire?

        Yes.

        They were called the Bituminous Shale Company?

        Yes.

        I suppose they advertised their products?

        I don't know whether they advertised them or not.

        How did you hear of their products?

        I cannot tell exactly; but someone told me that they had naphtha to sell

        Did you make a purchase?

        Yes. When was this?

        I think it would be in August 1851.

        What did you purchase?

        About 2000 gallons of rectified and crude oil.

        Was naphtha much in demand at that time?

        Yes.

        And was the oil sold to you as a tar-distiller for the purpose of procuring naphtha ?

        I bought it for that purpose.

        Did you make use of it?

        Yes.

        How?

        I rectified it, and put the naphtha from it amongst my naphtha from gas-tar.

        Did you find that the naphtha so mixed had any peculiarity?

        It had a terrible stink.

        The Lord President:

        The mixed naphtha had?

        Yes.

        Neither separately had?

        Oh! yes.

        Which one?

        That from the bituminous shale had a very bad smell

        Mr Gordon:

        Then it contaminated your own naphtha?

        Yes. I have some here if you would like to smell it.

        Were there complaints from your customers?

        Yes. It spoiled your naphtha, did it?

        It did not spoil it, but it made it smell bad, so that our customers complained.

        After that, had you occasion to go to Wareham?

        Yes.

        Why did you go there ?

        Mr Bethell had an offer of the works, and he requested me to go and see the place, and make a report.

        What year was this in?

        In 1853.

        Who did you see at the works?

        Mr Baldwin. Is he alive or dead ?

        I have heard within a few days that he is dead. What was he?

        He was the manager; at least so he represented himself to me.

        He was in charge of the works?

        Yes.

        Did he show you the shale from which they worked?

        Yes; he showed me the whole. I have brought samples of the shale with me.

        Did you take specimens with you?

        Yes.

        How much did you take With you?-

        I had somethmg over one cwt.

        Did he give you that?

        Yes.

        As the material from which they worked ?

        Yes.

        Did he say they were driving a flourishing trade?

        No, he said he was very glad to see me, as I had been the only customer they had.

        Did you subject the shale to distillation?

        Some of it.

        Would you describe how you treated it?

        I had a small retort, on the same principle as a gas retort, and I charged the retort, and put into it the shale, and hghted my fire under it, and distllled all the products off, beginning at a low red heat - as low as it would begin, and finishing off at a high temperature.

        Did you find that the low red-heat produced any results?

        It did not begin to work until the retort was getting very sensibly red hot.

        This was in the day-time?

        Yes.

        How high did you bring it up?

        It gave off products till it got up to a considerable heat-somewhat like the heat they use in gasworks.

        It gave off liquid products?

        Yes.

        Did you bring the heat up gradually?

        Yes, of necessity so.

        What kind of liquid was produced?

        I produced crude tar, something like the tar obtained from gas-works, only the dreadful smell.

        Did the smell suggest to you the presence of any kind of matters in it?

        Yes.

        What?

        Evidently animal matter. I had worked upon bone tar, and it had something similar, but not so bad.

        Did Mr Bethell resolve to have nothing to do with the works?

        I advised him not.

        Do you know whether the works are in operation now?

        I don't.

        Cross examined by Mr.Young.

        Would you try to remember when you first saw paraffine oil - I mean oil containing paraffine?

        I never saw oil containing paraffine, to my knowledge, till after the date of Mr Young's patent.

        Have you a recollection that you did not see it till after that?

        I have a recollection that I did not know it before that.

        Is it the name you did not know ? Did you not know the same thing which is now called paraffine oil ?

        I cannot tell whether I had ever seen anything like it or not, but I did not know anything of the name of paraffine oil.

        Had you seen some Boghead coal distilled when it first came to be known, and when specimens were sent about the country?

        I distilled some myself.

        When was that ?

        I cannot tell now.

        It was before the date of Mr Young's patent was it not?

        I could not say if it was or was not. I don't recollect.

        Was there anybody present when you distilled it?

        I don't know, I am sure; I distilled it in my own laboratory. I have distilled it a good many times. I cannot recollect the date

        At what heat did you distil it?

        I always conducted my expenments In the same way. I commenced with charging my retort cold.

        And heated it gradually up?

        I brought it up as quick as I could.

        The heating was of course gradual?

        It must of course have been so.

        And you notice in conducting an experiment, I suppose, when the products first begin to come off?

        Yes. What did you get from the Boghead when you distilled it?

        I got an oil.

        And what did you do with the oil?

        I only obtained it in small quantities. I daresay it may be in my laboratory yet.

        What kind of oil was it?

        A light-brown oil.

        Just like what is got now by Mr Young?

        Just the same, but my object was different.

        You say you applied the heat as you always did in your experiments?

        Yes.

        And you distilled the Boghead several times?

        Yes.

        But whether before or after the patent you cannot say?

        I cannot recollect that. Have you seen other people do it?

        No, not Boghead, nor any other that I know. I have since.

        Who have you seen do it?

        I saw a friend of mine do it in Shropshire.

        Who is that?

        Mr Fisher.

        The Lord President.

        But you had not seen it at the time you made the experiments?

        No.

        Mr Young.

        Was it Mr Jesse Fisher?

        Yes

        What is he?

        He is a manufacturing chemist. He has small chemical works at Madeley, in Shropshire.

        Did he distil it in the same way?

        Question objected to.

        Was it by way of experiment, or in his trade as a manufacturer, that Mr Fisher was trying this coal?-

        By way of experiment.

        How did he distil it?

        In a retort. Just as you had done yourself?

        Yes.

        The Lord President.

        Was it in a glass retort?

        In an Iron retort.

        Mr. Young.

        Putting it in cold?

        I forget how it was.

        Was it with the same result?

        Well, I never examined it, to my knowledge. I have no recollection of examining the products from it.

        Did what you saw appear to be the same?

        Well, I would not say so now.

        Your memory don't serve you?

        No; I could not say so.

        But you cannot recollect the date?

        No. It was after the Great Exhibition, I think,- in fact, I am sure.

        It would be some time during or after 1851. Just think a little further. Did you not see it before?

        I cannot recollect that I did. I mean, see Mr Fisher before experiment on this coal?

        I cannot recollect that I did see him, and I feel a great certainty that I did not see him.

        The naphtha which you make is used for burning in ]amps?

        Yes.

        These (showing J) are the specimens of Kimmeridge shale which you have brought with you?

        Yes.

        Are these fair specimens?

        They were given me by the manager. I suppose he would not take the worst.

        Mr Gordon.

        Have you seen naphtha which was produced from Mr Young's process?

        No, I never did.

        19. MR WILLIAM C. HOMERSHAM, Engineer, London.

        Mr Clark.

        You are an engineer in London?

        I am.

        Do you remember of going down to Weymouth, in Dorsetshire, in the autumn of 1849 ?

        I do.

        How long did you remain there?

        Till the summer of 1850- till the end of July.

        What was your object in going there?

        To finish the works begun by Mr Braithwaite for the distillation of bituminous shale.

        Were they completed?

        They were not when I went.

        Were they completed after you went ?

        As far as the distillation of the shale went.

        You completed them so far as to enable you to distil some shale ?

        Yes.

        What sort of shale was it that you distilled?

        The bituminous shale from Kimmeridge.

        How much did you distil altogether?

        About 100 tons.

        How much shale had you in the works when you went there?

        I found 2000.

        Which was intended for distillation?

        Yes.

        And all you distilled was about 100 ton

        We did.

        What was the amount of crude oil that you got per ton?

        About six gallons per ton of shale.

        Did you manage to sell it ?

        We never sold any.

        Did you ever try it ?

        We advertised it.

        And could not sell it ?

        We did not sell it.

        Had it a bad smell?

        It had.

        How did you distil the shale?

        From the size of the retorts I had, it was necessary to get the retort up to a very high heat; it was a very considerable heat.

        And you distilled it at a very high heat ?

        I did.

        And did the works continue in operation?

        They did not. When did you begin to distil ?

        About the latter end of January, or the beginning of February 1850.

        When did you shut shop?

        In bout July of the same year.

        And the works were not reopened?

        They have not been reopened.

        Cross examined by Mr.Young.

        By distilling this shale as you distilled it, you got what you have described to us as a crude oil?

        Yes.

        You are not a chemist ?

        I am not.

        Did you ascertain whether it floated in water or sank ?

        The major part tloated in water; some small parts sank to the bottom.

        What kind of thing sank to the bottom ?

        Some small portion sank to the bottom.

        But the bulk of the oil floated ?

        Yes.

        What was made from that oil?

        Nothing, so far as I can say.

        You never purified it?

        No.

        Nor extracted paraffine from it ?

        No.

        When did you begin?

        We started the works in January 1850.

        When did you stop?

        About June or July 1850.

        (Showing No. 83). That advertisement was inserted while you were manager?

        It was. . . . (Reads advertisement).

        That advertisement was inserted in reference to the product of your distillation?

        It was.

        You had never treated the crude oil which you obtained, so as to get from it those other products?

        I had not.

        How Iong had these works been in existence before you went ?

        Not at all.

        They were not finished.

        They had not begun?

        No.

        The gentleman you went to was Mr Braithwaite?

        Yes.

        The Lord President

        Did the works belong to him?

        To his trustees.

        Mr Young.

        He was bankrupt?

        Yes.

        He had become bankrupt?

        Yes.

        Was that from erecting these works?

        No.

        At the time he was erecting these works?

        Yes.

        I believe he had obtained an interest in Du Buisson's patent ?

        He had.

        As a patentee?

        Yes. And the works had been only so far advanced in January 1850, as to enable you to begin them ?

        Exactly.

        Had you a chemist engaged to assist you?

        We had not.

        Did you insert the advertisement which I have read?

        I did.

        From what was it prepared?

        From Du Buisson's specification, and a report by Mr Cooper. (Showing No. 74).

        That is Mr Cooper's report ?

        Yes.

        You yourself are an engineer, and not a chemist ; but your intention was to distil this Kimmeridge shale, which was the shale you operated on, so as to obtain these products?

        So as to obtain the liquid bitumen contained in it. And you did obtain the liquid bitumen which is the thing you call the crude oil?

        Yes.

        But that crude oil was not chemically dealt with afterwards?

        Not by me.

        Did you send a further portion of that crude oil which you obtained, to anybody?

        To several parties.

        For analysis?

        Not exactly for analysis, but to see whether they would buy.

        Did you send it to anybody for analysis?

        Not to several people. It was sent to one gentleman. I did not send it direct but I believe it was sent.

        To whom?

        To Mr Dugald Campbell.

        He is a chemist in London?

        He is.

        When was this?

        I should say in 1852, but I cannot remember the time exactly.

        It was a portion of the oil which was made by you in 1850 which was sent, you think, in 1852?

        Yes, by my directions. I think it was 1852.

        There was no oil made there at all after June 1850?

        No.

        The advertisement was sent to various publications, and repeated?

        In two or three.

        Mr Clark.

        And they brought no result?

        No result.

        You said that the bulk floated in water. Did a considerable portion of it sink when the liquid cooled?

        It mixed with the water when it was cold. There was a considerable difficulty in separating it when it was cold.

        Can you tell me the specific gravity of the crude oil ?

        I cannot.

        Did it just float?

        It was according to the temperature it was at. If it was 90° it would float; but when it got down to about 50° or 60°, there was a great deal of difficulty,-in fact there was a great deal of difficulty in separating them.

        Amongst other products which you advertised as the result of your distillation, there was one which my friend Mr Young did not mention - tar ?

        Tar is included in the advertisement.

        Did you know of yourself that it contained all these excellent things?

        I did not.

        And though a good many samples of the oil were sent out, none of its excellences were discovered?

        I presume not.

        What Mr Cooper reported on was the Kimmeridge bituminous schist?

        It was so represented to me.

        In fact, the report says so. . . . . I think he recommended a distillation as for gas, did he not. He says, "I am decidedly of opinion that the method'- (Reads to)-' at a great loss.' Was the oil you sent to Mr Campbell for analysis part of the oil made out of the 100 tons?

        lt was.

        You are sure of that?

        Decidedly.

        Was there no other shale distilled except that 100 tons?

        Yes, there would be in the proportion of 10 tons to the 100 of a shale obtained near Weymouth.

        Two different shales were obtained?

        Yes.

        And there were only 90 tons of that shale which you found 2000 tons of at the works?

        Yes, and 10 tons of a shale obtained about two miles from Weymouth.

        Were they separately distilled?

        They were separately distilled, but the products were mixed. They went into the same reciever.

        The Lord President.

        When you said 100 tons did you mean 100 in all ?

        Yes, about 100 tons.

        And about 10 tons of that was from Weymouth shale?

        Yes; rather under, but about 10 tons.

        Mr Young.

        Mr Cooper is dead?

        I believe so.

        The Lord President.

        Did you abandon the work because it did not succeed?

        Because we could not find a sale for the articles.

        It failed of success and was abandoned?

        The works are not sold at the present time.

        But the manufacture was abandoned by you?

        The manufacture is in abeyance up to the present time. The works still remain the property of Mr Braithwaite's trustees.

        Mr.Young

        What was the stoppage of the work owing to?

        Because we could not sell the articles was the primary cause.

        Was there not some bankruptcy in the matter?

        We only had the trustees to find the money, and they would not find the money because they did not sell the article.

        Evidence for the Defender

        1. MR DUGALD CAMPBELL.

        Mr Young.

        You are a Consulting and Analytical chemist to the Hospital of Consumption in London?

        I am.

        You were formerly demonstrator and lecturer on chemistry in University College, London?

        I was.

        And you are in busines generally as an analytical chemist?

        I am.

        Have you given much attention to the subject of the distillation of coal?

        I have

        And had much experience therein?

        I consider I have.

        When did it become known to chemists in general that paraftine was a product of the distillation of coal - I mean, generally, about how long ago?

        My knowledge of paraffine extends for a period of, I should say, about sixteen years .

        Was it well known so long ago as that, that it was a product of the distillation of coal?

        It was .

        When did you yourself obtain it by distilling coal?

        In 1847, I was shown by Mr. John Thomas Cooper, paraffine oil, lubricating oil from paraffine, and paraffine itself. Toward the end of 1847, Mr Cooper showed me the burning oil of paraffine, as it is called, the lubricating oil containing paraftine, and a thick oil in which there were crystals of parafline apparent to the eye, which he called the thick oil of paraftine.

        Who was Mr Cooper?

        Mr Cooper wa a very well-known consulting chemi t in London.

        Is he now dead?

        He is dead about four year ago.

        The question which I put to you was , when you yourself had obtained paraffine by distilling coal?

        I really do not know when I did. It was certainly not before 1850. I obtained it by following Du Buisson's patent before that. . .

        Obtained it from what ?

        From what is known as the Kimmerige shale.

        The Lord President

        You did not obtain from distillation of coal until 1850?

        Till 1850.

        You had it from distillation of shale when?

        About the year 1847.

        Mr Cooper showed me Du Buisson's patent when he showed me the materials that he had obtained from it, and I experimented upon it all according to Du Buisson's patent?

        Yes.

        Mr Young.

        Were Mr Cooper anl you very much together?

        Very much together.

        We were encouraged by one of the branches of the Government in a series of experiment for them, that lasted for many months.

        At about that time?

        About that time, and he was sometime a week or two in my laboratory, and I was sometime a week or two in his laboratory, just as the work suited us best.

        Would you tell us what these substances were which he showed you in 1847?

        First of all he showed me a light oil of a paleish lemon colour, with a slight odour,which all these oils, whether obtained from coals or shales, possess. This oil we afterwards burned; in fact, he put the oil into one of his lamps, which he, in fact, he put the oil into one of his lamps, which he used for burning - a camphine lamp, such as is now called a paraffine lamp,, and we dined by that light.

        That was in 1847?

        Yes.

        The secretary of the company was asked to meet me.

        Of what company?

        The company at Wareham - a Mr Murdoch.

        The lamp was then called a camphine lamp?

        Yes.

        And that it just the same thing as is called a paraffine lamp?

        What else did he show you?

        The thick oil, which he said contained paraffine, and which I have no doubt it did and he said it waxy oil they were using for lubricating purpose : or to use for lubncatma purposes. He also showed me a substance much more viscid and thick, and in which I could observe flakes of paraffine.

        And he told you that these had been produced from the Kimmeridge shale?

        He told me that they had been produced from theKimmeridge shale, and he gave me specimens of that shale at the time. He showed me his report to the company

        Was it printed?

        No; it was a written report, signed by himelf.

        And did you experiment upon the specimens which he gave you?

        I did.

        When?

        About that time. There was some difliculty in purifying these oils, and he asked me if I could assist him in the mode of purification.

        Did you give him some suggestions about it?

        I did. I ascertained from him how he had distilled the shale.

        You distilled some yourself ?

        I did.

        How did you distil it ?

        I ascertained from Mr Cooper that they had not used steam in their retort , as described by Du Buisson, and l distilled it both with steam and without steam. I had an iron vessel made, and a pipe down into the bottom of the vessel, which was perforated with holes and through which I blew the steam

        Was this upon a small scale?

        My apparatus is about the size of the smallest cake of paraftine - perhaps a little larger.

        You mean the retort into which you put your mineral?

        Yes; into which I put my shale, and into which I drove my steam.

        The Lord President.

        This was in your laboratory?

        Yes and I got the very same products as were shown to me by Mr Cooper, but I think of a better nature.

        Mr Young

        Do you mean of a superior quality?

        Yes.

        Superior in what respect?

        They were less odorous and more easily purified.

        You got an oil which contained paraffine?

        I did.

        In notable quantity?

        Yes.

        Did you purify that oil?

        I did.

        And extracted paraffine from it ?

        Yes; by sulphuric acid and soda, and distillation.

        \Vas a specimen of the oil which was made at Braithwaite's· works sent to you for analysis?

        It was.

        Do you remember when?

        In December 1853.

        You did analyse it ?

        Yes.

        What did you find ?

        I found paraffine and paraffine oil. I made a report in the beginning of 1854, of which report I have got a copy.you know the oil which is obtained both by Binney and Co., and by the Clydesdale Chemical Company?

        I do.

        I mean the crude product of the first distillation of Boghead coal ?

        Yes.

        Was the oil which was sent to you from Braithwaite's works the same as that?

        It was as near as possible the same. I have got samples of the crude oil with me which I got at that time.

        I believe you have made a chemical analysis of both, and will be able to give us the particulars?

        Yes. But at present you say the one was as near as possible the same as the other ?

        Yes; only the Kimmeridge shale had rather more smell - that 1853 sample.

        The Lord President.

        Braithwaite's oil?-Yes

        Mr. Young

        But that was an oil containing paraftine just as much as Mr Young's is?

        It was an oil containing paraffine and what is called paraffine oil.

        Did you purify it ?

        I did.

        And what was the result of your purification

        I separated the oils and the paraffine itself as well,as Du Buisson describes three oils. I took the crude oil, and I obtained a burning oil, a light oil, and also a second oil, which would likewise do for burning - a medium oil, as described by Du Buisson. Then I obtained a third oil - a lubricating oil; and I obtained paraffine itself.

        ............................

        You know Du Buisson's patent?

        I do.

        Does it occur to you that there is anything new in it?

        There appeared to me at the time to be something new in the apparatus.

        Did it teach you anything you never knew before?

        I never had applied steam into the retorts before. I believe Dn Buisson's is for the apparatus.

        Is there nothing else new in it ?

        I think not.

        He has a definition of bituminous shale, I believe, in that patent?

        He has

        Do you agree with it ?

        I think it Is generally correct.

        Does it describe accurately the Kimmendge shale, Bituminous schistus consists of - ( Reads to) - ' mass of schistus.' Do you think that is a correct definition of it?

        The specimens of Kimmeridge schitus that I have examined have not exactly corresponded with this, but still they approximate

        Did you not find in the specimens evident trace of ammal matter?

        No smell?

        They don't smell per se. Of course, if you distil them they smell the same as a coal.

        Am I to understand that there was no peculiar smell in the Kimmeridge oil?

        There is a smell in the oil when it is distilled.

        A very strong smell?

        A strong smell.

        But you don't think that is caused by animal matter?

        I don't think it is.

        You never investigated the subject for the purpose of ascertaining it?

        Yes.

        And your opinion is that there was none ?

        It may have originally been there, but it is converted ; it is no longrer existing there.

        Have you any doubt that that smell arises from the prescence of animal matter?

        I have all the doubt in the world about it. It does not arise from any animal matter. There is no animal matter in the thing. It may have been originally formed from the decomposition of animal matter, as coal is formed from the decomposition of plants.

        You think it is formed from the decomposition of plants, and not from the decompo ition of animal matter ?

        I think there is a mixture of the two, but there is no animal matter in the schist.

        Then it is not your opinion that shale of that description and in that formation is generally the result of the decomposition of animal matter?

        It is a mixture of the two.

        Then there is a mixture of animal matter in it'?

        There is no animal matter existing per se in it. The sulphur in the schist may arise from the albumen of plant , as it does in the same way from the albumen of plant in coal .

        I have read the description which Du Buisson moves of the formatlon of schist . Is it your opinion that the Kimmeridge schist has been, or has not been formed in that way?

        I think Kimmeridge schist has been formed in that way, although the description that he gives of it does not answer exactly to the Kimmeridge.

        You began these researches of yours about 1847. Were you connected with the Wareham or Weymouth affair?

        I was not. Were you the consulting chemist employed by them?

        I was not.

        By neither of them?

        By neither of them.

        I don't think you gave me the results of your analysis of the Kimmeridge shale in 1847?

        The results were, that I obtained crude oil, and that I rectified it and purified it by distillation with sulphuric acid and soda, and I produced from it the burning oils described by Du Buisson.

        Can you give me anything like the amounts?

        No; I have not got the amounts. My object was to obtain an oil with as little smell as possible.

        And you succeeded in doing so?

        I succeeded tolerably well in doing so.

        You cannot tell me just now the proportional amount of the crude oil that that analysis disclosed?

        I cannot tell you the quantities.

        You were very intimate with Mr Cooper?

        I was.

        (Shown No. 74.) That is a report made in 1847 by Mr Cooper to the Chemical Oil and Spirit Company?

        To Thomas .Murdoch, the secretary of the Chemical Oil and Spirit Company.

        Were you aware of the researches that were going on by:Mr Cooper into this Kimmeridge shale?

        He showed me a report. The report bears, that on the morning of the 3d inst., the apparatus was charged with 80 lb. weight of schist, and there was another charge of 80 lb. weight, making in all 160 lb, and the result obtained from that was 17 lb. of oil?

        It weighed about 17 lb.

        That was something under 10 per cent?

        I think so.

        And the residuum was how much?

        120.

        You will see on page 66 what the residuum consisted of. There was carbon 20, imbibed water 1.30, silica 46.07, alumina 15.08, lime 2.93, phosphate of lime 5.21, peroxide of iron 6.84, perphosphate of iron 1.91, a trace of sulphate of lime, and loss .66 ?

        Yes.

        Be kind enough to tell me again tho result of your last analysis of the Kimmeridge shale, which you got from Mr Carlile. First, how much was there that you made the experiment with?

        40 or 50 lbs. weight I should think. That was sent to me, and I have experimented on it all with the exception of this little bit (Showing).

        Instead of 10 per cent, how much did you get as your result in oil ?

        We got 23.4 per cent - that was of rectified oil.

        But I want to know the crude oil?

        The tar, as we call it, 38.7.

        So that while Mr Cooper only got 10 per cent of crude oil, you got 38 per cent?

        We got 38.7 per cent. of tar. I do not call it oil.

        But Mr Cooper called it oil ?

        Yes. It means the same as he had.

        So that the difference between your experiment and Mr Cooper's is the difference between 10 per cent and 38 per cent?

        It is.

        And your result is very nearly four times as great as his?

        Yes.

        Mr Cooper was reporting to the company, for their information in the intended trade which they meant to begin?

        Yes.

        The Lord President.

        What proportion did yours bear to the 17 lbs. ?

        Nearly four times as much.

        The Lord Advocate.

        You were taken into consultation in 1847. Did you think the thing was likely to be profitable?

        My object in making these experiments was for the purpose of seeing if I could produce a less smelling oil than was done; and I got really a practical quantity of oil from what I distilled then. The schist varies very much in its nature. The residuum in Mr Cooper's case was 120 lb. out of 160, which is very great, and in ours it was only 14 in 100, which shows that it was very variable.

        The Lord President.

        That is, the quality of the shale varies?

        Very much. The shale only contained 24 per cent of ash, whereas that would contain about 60 per cent, or, at least 50.

        The Lord Advocate.

        ln your opinion at that time, from examination of the coal, did you think that it was a project worth pursuing?

        I did.

        You thought it would be profitable?

        I thought so

        At that time you were aware that it would take 160 lb. of shale to give 17 lb. of crude oil?

        I cannot say that exactly.

        But you knew of the report ?

        Yes; but I could not speak precisely to figures. I knew it produced small quantities.

        And yet you thought it would be profitable?

        I did.

        The Lord President.

        You thought the manufacture was worth pursuing, notwithstanding Mr Cooper's results?

        I did.

        The Lord Advocate.

        And, of course, if instead of Cooper's results you had got your own results- I mean 38 per cent, you would be quite clear about that ?

        I certainly think I should.

        The Lord President.

        If 38 per cent was the general result, you would be clear as to the profit?

        Much clearer.

        The Lord Advocate.

        And you still hold the same opinion?

        I do.

        The Company did not succeed then. To what do you ascribe their failure?

        I understand the gentleman became bankrupt ; his affairs became embarrassed; he was connected with several railway speculations.

        It found a ready market, I presume, for the oil it produced?

        I cannot say as to that.

    • 1861
      • A00019: 04/10/1861

        MINERALS TO BE LET.

        GAS COAL, BITUMINOUS shale, HOUSEHOLD; and SMITHY COAL, and OTHER MINERALS, in part of the Estate of Houston, the Parish of Uphall and County of Linlithgow, adjoining the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway, extending to about 280 acres. The Mineral Field has not been fully explored, but, only at a short distance from the Torbanehill Mineral District, there are good prospects of Gas Coal and Bituminous Shale being found in the Lands. For further particulars, apply to William Waddell, W. S., Royal Circus, Edinburgh ; or, to the Proprietor, Houston House, who will show the Mineral Field. 16th October, 1861.

        The Falkirk Herald, 4th October 1861

      • A00018: 23/11/1861

        DESIRABLE FARM LINLITHGOWSHIRE TO BE LET.

        THE FARM of WESTER BRIECH, in the Parish of Livingstone, County of Linlithgow, distant about a mile from the villages of Blackburn and West Calder, and three miles from Bathgate, presently possessed by Mr Hugh Wood. Is TO LET for such number of Years may be agreed on, with Immediate Entry to part the lands, including the Fields that were in Tillage this year, and Entry the remainder of the Lands and to the Houses at Whitsunday next. The Farm contains 151 Acres, or thereby, Scotch Measure, and is good soil and well watered, sub-divided, and Fenced. With the exception of from Seven to Nine Acres in Plantation, &c., it all Arable, and to the extent of fully one-third has been thoroughly Drained. The Dwelling House, which consists of Two Storeys, whole other houses are Substantial and chiefly New, and afford ample accommodation.

        The Lands are little more than three miles distant from the Harburn Station, on the Edinburgh Branch of the Caledonian and from the Bathgate Livingstone Stations, on the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway, and there are two Goods Railway Stations within about two miles of the Farm. Offers to lodged, on or before the 30th day of December next, with the Proprietor, Mr George Strang, 13 Carlton Place, Glasgow. A person employed the Farm will point out the Boundaries. The Proprietor does not bind himself to accept the highest or any offer.

        The Glasgow Saturday Post, 23rd November 1861

    • 1862
      • A01013: 06/12/1862

        St. Saviour's Board of Works

        Application to the Metropolitan Board for a licence to store petroleum.

        Notice of the application to the Metropolitan Board for a licence to store petroleum, made by Messrs. Humfrey and Youll, of Suffolk-grove, (Southwark) was read by the clerk, and it was understood that the licence had already been twice refused.

        The board thought fit to hear a report upon the subject before coming to any decision, and the following able report by Mr. Bianchi, the medical officer, was read:—

        3rd December, 1862.
        Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen.
        At each meeting of your board for a considerable period I have directed your attention to a manufactory in Suffolk-grove, where the distillation of petroleum was carried on to a great extent, and where a large quantity of that so-called oil was stored. You are aware that deputations of the inhabitants of that portion of your district have attended here several times to complain of the very serious effects produced both upon their health and property, the gases given of into the surrounding atmosphere during the operations of this manufactory, and further, we had medical testimony of cases of serious illness undeniably attributable to these causes.
        I was induced to make a more special report to you this evening on this matter, because I have been informed that other premises in this Grove have been made ready for manufacturing and storing petroleum. You are aware that petroleum is brought this country from certain parts of the United States and Canada, where it rises spontaneously in the earth, and is distilled for the purpose of obtaining paraffin candles, paraffin oil, and other products of less value. You know also, that it has only recently been imported here as an article of commerce, and that the Metropolitan Board of Works having been acquainted with its noxious and dangerous properties, have wisely made it incumbent upon any person wishing to store more than 40 gallons of petroleum within fifty yards of a dwelling-house or of a building in which goods are stored, to apply to the board for license to do so.
        Now, in a thickly populated district like ours, it is of vital importance to the health of the inhabitants that no licence should be granted for storing petroleum at all. The hydrocarbons of which it is composed are so volatile that they penetrate into the innermost recesses of every adjacent dwelling, and the food of the occupiers is frequently tainted thereby. The effects which are produced upon persons residing in the immediate vicinity are uniform in character, they are irritation of the throat, nausea, a violent retching, cough and a peculiar prostration of strength. These were the symptoms complained of by all those whom have considered it my duty to make enquiry of, and they number more than 300 persons, whose names and addresses are in your possession. In the case of the manufactory alluded to in this report, the Metropolitan Board have refused two separate applications made to them for license to store, and I trust they will persist in that course in reference to any further application.
        Should a nuisance be caused in this district by the distillation of any kind of petroleum, immediate measures will be taken under the authority of this board for its suppression, and I hope that any persons who have contemplated either storing or manufacturing from these oils will pause before incurring any expense in fitting up or erecting premises for that purpose, as they may rest assured any such proceeding will continue to be opposed.
        I remain, gentlemen, Your faithful servant,
        Robert Bianchi.

        Messrs. Humfrey and Yool attended the meeting, as did other parties who were opposed to a licence being granted, and after hearing the statements on both sides, the board directed their clerk to address a letter to the Metropolitan Board strongly urging the refusal, and enclosing a copy of the report just read.

        The South London Chronicle. 6th December 1862

        NOTE - The first crude petroleum from the USA began to be shipped in quantity to Britain in 1859. Soon afterwards, supplies of crude oil also began to be imported from British Canada, mostly from the Enniskillen area of Ontario. This Canadian crude oil was rich in sulphur, making it difficult to refine and particularly foul-smelling. As most early refineries were in port areas close to centres of population, there was usually public outcry at the obnoxious smells and concern about health wherever Canadian crude oil was processed, including the oil works in Stirling and Saltney.

    • 1863
      • A01016: 10/07/1863

        New Hydro Carbon Oil from Petroleum

        Correspondence

        To the Editor of the Sanitary Reporter

        Sir

        I have read your first number and from the character it appears to assume I think it may become a very convenient vehicle such matters as you profess to lay before your renders. Under that impression I shall feel obliged by your inserting the enclosed certificate respecting a new hydro carbon oil from petroleum and an improved moderator lamp for burning it

        I am your's obediently

        ER Southby MRCS

        Wareham, Dorset

        I hereby certify that I have carefully examined a new form of hydro carbon oil as well as a new moderator lamp for burning it. The oil is obtained from petroleum at the Wareham Oil and Candle Company's works by a process introduced by the manager Mr E.R Southby and the lamp is made with a burner of a peculiar though simple construction by Messrs JL Thomas and Co of Exeter.

        The oil in question is inodorous of a very pale yellow colour and is more easily wiped off anything upon which it may be accidentally spilled than the ordinary fixed oils. It will not corrode metal and does not become gummy or foul by absorbing oxygen from the air so as to render lamps troublesome to clean all that is required being a renewal of the wick once in ten days.

        I have made several trials with this oil in a full sized moderator lamp furnished by Messrs Thomas and find that the light at the fullest extent of flame without smoking carefully tested with a photometer and compared with the usual sperm test candle burning at the rate of 120 grains per hour is equal to the light of 16 such candles When the flame was reduced to the height ordinarily used and compared with the flame of an excellent full sized and well trimmed moderator lamp burning colza oil taking as before the test candle as a standard the results per hour proved as follows

        Illuminating power

        • Consumption per hour of the hydro carbon oil was 7762 grains or 1 3/4 ounces 2 grains avoirdupois
        • Consumption of colza oil per hour was 2 ounces avoirdupois 12 Candles 10 Candles

        When this hydro carbon oil is gradually heated it does not take fire by throwing a lighted match into it until it reaches a temperature of 320 degrees of Fahrenheit Its specific gravity and the specific gravity of other oils used as fuel for lamps stand in relation to each other in the following manner

        • Hydro carbon oil .8400
        • Sperm oil .8750
        • Colza .9150
        • Southern Whale .9225

        I consider this a very valuable and very safe oil for lamps and have no doubt of its becoming extensively used

        Wm Maugham Consulting Chemist Formerly Professor of Chemistry Charing Cross Hospital &c &c

        15 Prospect Place Wandsworth Road Clapham

        The Sanitary Reporter, 10th July 1863

      • A01017: 24/09/1863

        PROSPECTUS

        THE LIVERPOOL AND RAMSEY OIL REFINING AND CHEMICAL WORKS COMPANY. (LIMITED.)

        Capital £40,000. Shares of £5 each. Deposit £1 per Share application, and £1 on allotment.

        DIRECTORS.

        • T. C. Gibson, Esq. Ramsay, Isle of Man, Chairman.
        • John Baker Edwards, Esq. F.C S. Liverpool.
        • W. T. Dixon. Esq. (Dixon ami Wynne.) Merchant, Liverpool.
        • J. S. Thomson, Esq. (Thomson, and Co.) Broker, Liverpool
        • Thomas J. Fennell. (Wakefield, Nash and Co.) Merchant, Liverpool.
        • James P. Mawdsley, Esq. (Mawdsley and Son) Liverpool.

        SECRETARY: Mr. J. Wood.

        MANAGER: Mr. A. Norman Tate.

        BANKERS:. The Merchant Exchange Bank, (Limited.) I.iverpool The Bank of Mona, Ramsey, Isle Man.

        AUDITOR: Mr. John S. Blease.

        SOLICITORS: Messrs. Anderson and Collins, 16, Cook Street, Liverpool

        SHAREBROKERS: Theakstone and Hargreaves India Buildings, Liverpool

        WORKS: Ramsey. Isle Man. Temporary Offices, l6, Cook-street, Liverpool


        THIS Company has been formed for the purpose of carrying on, upon an extended scale OIL REFINING and CHEMICAL WORKS of Mr. T. G. Gibson of Ramsey in the Isle of Man. The Directors have purchased from Mr. Gibson the whole of the Freehold land, Manufactories. and Properties where the business has heretofore been carried on, together with the entire plant. including Vitriol Chambers, Manure Works, Petroleum and other Stills, and large Floating and other Tanks, and the new Barque Jane, of 300 tons, and fitted with a new tank, for the sum of £20,000. In payment of which amount he has agreed to take Shares in the Company.


        In the PETROLEUM DEPARTMENT the operations of the Company will embrace the purchase in America of the Crude Oil to be shipped to this country in iron tank vessels specially built for the purpose, the refining of the oil at the Company a works, and the sale of the refined oil and spirits in Liverpool and other markets. The Company will therefore make the profit not only of the importer but of the refinery: and from calculations which have been made it is confidently expected that returns to the shareholders will average from 15 to 20 per cent, on the paid up capital. With regard to the works, particular attention is directed to the accompanying report of Dr. Edwards, from which will be seen that no expense has been made to make them the most complete and perfect of their kind in kingdom.

        From the carrying on of the CHEMICAL WORKS, which are to embrace the manufacture of Artificial Manure, Vitriol, and Ammonia, and the distillation of tar, the Directors also confidently expect a very large return. The Directors have much pleasure in announcing that the vessel “Jane" has now arrived in this country, from Philadelphia. after a passage of 24 days, with 220 tons of Crude Pennsylvanian Oil, will enable the Company to commence operations at once, under very favourable circumstances.


        To T. C. Gibson. Ramsey, Isle of Man.

        Royal Institution Laboratory. Liverpool,

        July 1st 1863

        Sir.-—I have, at your request, made a close inspection of your Chemical Work at North Ramsey, and beg you now to hand you a report on the condition of the works. THE MANURE WORKS include a Vitriol Chamber, capable of producing an ample supply of Sulphuric Acid for all the purposes of the Works and also an overview, which will always command ready sale; the process is simple and profitable and requires no great chemical skill for its satisfactory work. The Bone Mills are large and powerful, and upon the best principle and most modern construction; and the Sifting and Disintegrating Machinery are of the best and most costly kind. The General Arrangement and Warehouse in this department is such as to economise labour to the utmost.

        The AMMONIA, COAL-TAR, PITCH and NAPTHA MANUFACTORY is undergoing some change by removal of stills &c. with a view to relinquishing some of the processes. I should not however, recommend the destruction or removal of such apparatus as now standing because, although the demand for these products may limited, still the processes may be made to pay very well with the small supply from the local gas works: the ammonia especially valuable in the Manure Department, and the processes may work economically with the other branches of manufacture, I therefore see no sufficient cause for their abandonment.

        The PETROLEUM REFINERY is the most costly and important department the works, and will absorb most of the capital and labour —at the same time need not at all interfere with either of the branches previously named. Your arrangements for the Importation of Petroleum, which has been brought home in Tank Vessels and Pumped direct from them in few hours into the Large Iron Floating Tanks alongside the Works, are, I consider, in every respect wise and economical, all must effect great saving over the present system of importation in casks. The apparatus for refining is well arranged, capable of working off an enormous quantity, and if the refining process is any where, at market prices, you will certainly command extra profit for cheapness of the Crude Material and Economy in Refining of it. I have had occasion to inspect a number of Petroleum Works but I have not seen any capable of doing so much work, or economical in its arrangements as these. You have, in fact, two chemical factories, which may be profitably conducted either separately or conjointly and upon each of which £10,000 of capital may be judiciously invested with a fair expectation of from fifteen to twenty per cent. Profit— 1st, the Manure, Tar. and Ammonia; 2nd, the Petroleum Refinery. The importation oil and ship ownership would also be a good investment for a similar amount The whole undertaking may advantageously conducted as one business, but would large responsibility for a small firm to undertake, and considering the advantages of your position, as Shipowner, Merchant, and Manufacturer, and the cheapness of labour, freight and rent, and other charges the Free Port of Ramsey, I consider the circumstances peculiarly those in which a profitable investment, with dividend responsibility. May bee secured by the formation of a Public Company, with limited liability. I am sir, your faithful servant.

        JOHN BAKER EDWARDS, PhD, F.R.S.

        Consulting and Manufacturing Chemist, and Lecturer on Chemistry,

        Liverpool

    • 1864
      • A01018: 29/02/1864

        Young & others v. Fernie & others

        Selected extracts relating to oil operations in Dorset.

        Young v. Fernie was the last, the longest, and the most renowned of a series of court actions pursued by James Young in defence of his patent. Action was taken against Ebenezer Waugh Fernie and partners, who operated a substantial coal oil business in Flintshire. Following almost two months of evidence, "The Great Paraffine Case" of 1864 found in favour of Young and awarded him substantial damages.

        As in earlier cases, the defence sought to challenge the validity of Young's patent by proving that his process was already established practice prior to the granting of his patent in 1851. It was accepted that Young's patent might cover the production of oil from coal, but did not apply to other minerals such as shale. The evidence given in court established that oil production in Dorset pre-dated Young's patent, and legal argument focussed on whether the minerals used for this oil production could be classed a coal, or as a shale.

        VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COURT

        (Before Vice-Chancellor STUART.)

        MONDAY 29th February 1864

        The VICE CHANCELLOR:

        I understand that in Scotland it was found that Young was the inventor, that the invention was new, and that the specification was sufficient,

        Mr. GROVE:

        Yes. In 1861 it was found that a firm of the name of Miller and Co., who carried on business at Aberdeen and Glasgow, were infringing the patent. Proceedings were taken against them; they paid £5,000, and took a licence from Mr. Young. Some other proceedings were taken about the same time against a company at Wareham, known as Messrs. Humphrey and Co. After these proceedings were commenced, it was found that the defendants had mortgaged their plant and their works; the mortgagees fore closed; they became bankrupt, and their works closed altogether. The plaintiff therefore, did not proceed any further.

        FRIDAY 4th March 1864

        Evidence of JAMES YOUNG:

        …… I never heard of the Wareham Company before June 1850. I have some idea of an offensive oil being sent us to purify. I can not say whether it was Dr. Angus Smith who sent us that. I do not recollect what was done with it. I got no paraffin out of it; nor did my partner, that I am aware of. A person of the name of Clift gave evidence in the Clydesdale suit about dealings with the Wareham people. Undoubtedly my commercial success has been attributable to the quantity of paraffin-oil and paraffin produced from the coal. Boghead coal gives large quantities of those. Other coals would give results nearly equal.

        JAMES YOUNG, cross-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL:

        ….. Before the patent was taken out, I did not communicate with a company called the Shale Oil Company at Wareham. I know Dr. Angus Smith very well. I do not remember receiving from Dr. Smith a sample of the Wareham Company's product. The first thing that I recollect about the Wareham Company is Mr. Binney sending me from Manchester a printed bill of sale of the works. I cannot tell the date of that.

        WEDNESDAY 9th March 1864

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL:

        ….. But he submitted that, whether his honour looked to the point of novelty or to the point of infringement, the case of the defendants would be clearly established. He had forgotten to state that, in addition to the working on coal in Wales, there was an extensive and profitable working at Wareham, both from shale and coal, established in 1849, and in operation for manufacturing purposes before the date of Mr. Young's patent.

        Mr. GROVE:

        Do you say coal was ever worked?

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL:

        So I am informed.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR:

        That is, for the production of crude oil?

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL:

        Yes, and paraffin. The plaintiff said that in 1861 he received information of the proceedings of the Wareham Oil Company, and threatened them with a bill for an injunction; but immediately afterwards the company became bankrupt, and it was not therefore worth while to proceed.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR:

        Was it the Bituminous Shale Company?

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL:

        It was originally.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR:

        That company was wound up in this court.

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL:

        But they have successors. The announcement in the original prospectus covers the whole ground of the commercial results aimed at by Mr. Young, and a considerable business has been continually done at Wareham.

        MONDAY, 18th April 1864

        Mr. Richard Spyer, examined by Mr. D. BRUCE:

        I am a clerk in the office of the registrar of Joint-stock companies. I have here all the papers connected with the Bituminous Shale company, and I produce the deed of association.

        The Vice CHANCELLOR:

        I have an abstract of it. I find these words- "To extract, distil, manufacture, and produce therefrom certain oils, pitch, and gaseous, unctuous, carbonaceous and other products, and to sell and dispose of the same."

        Cross-examined by Mr. BOVILL:

        The company was dissolved by an order of his honour.

        Mr William Eames Heathfield, examined by Mr. CHANCE:

        I was consulting chemist to the Bituminous Shale Company. I became so about May, 1850. The works were carried on at Wareham, in Dorset shire. I went down to the works previous to my engagement as consulting chemist. I had the products sent up to my laboratory in London in 1850, and I made experiments upon them. I had a dense product sent up to me which was called crude oil. The process carried on at Wareham was that of distilling Kimmeridge coal in iron retorts in the nature of gas-retorts, and obtaining the product. We also made use of Kimmeridge shale. I produce a specimen which I obtained a the pit about 3 weeks ago; it is an average specimen.

        There were two descriptions of retorts when I went to Wareham. One was vertical, capable of holding nearly a ton of coal and shale mixed. The other was in the nature of gas-retorts; 2 benches of 5 retorts each for burning the coal and producing the results. When I went to the works the process was going on with those 10 retorts. They were heated by means of a naked fire, the retorts being shielded at the bottom by brickwork so as to cause as little heat as possible to come into contact with the retorts themselves. The horizontal bench was altered immediately upon my arrival, at my suggestion. Others were substituted, capable of giving a more equable and moderate heat. I do not know at what temperature they were being worked when I went there; it was what I should call a visible red heat. The object was to get as low a red heat as possible, consistently with the reduction of the oil. The 10 retorts ware replaced by 120 imbedded in brickwork. When I went to Wareham there were about a dozen men at work there. The new retorts were horizontal, and had a condensing apparatus at the extreme end. They were 9 feet in length, capable of holding l cwt. of coal each. The time of this distillation varied from 6 to 8 hours. Our first product was the crude oil, or rough oil as we then called it. It was put into a retort and distilled.

        We then got a lighter oil. That was subjected to another process by means of sulphuric acid, which produced an oil fit for burning. The thicker oil was applied to burning in out-door lamps and to lubricating purposes. We also got a grease which was used for lubrication. The specific-gravity of the crude oil varied from '920 to '930. I have read Mr. Young's specification, and the process of purification which he describes. Our process and his are almost identical. I did not analyze the crude oil, but I ascertained that it contained paraffin, from the fact that paraffin was visibly deposited from it repeatedly, and constantly in cold weather. Our crude oil having been produced in the form of vapour, passed into a vertical pipe at the end of the retort, which was carried through a wall where there were tanks filled with water, containing the usual refrigerator apparatus; pipes folded or bent, in order to cool the various products. We habitually burned the light oil in the room in which I either sat, or was in the habit of dining. It gave a beautiful light. We sold considerable quantity of the burning oil. It was sold as fast as it was produced.

        Cross-examined by Mr. GROVE:

        The date at which the oils were made was May, 1850, and previously when I went to Wareham, the oils which had accumulated were immediately purified. I have studied geology a little; but could scarcely call myself a geologist. I have seen a great many specimens of coals and shale. (The witness was shown the specimens of what was represented to be Kimmeridge, and gave his opinion that they both came from the same vein.) The fracture led me to think they came from the same vein. The colour is not very different, and I am not able to speak to the weight; one is harder than the other. I was examined upon the trial, in Scotland, against the Clydesdale Company. I drew no distinction between Kimmeridge shale and coal, not being asked the question. What the company produced was used for varnish and for other purposes, for which asphalte was commonly used. I never heard of the Bituminous Manure Company as part of the undertaking called the Bituminous Shale Company. The crude oil produced at Wareham had an offensive smell. I do not think there is a great deal of nitrogenous matter in Kimmeridge shale. There is nitrogenous matter in all coal.

        Mr. Edmund Richard Southby, examined by Sir F. KELLY:

        I am a chemist and manager of the Wareham works. I brought up several specimens both of Kimmeridge and Boghead. Two of those specimens were handed to Mr. Valpy, and I was shown this morning the specimen marked K, which I supposed, at first sight, was a specimen of Kimmeridge, but I found I was mistaken, and that it was a specimen of Boghead.

        Cross-examined by Mr. GROVE:

        I discovered my error in court this morning, before you began asking questions; when it was handed down from Mr. Heathfield. I have seen specimens of Kimmeridge very much like it. We use Boghead at the Wareham works, because it comes cheaper than Kimmeridge.

        Re-examined by Sir F. KELLY:

        I found the Boghead in use when I went to Wareham, the 1st of March, 1862.

        Mr. Heathfield:

        I am desirous of saying that that specimen of Boghead is so identical in some of its appearances and characteristics with some of the best specimens of Kimmeridge coal which I have seen, that I can understand myself having been led into an error regarding it. I have seen specimens of Kimmeridge coal, which are so identical with Boghead in appearance, that I may have been deceived in a moment.

        Mr. William Percival Pickering, examined by Mr. D. BRUCE:

        I am a stock and share broker. In 1849 I was a director of the Bituminous Shale Company. (A copy of the prospectus of the company was put in, and marked by the Registrar.) Oil was sold by that company to the wool trade, at from 1s. to 2s. a gallon. We tried experiments with various retorts, and we found that retorts similar to those used in gas-works were best adapted for that - horizontal retorts. We obtained an oil containing paraffin, I believe, but it is so long ago that my memory is rather weak. The non success of the company I attribute to the heavy rent we paid, and the expense of our experiments, and the cost of getting the shale. The carriage of the coal was as expensive from Kimmeridge to Wareham as it is from Scotland to Wareham, I believe, in consequence of the roads from Kimmeridge being so bad; but we always got ours from Wareham.

        Cross-examined by Mr. GROVE:

        It is called indiscriminately coal or shale; it varies in quality. I am not a shareholder in the new company. We called the oil we obtained indiscriminately paraffin oil. I smelt the oil; it was not very nice, certainly. There was another prospectus, which contained the term paraffin oil, and which gave an estimate of the receipts and expenditure. (another prospectus was handed to the witness.) This is not the one. I do no not know when this was published; it was done after I left. The Manure company did very well; but just as we were getting into notoriety, it failed for want of funds. We got the shale from the cliffs at Wareham off Colonel Mansell's property ; it was called Gwanage Bay.

        Re-examined by Mr. Chance:

        I have burnt the oil we produced in a lamp myself, and it gave a very good light. It was a French moderator lamp. The purified oil did not smell; it was like water. We separated the pitch and varnish by a different process; and then we sold it in a different market altogether.

        Mr. Edwin Pettitt, examined by Mr. D. BRUCE:

        I am a civil engineer and a chemist. I am acquainted with the geological formation of Dorsetshire. Along the coast, commencing at Encombe, at intervals, as for as Weymouth, there are croppings out of the Kimmeridge shale, clay, and coal.

        By the COURT:

        I went to the works of the Bituminous Shale Company about July or August in 1850. There was a series of retorts consisting of 120 of what I should call the common gas-retorts at that time, in which the shale, after being broken up into pieces about the size of a walnut, was put and distilled in the usual way, and the product was crude oil. I have read Mr. Young's specification. As far as I could judge, the process at Wareham was the same. The crude oil produced paraffin. Some of the oil was sold to Mr. Clift in 1851. I saw the refrigerator used. It was cooled by water. That was connected with the retort. I should say the specimen marked M. was the same as what I saw used there in 1850.

        Cross-examined by Mr. BOVILL:

        I never saw any paraffin before 1851. The smell of the oil at Wareham I could not well forget—it was so nasty; you might smell it five miles off. The same objection would not apply to it when it was used as coal. I saw the specimen marked M along with others this morning for the first time.

        Re-examined by Sir F. KELLY:

        What I saw in 1851 was simply some deposited stuff in the bottom of the receiver called paraffin. We obtained the heavy oil, which we called "greasy oil" by redistilling the crude oil. The paraffin was simply a deposit standing in the distillery-house in cold water; you could see it plain enough. That was after the heavy oil had been distilled. We did not obtain the paraffin—we did not care about it; but the crude oil contained paraffin. I have gone through the whole of Mr. Young's specification, and say that the crude oil obtained at the Kimmeridge works was the same as the crude oil obtained by that specification, save in the difference of material.

        Mr. Edmund Richard Southby recalled, and examined by Mr. CHANCE.

        This (specimen M) is a specimen of the Kimmeridge coal which I took myself from the beds which were then in situ. I also produce two specimens of the coke reduced from this coal. (Handed in.) I bought coal at Kimmeridge. I put one piece of coal into one of the ordinary retorts, and subject it to the low red heat process. The other piece was subjected to the black heat process, and the specimens I produce were the results, and were waste products after all the oil was extracted. Generally we work with Boghead, but we tried the Kimmeridge for the purposes of this case. Boghead contains from 90 to 110 gallons of bitumen per ton, and the Kimmeridge, only contains about 40 at the outside. Kimmeridge coal is more like ordinary coal, because it fuses on distilling, whereas the Boghead comes out of the retort as it went in.

        By the COURT:

        The Kimmeridge shale did not fuse.

        Mr. GROVE:

        The scientific witnesses told us that no coal fused. Witness: The coke from the Kimmeridge coal burns well. I have heated the retorts with it.

        By the COURT:

        The Kimmeridge coal is between Boghead and cannel. The shale is a very poor variety of the coal, just as you have shales with other coals. The Boghead does not fuse, but comes out very nearly in the same shape it went in, like shale. The Kimmeridge coal is more like an ordinary coal than the Boghead. I mean there are only two substances at Kimmeridge—there is the shale, and the coal; because in its unburnt state it resembles Boghead, but in its burnt state it is more like the coal. It resembles bituminous coal—Newcastle gas coal.

        By Mr. CHANCE:

        The Kimmeridge coal does produce gas in large quantities, but I have not investigated it myself. In March last I received from a man named Brett some crude oil, which I purified. I first of all distilled it in a common iron still, and I then treated it with sulphuric acid and caustic soda. I collected the various products as they came over apart. I collected them at three times—first a light oil, then a heavier oil, and then a very heavy oil, each of which I purified separately. I have specimens of the products which I obtained. (Exhibits A and B were handed to the witness, and identified by him.) Exhibit A is a specimen of the crude oil, as I received it. B is a burning oil, which I produced in this way. I distilled the crude oil, and took the first portion that came over; about one-third of the whole quantity I put into the still. This portion I then treated with sulphuric acid - about 10 per cent; and then pouring it off from the impurities which the acid caused to subside, I washed it with a small quantity of caustic soda.

        By the COURT:

        Caustic soda is not carbonate of soda. It is pure soda free from carbonic acid. I did not put the soda in a solid state into it. I put it in a liquid state; I should have said a solution of caustic soda.

        By Mr. CHANCE:

        I did not get any spirit, the oil had been kept 14 years; the spirit had evaporated; but when I distilled Kimmeridge coal there was spirit. The next product that came over I purified in the some way, and obtained the oil C.

        By the COURT:

        I purified B as it was running from the still. I took the first third that came over, and after that purification is B. The second third which came over after purification by the same process that I mentioned is C. C is treated in the same manner as B; but it is a second third of the distillation, and, therefore, a heavier oil. The first oil that runs is a light oil, and that I purified by itself, and notwithstanding the sulphuric acid and the alkali I could get nothing better than this. I consider the burning oil the more valuable of the two. The other third, D, I purified by the same process, and on cooling it solidified into a mass, and a quantity of paraffin was contained in it.

        By Mr. CHANCE:

        The temperature of the court is too high; but in a low temperature the paraffin in D is perfectly solid. The process I followed to obtain these various products was similar to the process which is described by Mr. Young in his specification.

        Cross-examined by Mr. HINDMARSH:

        Before I was employed by this company I was a chemist employed chiefly in breweries. I was in Allsopp's for some time. I had no furnace experience of the treatment of coal than that which every chemist gets in the laboratory. I knew nothing of the Kimmeridge coal before I went into the employment of these parties.

        By the COURT:

        Kimmeridge shale was found in the some pit where I found the Kimmeridge coal, the beds lie one above another; at the very ton of all there is a thin bed of coal; then there are various beds of shale with rock between them and schistus matter; then you come down to the bar coal, of which there are 2 strata altogether - about 18 inches.

        By Mr. HINDMARCH:

        There are about 10 feet of shale.

        By the COURT:

        I bought the coal I put into the retort at Kimmeridge. l did not see it raised from the pit myself.

        By Mr. HINDMARSH:

        The whole height of the shales is about 60 or 70 feet. The mine has been worked ever since the first company was working in 1850. I first went to Kimmeridge to see the practicability of bringing the Kimmeridge coal into operation again. I broke the coal I operated upon into pieces, and put about 3 cwt. into the retort. I operated three times in that way. Exhibit P is the result of the second experiment, at low red heat, and exhibit O is the result of the third experiment, at black heat. The first was also at black heat. We do not set our retort in brickwork; we spring our arch under the retort, which lies upon that arch, and leaves two flues at the side, through which we look. The fire plays on almost every part of the retort except the top. I have not the product of the first charge. I did not see any of the retorts charged. I examined the retort before it was charged. In the third instance I kept my eye upon it from beginning to end. I cannot recollect whether I examined the interior of the retort in the second instance. I saw it when the charge was withdrawn. The second charge was about 12 hours distilling, but I have no memorandum. I should say exhibit P was near the top of the retort. It exhibits symptoms of having been fused in the ordinary way; the lower part has not been fused because it is more shaly. You would have a fused mass below that portion and a shaly mass above that. This part clearly shows that it was melting and effervescing. I think there was about an even portion of the fused and the unfused in the retorts. I saw the retort before the third charge was put in; it had no redness, it was hot but not red. The process continued about 24 hours. We call it black heat when it is sufficient to get off the oil and you cannot see any redness when I you look in. I had no means of seeing the interior during the process. The specimen of coke which I have produced shows that peculiar appearance which you get if you heat bituminous coal slowly, and get the development of the gas. If crude oil is put into the retort there is a coke left something similar. There is a more perfect fusion.

        Re-examined by Mr. CHANCE:

        While the operations were going on I was about the works. I looked into the retort-house occasionally. and saw how the men were going on. I weighed the coal myself. I saw the retorts discharged in both instances. I took no note of the coke in the first experiment. I took what I considered to be a fair specimen of the coke from the barrow, immediately after the retorts were discharged. You do not get true columns of coke except at a very high temperature.

        Mr. Andrew Graham Yool, examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL;

        I have for a good many years been accustomed to chemistry, so far as connected with oils and fats. I have been in the service of the defendant, Mr. Fernie, at Broxburn, 10 miles from Edinburgh. since August last. Coal is not at all fused in those works. I have visited the pits where the mineral which we work is produced. There is one pit close to our works. The shale is furnished to us in pretty large blocks, varying in colour slightly; some darker and others a paler brown. They are laminated to a considerable extent; they all have sub-conchoidal fractures in breaking across the grain. I am acquainted with the Calder Hall shale. We do not work it; we work Broxburn shale only. Calder Hall is within 4 miles. (The witness identified the specimens produced by Professor Ansted, and which are marked in the table handed in by him 46 L, 45, and 47.

        Cross-examined by Mr. GROVE:

        I got those specimens myself, about five weeks ago, I should think.

        Mr. John Brett, examined by Mr. D. BRUCE:

        I am a brazier and tin-plate worker. About March 1st, 1850, I had a can of oil from the Bituminous Shale Company [produced]. I also obtained refined oil, to try experiments with. The crude oil was called rough oil.

        By the COURT:

        I ordered it from the company. I have no memorandum of what I called it when I ordered it. I do not know that anybody called it rough oil; it was as it came out from the retort. I live at Wareham.

        By Mr. D. BRUCE:

        I was engaged in the Clydesdale case. That was about three years ago. On that occasion I took some of the oil to Edinburgh, and gave it to a young man named Woodfries. (Two bottles produced). These appear to be the same, for what I know. I have some of the same sort (produced.) I have had this in my possession ever since. I gave some out of this can to the last witness, Southby. I produce the lamp in which the oil was burnt.

        Cross-examined by Mr. BOVILL:

        I can speak to the can in my possession; but I cannot say that the samples produce are the same, because they have not been in my possession. That is the lamp. When the oil was first made it was a thick stuff, and that is all I know about it. It has a very disagreeable smell.

        Re-examined by Mr. D. BRUCE;

        The smell I described was before the oil was purified.

        Mr. George Woolfries, examined by Mr. CHANCE:

        I am managing foreman of the Wareham Oil and Candle Company's works at Drumgray. In the latter end of 1849 or the beginning of 1850, I was in the employ of the Bituminous Shale Company at Wareham. I was in the retort-room. There were about 10 or 12 men employed besides myself. I could not say exactly. There were 10 retorts—gas-retorts, shape D. We were distilling Kimmeridge coal and shale. The fire was underneath the retorts. The temperature was low red, just visible at the finish. The distillation generally took about 8 hours. The product was a crude oil, which was put into iron stills and distilled afterwards; it was then tried with sulphuric acid, allowed to settle, and then washed with caustic soda. The purified oil was a burning oil. I frequently saw it burning. and it was sold as a burning oil. There was also a lubricating oil made and sold; and grease was also made and sold. We sold some of the oil to the circus people in 1850 for the purpose of lighting their circus. I am sure it was before the autumn of 1850. A man named Welstead was working at that time. The Kimmeridge coal is used by the people there for fuel. I have examined the rock and mineral at Kimmeridge, and I know the appearance of it if I see it. I remained in the employ of the company until they gave over and shut up the place in 1853; but the operations were not going on all the time. I was there a twelvemonth after they finished working, just to keep thing straight. The works are being carried on at Wareham still by another company. They carried on the operation of distilling Kimmeridge coal, and it has been going on ever since.

        By the COURT:

        The new company began in April, 1854, and I remained there till October in the same year, when they closed their works.

        By Mr. CHANCE:

        When the second company closed, Mr. Wanostrocht took the works and carried on similar operations. He carried on the Kimmeridge coal distillation about two years. The Wareham Oil and Candle Company then took them up, and the manufacture has been carried on ever since. It is the same company which have their works at Drumgray. They work shale. Drumgray is between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The company have also worked Boghead some years. Mr. Wanostrocht first commenced to work Boghead; I think it was June, 1853, and they have worked it ever since.

        TUESDAY April 19th 1864.

        Mr. George Woolfries recalled, and examined by Mr. CHANCE.

        I recollect a Mr. Binney calling upon me in 1860 somewhere in October. He said he came from Scotland, and I declined answering him.

        By the COURT:

        I declined to answer him because I was subpoenaed to go to Edinburgh and was told to answer no questions.

        By Mr. CHANCE:

        At that time, the Boghead had been used about 2 years; it was used quite openly. The oils that we get from the Drumgray shales do not smell.

        Cross-examined by Mr. GROVE:

        I do not know whether Colonel Mansell, the owner of the land there, prohibited the Wareham coal from being distilled on account of the smell.

        Cross-examined by Sir F. KELLY:

        I am perfectly familiar with the article of which M is a specimen, and it is the kind of substance which the first, second, and third company used. It was with the same kind of material that we operated upon and continued the distillation till the oil came off, and then we stopped. The heat never exceeded a dull red heat - it just turned from black. We found that the oil we produced would burn pretty well in a lamp similar to that produced; we used to burn the oil in the works. It was redistilled before we got the burning oil.

        By the COURT:

        It did not smoke in those lamps. It also burnt in a long lamp, but then it smoked, but not such a great deal.

        By Sir F. KELLY:

        There is a shale which does not produce coke. The Kimmeridge shale does not produce a coke, neither does the Boghead. The Kimmeridge coal and the slab cannel do produce a coke.

        Cross-examined by Mr. GROVE:

        The substance we used, and of which M is a specimen, came from Kimmeridge Bay in Dorsetshire, at the bottom vein; it was to the south-east, close to the sea; it would stand quite south. There were several labourers houses near. It is about two miles from Smedborough. It was worked in Wareham in 1850. Colonel Mansell's is the nearest house to the spot where this was obtained; it is not above a mile. There is a road by which they used to bring it with carts, but that applies to the shale generally. It lies south of Colonel Mansell's. A man named Marsh got it from Kimmeridge; he sent for us to find carts to fetch it. I cannot specify the spot further than by the name of Kimmeridge Bay.

        Re-examined by Sir. F. KELLY:

        These materials lie in strata with an upper and a lower strata. That specimen came from the lower strata, and the other, which I call the shale, comes from the upper.

        John Vine, examined by Mr. CHANCE:

        I helped to build the oil-works at Wareham in 1849. I was employed there at the retorts after the works were completed. I continued there about a twelvemonth. The temperature was at a pale red heat. There was a sight-plug, which pulled out of the wall, so that we could see all round the retorts, and that was sufficient to ascertain that it was at the pale red heat. The crude products were taken from us, and distilled and purified to a burning oil, in very much the same way as described in Mr. Young's specification. I know the rock from which the Kimmeridge coal and Kimmeridge shale are taken. I have been there, and got a quantity of it in 1850. I remember we worked a material similar to that (referring to the specimen N). It answers well for domestic purposes.

        Cross-examined by Mr. BOVILL:

        I should say the place where we got it from was about a mile and a half south-west of Colonel Mansell's house. They have to take off the earth at the top. They begin on the slate and work down to it, and take it out by batches. There are 5 or 6 feet of slaty stuff like that marked No. 42; then we come to the Kimmeridge coal, which is about 8 or 10 inches. Then you come to cement stone, as they call it. Great quantities of it go away to the Isle of Wight for cement at the present time. We used small coal for heating the retorts generally. It came to us by rail. It was like common Newcastle coal, but small. I read Mr. Young's specification about three months ago with a man named Wilstead, who used to work with me. I know nothing of Du Buisson nor his specification. The Kimmeridge coal produced a disagreeable smell—I do not say very disagreeable; it never injured me at all. I did not mind it; but there were a great many people who did not like the gas escaping in the air. It was afterwards brought round in pipes under the retorts, and burned. That was on account of the smell.

        Re-examined by Sir F. KELLY:

        The shale and coal used to be taken out and got on the top, and we fetched it away to the works. We took it out in batches, and worked right down to the bottom.

        By the COURT:

        The men ran it up in barrows on planks. The substance that made the cement was under our general coal, and ran away in a vein right out into the sea.

        John Barnett, examined by Mr. D. BRUCE.

        I was master of the Wareham railway-station from 1848 to 1859, and am now an hotel-keeper. On leaving the railway-station towards Dorchester, the works of the Bituminous Shale Company come up to the boundary-line of the station within 100 or 150 yards. There was no secrecy in the works there carried on. They manufactured a white coloured oil, which they called shale oil. I remember Evans and Walstead working there. In the spring of 1850 a sample of paraffin made at the works was shown me by Mr. Pickering.

        Cross-examined by Mr. GROVE:

        I say it was not in the spring of 1851. It was as long as the half of your hand. The coals the warehouse people used they got by boat from Newcastle. I am not a geologist.

        Re-examined by Mr. CHANCE:

        I never saw Kimmeridge coal used at the works. They might have used it for burning. I have seen it burned in Kimmeridge.

        John Clavell Mansell Esq., examined by Mr. D. BRUCE.

        I am the proprietor of the Kimmeridge coal-pits. The Kimmeridge coal, was burned in my father's hall. It was called South Boghead by the company. I forget the company's name now which so called it. It is used by the villagers in the neighbourhood. I first saw it being burned by the villagers about 1835.

        Cross-examined by Mr. BOVILL:

        This was always classified as a shale, full of animal remains. I like the odour from it very much, although it is not very agreeable to some people. There are pyrites in the deposits.

        Re-examined by Mr. CHANCE:

        I have not smelt Mr. Young's oil. The, common term for these beds in our district is Kimmeridge coal or blackstone; in fact, there is a very extraordinary manufacture from it; little round discs are made of this stuff which go by the name, and have for years and hundreds of years, of Kimmeridge coaI money. Sir Richard Hoare wrote a work on the Kimmeridge coal money.

        Henry Hibbs, examined by Mr. CHANCE:

        I am an innkeeper at Kimmeridge, where I have lived all my life. I know the mineral on the coast there. I can remember it being used for fuel for 40 years. It has had the same name of Kimmeridge coal during all that time.

      • A01019: 22/03/1864

        VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COURT (Before Vice-Chancellor STUART.)

        Selected extracts including statements for the defence.

        Friday 22nd April 1864

        Mr. Ebenezer Waugh Fernie, examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL.

        I am one of the defendants in this action. I have for a long time been connected with the business of the manganese mines in this country and abroad. I am not a chemist or a scientific man. The retorts that we have are horizontal, flat on the bottom, D-shaped, whereas those which are used in Scotland are vertical as to tube, charged at the top and discharged at the bottom. They beat only the underside of the retort, but these are heated all round, I understand.

        The original intention of the Mineral Oil Company was to make crude oil, the same as the make in South Wales. We had no intention of refining. Mr. Jones took a licence from Mr. Young in February, 1862, but it was done without my knowledge. It was through him we first heard of the vertical retorts. Before I commenced this manufacture I made experiments in a rough way; but they satisfied my mind. After the third or fourth experiment it was evident that the particular sandstone we were working upon was very much injured by the least sign of red. Subsequent experiments at Berkhampstead induced me to use the tubes. I came to the conclusion as to the proper time at which decomposition took place, by taking some curly cannel, binding it with wire, and hanging it before the fire in a Dutch oven and roasting it. In 3 or 4 hours decomposition took place. The gas was eliminated so strongly and drawn into the fire, that it invariably took fire after 4 or 5 hours, so that I could never complete the experiment. That was probably 500° or 600°. No elaborate instructions have been given to my workmen. The rule is, that no sign of redness is to be allowed to be visible anywhere.

        We had for a time 24 vertical retorts similar to those used by Mr. Young. They were erected in 1861, and worked the same as the horizontal retorts, but the oil mostly condensed inside and ran away, and then we tried a higher heat, and that would not do, and then one of the workmen there offered to take charge of them and work them a few days as he said they were worked in Scotland, and that made us a material which was utterly valueless. They have now gone to Scotland to be used in my works there. When the experiments were made with those retorts in the earlier stages, we began with 4 cwt., and the whole 24 were at work by the end of November; and we consumed, if I recollect right, 10 cwt. a day in each, but the results were unsatisfactory. If I got one or two retorts at the right heat there was sure to be one or the other at a wrong best; we could not get a uniform temperature. Upon comparison of the products and upon the trials of those retorts with the products of the horizontal retorts at black heat, the result was manifestly in favour of the horizontal retorts.

        We sold a considerable quantity of oil made by the vertical retorts before we discontinued them. We used as much as 1813 tons of mineral from first to last, but I cannot recollect now what the exact yield of that was. We have refined our oils according to Mr. Young's specification so far as using acids and alkalis—everybody does it; but I could not sell any oil that was made simply by that process

        My process is different in many respects to what he describes. Paraffin is produced with our help. From the distillation of the coal it must be there. We have extracted our own except from petroleum and shale. We have extracted perhaps 8 or 9 tons from coal. I do not think it comes to 25 tons even from petroleum. The paraffin has been usually allowed to go away with the grease without extracting it, and in all probability in a large manufactory it is very difficult to prevent mixture sometimes. It never was our object, to produce paraffin until now, when the demand for grease has gone or rather very much reduced. We were obliged to refine because we could not sell the crude oil. Our refining establishment is at Saltney.

        I have tried many kinds of mineral for the production of this oil. We have found some shales which are very good, but I have found no coal which yields a profitable result but the Leeswood in that small circle of miles. Whatever we are to call Boghead, that yields a profitable result. I have tried Wigan coal and a good many other kinds; I can scarcely tell you the names of them. I have never found any that yield a profitable result except those which I have mentioned. I am not a geologist, but I should certainly not call the Boghead a coal. What I am now calling coal—that is, curly and these cannels- as far as in experience goes requires a great deal more care in the manufacture than Boghad. You can take liberties with Boghead which you cannot take with coal, in the way of temperature; but the process is the same in all cases. There seem to be great varieties of the Boghead ; we have had two sorts of it—one yields rather less and the other considerably more than Leeswood curly. The rule of low temperature is applicable to all the minerals that I have ever tried and all I have ever heard of, I never heard of Mr. Cox until he was examined here.

        Cross-examined by Mr. BOVILL:

        I have been a manganese miner all my life. I was winding up two railways in America immediately before entering upon this oil-making business. I first became acquainted with Mr. Jones at the time the Clydesdale case was going on. I think he told me in February or March, 1861, that he had a licence from Mr. Young. Mr. Jones was very anxious that we should agree with Mr.Young, and so were we, and we unde took to see Mr. Young or his partner I think to ascertain if some agreement could not be made; but he did not succeed.

        We first used curly at Leeswood, and we tried shales when we had not curly enough. I do not know that we ever ceased working curly more or less. There was a contract with the two Joneses, the owners of Leeswood, on the 3rd of January, 1862, for 5000 or 8000 tons of shale. The 8000 tons of shale were never delivered; I think we had 2500 tons of it. We did not exercise the option given us by the agreement of requiring cannel instead of shale. It appears from the recital which you have read from the subsequent agreement of March 25, 1862, that I exercised the option of requiring cannel in place of shale after only 508 tons 19 cwt. had been delivered; but I do not recollect anything about it.

        The shale answered perfectly. It is in the contract 5s. per ton, and the quality that was at first delivered was cheaper than the cannel. The quality fell off extremely. Jones declared that the miners had substituted ironstone for shale; and I dare say we may have exercised our discretion then to recover the money advanced, and to claim cannel instead of it. The option was given in case the shale should turn out to be worthless. There was an agreement made with Mr. Gillespie at the commencement of this suit to exchange evidence. (The agreement was handed in, and marked as an exhibit)

        The first experiment that I tried was at the request of the Ebbw Vale Company in 1860. While Jones was in negotiation for his licence, I made two agreements with him, both dated Feb. 25, 1861. (The agreements were put in, and marked) I do not know what day he got his licence, but I think our agreement was concluded long before we heard that he had applied for a licence. The date of the licence was Feb. 23, and the agreement was Feb. 25, 1861. I have no doubt, if the rough drafts were seen, it would be found that they were a month or six weeks earlier. I did not know until some time in March that he had applied for a licence, or got one.

        We applied for a licence upon our own terms, through our solicitor. We afterwards put up the retorts we had bought of Jones, and they are working now. Those are horizontal retorts, which were cast in Northamptonshire, I believe, by a gas engineer, although I do not know what his name was. His name is on the retorts. I know that Mr. Scott was the engineer who put up Mr. Young's retorts. I knew he did a great deal of work for Mr. Young when I ordered retorts of him. There were some of Mr. Scott's labourers who were acquainted with the mode of putting up Mr. Young's furnaces. You must ask Mr. Scott whether they were sent to put up the retorts because they had been employed at Mr. Young's.

        When Vary returned from Scotland from seeing Mr. Meldrum, he said that when he mentioned that he was in communication with me, Mr. Meldrum told him that if he knew he had come from me, he would not have let him set foot in the works. That he was the first, and he should be the last. That closed the matter as far as Mr. Meldrum was concerned, for, of course, we could have no communication with him. We were very anxious to be on friendly terms with him. I did not state that I had no intention of evading Mr. Young's licence; the solicitor was still in negotiation with Mr. Johnson. We had still hopes of coming to some amicable conclusion, and taking the licence. Finding it was useless, the whole negotiation went off. Jones sent a telegram to Mr. Meldrum: "Have you seen Vary. There is not the slightest intention on my part or my friends to evade your patent." I have heard of it since this case came on for the first time; it is dated the 25th of March, 1861. I know nothing about it. I was so resolute on the subject, that had there been a licence taken, I should have left the concern if there had been a royalty to pay.

        The 24 vertical retorts which I had from Scott were all got to work about Christmas Day, or just before, in 1861. They were all torn down in the autumn following; they were thrown out of work certainly in October, 1862. They were first of all thrown out of work in February, 1862. Then they were altered, and some set to work again. They were never at work regularly after February, 1862. They were at work irregularly till October; then they stopped entirely, and were thrown down; they were removed some time last year, and thrown into the iron-yard. I dare say the outside was 40 gallons of oil from a ton of coal distilled by them. I used a small quantity of Torbaneill. We have had the Broxbourne shale, and some from Airdrie, but they were only small casks full.

        The Torbanehill was treated the same as coal; but the object was to see whether, with vertical retorts, we could work the Torbanehill better than the coal. The lower the temperature, decidedly the better for the process; but you can work at a higher temperature without injuring your product, as you do with the coal. Certainly for the distillation of Boghead a high temperature is not required; if you chose to economize your plant, and dry the stuff quicker, you can work at a higher temperature without so much injury, as you can coal. When the charge of the Leeswood curly comes out, the door is eased, and a shovel of lighted coals put in, in order to light the gas. There is always some gas condensed on the door, which is the mouth of the retort, which blazes away. Of course, the coal passing through that generally takes up some drops of tar as it passes down and blazes away. If you do not do that the coal is perfectly black. The retorts vary in size; we sometimes work flown, some times 7 cwt., and sometimes 5 cwt.

        With regard to the references to books that you see in my affidavit, the bill was filed against me, and I was compelled to file an answer to the best of my information; but those answers were got up for me by my professional man. When my answer was prepared the things were laid before me to refer to; and when I say that I have not read any of them, I mean that I did not study them. I suppose I looked at them. I swore my affidavit in which I quoted Dr. Antisell's book without reading the book through. The quotations were made for me. We can give the workmen no thermometer, but practically they are to keep at black best. If it got up to a red heat, then they were to reduce it to black heat by opening the door, or having dampers put on. I discard the vertical retorts altogether. I have heard of oil being put upon a fire when it is getting too hot, but it does not general damp it. I never heard of its being too hot. It must be done wilfully. I have a thermometer which registers up to 612°. I have gone as high as 500' or 600°. In my answer I say, I believe I have no means of knowing what the exact temperature is; all I know is, it is not red. That was the fact. I have no means now. I am not a scientific man. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Miller say the heat at which we worked was from 700' to 760°; but I believe that cool can all be decomposed.

        We have sold a little paraffin. We have not been in the habit of selling it ever since our works were established. I think that last year some few tons were sent away. I do not know whether that was the first time; there may have been a small quantity in the year before. I had not sold any paraffin made from coal before my answer was put in. We made a good deal from petroleum.

        Re-examined by Sir F. KELLY:

        Our works were put up originally for Oil and grease. We never contemplated extracting paraffin but for the reason I have before given. We shall have to extract the paraffin hereafter. It is impossible for me to obtain any other oil than that which contains paraffin. In making either burning oil or lubricating oil, the paraffin must be extracted as nearly as possible. I have not gone into the subject sufficiently to say whether, it we could make our oil without obtaining any paraffin, it would be more to our interest to do so; but I have hitherto thought so.

        The extracts referred to in my answer and affidavit in support of it were sent down to me in the country by my solicitor. It was after I had prepared my answer that I looked more fully into Dr. Antisell's book. I do not know who wrote that book. I have found throughout our operations that at the lowest temperature that will produce the oil at a black heat, something short of even low red heat is the most profitable heat for producing these oils. I was willing to receive a licence from Mr. Young under his patent, at nominal royalties, in January, 1861. My associates, who are Quakers, would even have given a royalty or a trifle.

        By the COURT: When Mr. Young heard I considered his patent bad, he would not have anything more to do with me.

        By Sir F. KELLY: If they had paid anything considerable in the way of royalty I should not have stopped in the firm. We offered to give all the information we had, and the reason why we thought the patent bad. The specific gravity of our oil varies according to the material we use from "865 to '900. From Boghead it ought to be much lower than that. The agreement with Mr. Gillespie was not made until after this suit had been commenced. I understand it has not been acted on at all. Mr. Perry was recalled, and identified the specimens and samples which he had produced on a former occasion.


        Saturday 23rd April 1864

        Sir F. KELLY stated that he did not intend to trouble the court with any further evidence on behalf of the defendants.

        Mr. GROVE: There are some matters which, although it strikes me they will not much have impressed your honour's mind. still, as they are on record. and as they are entirely denied by the plaintiffs, they must be contradicted; and it is only for that purpose that I will call a few witnesses.

        W. Williams, Esq, examined by Mr. GROVE.

        About 26 years ago, I was the managing partner of the Pentwyn and Golynos Iron- Works. I am a magistrate for the county of Monmouthshire. The late Mr. Samuel Rogers was employed by me and my partner to erect coke and tar ovens; and during the time they were erecting I was constantly there, every other day at all events. There were twelve ovens altogether. We got the heat as high as we could, because we wanted the coke good. It was always red. Our object was to make coal tar and coke; and the instruction to the workmen were that the coke was to be made as good as we could make it. High heat produces the best cake. The tar was similar to that which has generally been used in Wales for trams. The Pentwyn works, the Vartey works, the Nantyglo works, and the Brynmawr works, all made tar similar to ours. When the coke was not so good as I wished it to be, I instructed them to heat it higher. It was important to get good coke for the blast furnaces. The ovens at Abersychau were on the same principle as those at Golynos, and the product was the same. At the Blama works and the Clydock works the ovens and the product were the same when I knew them from '24 years ago up to 18 years ago. I know Mr. Rogers for about 35 years up to7 years ago. I am not aware that he ever produced anything else than coal tar.

        Cross-examined by Mr. MACKESON: The lower part of the oven was always red. There has only been one kind of tar-oven used in our works during the 26 years I was manager. It is about 6 or 8 feet long and 5 feet wide; it was heated by a grate at first, but it was afterwards altered to an oven. Tar was a second consideration with us—coke was our main object. We were so ignorant in Wales that we always thought a high heat was best for the tar; but since I have heard from scientific men that it is not, I must take it for granted that I was wrong. Gas tar could also be used for lubricating wheels. We had 120 ovens for making coke in which no tar was made at all. The double ovens were made expressly for making tar as well as coke. The receiver was as close to the oven as that gentleman is to me.

        Mr. Frederick Charles Sage, examined by Mr. HINDMARCH.

        I am at present an analytical chemist, residing at Wolverhampton. I was formerly at the Abersychan works in Monmouthshire; they were the property of the Ebbw Vale Company. I was there from May, 1853, to ay, 1860. For the first two years I was employed as an analytical chemist, and after that furnace manager also. Their ovens were used for the production of coal tar and coke. We always used a very high heat. The tar sank in water. It was used for grossing trams and for greasing some of the cog— wheels of the rolling-mills, and also can varnish to cover the roofs of build ings. They used the Rock vein and other coal. I never saw any cannel there. I am now acquainted with Young's paraflin oil, and what we pro duced was altogether a different substance and sank in water.

        Cross-examined by Sir F. KELLY : The operations carried on were for the purpose of making coal tar, which was used as a substitute for grease.

        From The Journal of Gas Lighting, Water Supply and Sanitary Improvement, 22nd March 1864

      • A01021: 22/03/1864

        VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COURT (Before Vice-Chancellor STUART.)

        Selected extracts from the famous court case that provide descriptions of oil production from adapted coke ovens at various sites in South Wales.

        Monday, March 7 1864

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL said he was arguing that shale and coal were analogous substances, and not the same. He would now call attention to a patent taken out in 1860, some months before Mr. Young's, by a person of the name of Stones, for improvements in treating peat and other carbonaceous and ligneous substances, so as to obtain products therefrom, by means of superheated steam, which prevented the temperature rising above a low red heat. Then Michel took a patent a few months before Mr. Young, for improvements in treating coal and in the manufacture of gas; and in describing the heat which he used for the first 50 hour, he said it should "not exceed nascent red heat, or 964' Fahr.," being a little below what Daniel and Poullet gave as the point of incipient red heat. Then, speaking of what they now called shale, Michel described them as "coal of the tertiary formation." Then, with reference to the earlier use and production of the article now claimed, it would be found from the evidence that, in a great many places in the east and, south-east parts of the South Wales coal-field, the manufacture of this species of oil had been going on from the beginning of the present century upon a large and commercial scale.

        From the year 1808 to 1815, a witness of the name of Rogers, since dead, whose evidence had been taken de bane case, was engaged at the Pontypool works, in Monmouthshire; that, although gas was then burnt in the works, there was a very large production, in retorts and ovens properly constructed for the purpose of coal oil distilled from the coal, and distilled always at a heat not exceeding a low red heat; and that there was a large sale of that for lubricating purposes. It would also be proved that there were in the region he had referred to two distinct veins—one of what was called the Horn coal, which produced the oil in a limpid and pure state, floating on water, and having all the characteristics attributed by Young to his oil; and another, called the Rock vein—a sort of house coal—which by the same process and the same temperature would never produce any oil but one that would sink in water. That manufacture at Pontypool was still carried on by the Ebbw Vale Company.

        The same process was introduced with the same results at Risca in 1815, and at Golynos, Nantyglo, and Blaina in 1831.The fact that Mr. Young knew that his own product was produced at his own temperature at Pontypool was clear from his not treating it as an infringement of his patent, although it had been going on since the beginning of the century. There were other works at Brynmaur in 1833 and 1834, and at Clydach, in Breconshire, from 1849 to 1862. At Abersychan there were similar working before 1850. A gentleman named Leigh obtained paraffin from coal at a low red heat in 1840 and 1847. and Messrs. Parkes and Fisher would prove that they did so from 1810 to 1849. Then what the defendants did was this: they tried one or two vertical retorts, but the greater number were horizontal, and they were most carefully prepared, so as never to raise the temperature so high as a low red heat; and that produced a much better result than if a low red host were used, as would be proved most conclusively. It was said that a man of the name of Vary was sent by the defendants to Mr. Young, in order to obtain information as to Mr. Young's mode of carrying on his works; and that Mr. Young gave him some information upon the faith of a representation made by him, that the defendants were going to take out a licence. It was quite true that, at. one time, it was under consideration whether the defendants would not, instead of engaging in litigation, take out a licence, if they could do so on reasonable terms. That was a consideration never favourably entertained by Mr. Fernie, but Mr. Jones recommended it, and the partners of Mr. Fernie wished, if possible, to avoid litigation. But there was not the least pretence for saying that Vary was sent us a ruse to get information of Mr. Young's mode of proceeding. Indeed, it would be proved that the information which Vary got was never communicated, much, less used. That, no doubt, was introduced in order, if possible, to prejudice the defendants. But he submitted that, whether his honour looked to the point of novelty or to the point of infringement, the case of the defendants would be clearly established. He had forgotten to state that, in addition to the working on coal in Wales, there was an extensive and profitable working at Wareham, both from shale and coal, established in 1849, and in operation for manufacturing puposes before the date of Mr. Young's patent.

        Mr. GROVE: Did you say coal was ever worked?

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL: So I am informed.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: That is, for the production of crude oil?

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: Yes, and paraffin. The plaintiff said that in 1861 he received information of the proceedings of the Wareham Oil Company, and threatened them will a bill of injunction; but immediately afterwards the company became bankrupt, and it was not therefore worthwhile to proceed.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: Was it a Bituminous Shale Company?

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: It was originally.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: That company was wound up in this court.

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: But they have successors. The announcement in the original prospectus covers the whole ground of the commercial results aimed at Mr. Young, and a considerable business has been continually done at Wareham.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: Am I right in supposing that, by your process, the melting-point of zinc, which is about 770 degrees, is the best that you use?

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: I think that the results of our evidence will be that

        Mr. George Parry, examined by Mr. CHANCE

        I am operating chemist to the Ebbw Vale Iron Company, and have been engaged for the last 3 years in attending to distillation from bituminous coal. I have been living all my life amongst distillation from coal. I do not agree with Mr. Young that the term " bituminous mineral substances" covers coal. I do not consider there is a novelty in Mr. Young's process, as described by him. The breaking of coals into small pieces it not necessary, is not new, and is very unimportant. The mode of condensation pointed out is the worst that could be pointed out. A common gas-retort for the purpose of distilling oil is very best. It is a common iron pipe closed at one end, with a door at the other, so arranged that the fire goes all round it. Supposing a common gas-retort to be heated to a low red heat, it would be much too high for distillation from bituminous coal. I consider the description states that the whole retort should be heated to a low red heat, and that would be wholly ineffectual for oil distillation. The operations are generally performed by day, and there would be a difference of 50° or 70° according to whether the retort was looked at in day time or at night. There is no benefit to be attained by gradual heating until you have arrived at the point at which volatile products are given off. Supposing it is practicable to take off the oil at 800°, it would be prejudicial to go to 1000'.

        The Vice-Chancellor: What are the Ebbw Vale works?

        Mr. CHANCE : We say they have been making our oil.

        Examination continued : The processes of purification and rectification described by Mr. Young are not new, and have been much better described before. I have had knowledge of coal-oil-works since 1826, at Brynmawr, in South Wales. The oil was reduced by the coal put into an oven. The bottom of the oven was heated, and the oil was condensed in zigzag pipes and received into a receiver; and the oil was used for lubricating the wheels of the trams. The temperature was the same that I have noticed since. I know what gas tar is; and the oil produced was very different from that. The coal distilled was a common house coal, not highly bituminous. In 1833 I recollect oil being produced for sale.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR; At Brynmawr the oil produced was not for sale but was continuously produced.

        By Mr. CHANCE : I recollect oil being produced at Colebroke Vale 30 years ago. It was similar to Mr. Young's, and different from gas tar. At the Beaufort Iron-Works oil has been produced for 30 years; and at Pontypool. The heat was applied to the bottom of the oven only, and the result would be a low temperature. I have heard that extensive sales have been made at Pontypool for many years. I have seen their books, and seen entries of sales. The oil was not the same, because the material was different; but if you put Boghead coal into any of those ovens, you would get Young's oil.

        At Pontypool they have been making oil from coal for two years from my own personal knowledge, but I have heard of it from my youth. I made some experiments at Pontypool in December, 1862. They were made in the old ovens, which were similar to those I have described, and heated by coke ovens underneath, though originally they were heated by fire. I charged the oven hot with 22 cwt. of the Rock vein coal, and the time of distillation was 48 hours. The temperature at which It distilled was a low red heat, on the evening of the day; and after the vapours had been driven off, it was a little hotter. Rock vein coal is an ordinary bituminous coal; it is poor in bitumen. The specific gravity of the oil produced was 1060. I put that into a 2-gallon can. I charged oven No.2, with Pontypool horn coal, which is much richer in oil. I put in 24 cwt. That proved a failure; and on the 9th of January, 1863, I repeated the experiment. I charged the oven with 18 cwt. of the same coal, and the mode and time of distillation were practically the same. The temperature of the bottom of the oven was a low red heat; the sides were black. The specific gravity of the oil produced was '940 on the first day, but the bulk was '977. When I took that which had a gravity of '940, the process had been going on 24 hours only. Oven No.3, I charged with 19 cwt. of Leeswood curly cannel. The specific gravity of the oil produced was '980. Oven No. 4, I charged with 19 cwt. of Torbane Boghead, and the oil reduced was '940 specific gravity. I did not take the quantity, because the condenser was not calculated to do so with a highly bituminous coal. There is a reservoir at Pontypool which contained the oil produced by 22 ovens; that is from the Rock vein coal.

        By the VICE-CHANCELLOR: The 4 ovens of which I last spoke were part of the .

        What was left I subjected to the heat of melted lead—a bath of melted lead. I think that is about 620'. According to my experiment the oil began to pass over at 600°; a very light oil. It was more like naphtha than oil. had no means or measuring the temperature higher than that.

        That looks like the pipe I made used of for the purpose of testing the temperature at Mr. Fernie's Works [referring to an iron pipe which Mr. Chance produced]. That would be called an inch gas-pipe. On the 29th of February, I went down to the Pontypool Iron-Works, in south Wales. I noted the kilns there which was used for the purpose of distilling coal. They are made of brick. At Pontypool there were ovens made of brick 14 feet long and 6 feet wide.

        By the Court: "Were they ovens or retorts. They call them ovens down there. They were charged with 2 tons of coal, and the charge was worked off in 48 hours.

        By Mr. Cilascc; The coals are heated by a fire placed in the neighbourhood. [The Witness handed two piece of paper to his honour.] The grates extending not quite the length of the ovens themselves, and the products of combustion from the fire escape at the end of the fire place by a side flue. At Pontypool, they are coking-ovens. These coking ovens are for the purpose of heating coals. It is economical to do the two operations at once—to make coke and oil at the same time. There is no heat carried along the sides of the ovens, nor along the upper part. The heat simply runs the length of the bottom oven. The heat is prevented from coming in contact with the bottom of the kiln by brick arches. Only the bottom of the retort is exposed to the host. The temperature must be comparatively a low one for these ovens. The heat would first be applied to the coal lying at the bottom of the retort, and would gradually spread through the mass. I do not think it could rise to a red heat until the bituminous matter had passed over, or it must be a very low red heat. I saw the say they were being worked. I did not see them charged at Pontypool. I examined the oil. The coal that was being distilled seemed to be like ordinary gas coal. The oil was very fluid. It was a little heavier than water. The specific gravity was about 1020. I attribute the fact of the specific gravity being heavier than water to the nature of the coal; it was heavier than water. If Leeswood were distilled in the same way, it would produce an oil lighter than water.

        On the 1st of March of this year, I went down to Blaine, in South Wales. I found some brick retorts there in which they were distilling; brick retorts with brick ovens—very much the same as those at Pontypool. I had a plate made of the brick ovens. [The plate was handed to his honour.] When its structure is continuous they are called retorts, and when they are built up with bricks they are called ovens. The fireplace is marked beneath the oven. The fireplace is not a coking oven at Blaina; it is simply fire used for the distillation of oil. The oven is separated from the fireplace by a considerable layer of brickwork, and also by some brick arches. Then the fire runs the length of the bottom of the retort, or, fine, or chimney. The oil which is distilled from the coal passes along a wooden tube or condenser—in fact, crosses the yard where the operation is conducted—and then is connected with a series of vertical condensers. The condensers appear to me to be very good ones. At the bottom of the condenser, there is a sort of trough which is in communication with them, and into this trough the condensed oil runs, and flows into the receiving-vessel. Gas is always produced by the decomposition of coal, no matter what the. temperature may be. Whenever you have coal decomposed, there is always gas given off. In this case, the gas escapes by a pipe in connexion with the condenser, and passes off as it does in Mr. Fernie's works. This is very much Mr. Fernie's plan of distilling the coal. The principle is the same. It is a brick oven, and they have an opening in the top to introduce the charge. The oven is only heated at the bottom. The temperature I should say was not exceeding a low red heat at an ' time, unless it was at the last hour of distillation, when they wanted to give off any sulphur from the coke. Of course, it is very desirable when coke is used for smelting purposes to expel as much sulphur from it as possible. Before that is done, all the volatile' products would have been driven off. About 15 cwt. of coal is put into the oven. The operation lasts about 24 hours at Blaine. It was from" 10 to 1'2 cwt. at Blaina ; 15 cwt. was at another lace. I made an experiment upon the temperature of the ovens. the process was what was called three-quarters coal, and it seemed the ordinary gas cool. I am informed it is used for making gas; not a very rich gas coal. The result of my operation was that 1 got, at a temperature , less than a low red heat, an oil the specific gravit of which was greater than that of water. I attribute that to the nature of t e coal. This is some oil. which I brought from Blaina [referring to some oil in a bottle produced]. It is very different to gas tar; it is much thinner. This is some paper stained, with that. It contains a little tar, as is evident from this paper, but the gas tar leaves no stain at all. It is made from the Welsh coal.

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Mr. Parry will be called. Witness continued : I also went to the works at Nantyglo. I there found eight brisk ovens in which coal was being distilled. They were constructed similar to those at Pontypool, which I have described. They made coke there also. The general construction was the same in all the works. I was informed by the manager that they kept down the temperature as much as possible because they got a better article. I saw the manager. His name is Mr. Habakkuk. As I had not got time to complete the observations on the temperature, I left instructions with a Mr. Cox to carry out the experiment at the end of the distillation, and observe at-what time the fusion of the zinc took place, and then to introduce antimony and make a similar observation.

        Cross-examined - The oil, however, is extremely fine; quite equal to the Boghead. I produce a specimen of the Blaina shale, taken from the mine.

        The Vice-Chancellor: I think any man would say that was a piece of cannel coal.

        By Mr. CHANCE: There are about 8.5 lbs. in a gallon of crude oil. The poorest shale I have met with yielded 1 gallon to the ton.

        Cross-examined by Mr. Hmnsrancn: The Ebbw Vale Company is an extensive iron company. I have been in their service as chemist for 50 years, advising them as to the manufacture of iron. The oil they made was not for sale, but was used for greasing the tramways on which heavy weights are carried. This has been done since 1808 in Wales. We did not commence to do it till 1861, but I proposed to do so in 1848. I understand that Mr. Robinson, a defendant, is one of the proprietors of the Ebbw Vale works. I went to Leeswood and had a few lessons before I commenced work.

        I was at Leeswood two days about the end of 1860, and I paid a second visit in 1861. I bought some retorts, which hold 6 or 7 cwt. they are placed horizontally, and are of cast iron; they are protected by brickwork, as Reichenbach recommends. The tar-ovens are virtually retorts. Pontypool is about 10 miles from Ebbw Vale. I first saw the retorts made of brick in 1826, when I was a schoolboy. The product was called coal tar, and is so called a still. It is commonly used in Wales for lubricating machinery, and has been so for along time. If you do not see it, you can smell it.

        About 1833 I became acquainted with Mr. Rogers, and saw his ovens at Nantyglo. The ovens held from 15 cwt. to 2 tons of coal. The fire was beneath the ovens, and there were no flues at the sides. I saw some of the coke produced, and was sold. It was a very good sort of coke. It was not at all hard. We use the coke daily. It is too soft for blast-furnaces, but we have used it. The price of the coke depends upon the coal. The coke from the rock vein is better than that from the Boghead. I did not know of Young's specification when I began to work. I must have heard of paraffin oil. I have a distinct recollection of reading a medical work in 1836, and I was told that if I used a bright heat I should get gas, and with a low heat I should get tar or oil. In my opinion, that tells the whole world how to make Young's oil.

        Ure's books I rely upon, and I am corroborated by the extracts. Dr. Ure is quite enough for me. At page 38 he states that which convinces me Young's invention is not new. A worm is the worst possible condenser for an oil containing paraffin; I should use a pipe. If you use a worm, you must keep the temperature up to 55". I say that a common gas-retort would fail commercially at a low red heat, because the vapours would decompose against the sides of the retort. Gas-retorts are partiality protected, but not like ovens. I cannot fix the temperature of low red heat. My impression, years ago, was that it was 900" or 1000 per day. I say that low red heat would be fatal, and would spoil our oil. After the charge is drawn from the retort, you see a glimmer or light. In my experiments at Leeswood the low red heat was clearly visible in the day time. The retort was under a roof. I looked through the sight-tube. This was in the beginning of September last. I distinctly saw the point of the tube red hot. Each retort is heated by its own fire. I saw redness in the flues. There was redness in the side tube, and the redness in the fires was on all sides of the retorts

        The Brynmaur tar works have been abandoned, because the coal has been worked out.

        Friday Evidence of John Cox, Gas engineer Ebbw Vale works.

        I was present with Mr. Parry when some experiments were carried on at the Pontypool Iron-Works. We experimented on 5 retorts. Directly the charge was put in, we put in a tube reaching into the middle of the retort and resting on the bottom, blocked up at the one end through a hole which we made in the door. We worked it for 48 hours. We looked at the tube 21 hours afterwards. At that time the tube which was put into the charge of Leeswood coal and Torbanehill mineral showed a dark, dull red. That was at the bottom of the tube only. I looked through the tube two or three times after that; the temperature did not appear to have risen, but it had increased in altitude, showing that it had got higher up in the coal. I saw the ovens discharged; and from their appearance I was the same opinion as to the temperature at which the distillation had been going on. We tried another experiment with the Pontypool Rock coal; that Worked off in 24 hours, because there is so small a quantity of oil in it. Those experiments were carried on with great care, and the oil was put into cans and delivered to Mr. Parry. A man named Richards, who formerly managed the tar-ovens at Argoed, and all the labourers, were present, besides Mr. Parry, when these experiments were conducted. I have been to Blania two or three times lately, and have made experiments on distillation in brick ovens, similar to those at Pontypool in 1845. I measured the depth of the coke which came out of the retort, and found it to be about 10 inches. …......

        Tuesday 19th April 1864

        Daniel Lewis, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I am a coker at Colebrook Vale, at Blaina. I recollect those works about 35 or 40 years. We have worked in the same way all along. I am not in charge of the works: my brother was. He is in America. We used the soap-vein coal, and the product was tar, at a low heat. It was nothing but gas tar; it was high coloured brown. It was used for the trams underground. (A bottle was handed to witness). It was like that, only not quite so thin. I got from 10 to 12 gallons a ton.

        Cross-examined by Mr. Bovill: I have been a coker for about 15 years. We were paid for our work by the quantity of coke, and the better the coke, the better we got paid. The coke was used for blast furnaces.

        Cross examined by Mr. MACKESON: The retorts were protected at the top. The fire was underneath, and the fires in the bottom. which go up to the top. The were bricked in at the sides. The fire went all round the retort, and tone ed the top.

        William Bowen, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I am a worker in coal tar—nothing but coal tar, and coke of course—at Nantyglo, in Monmouthshire, South Vales. I have known those works rather more than 16 years, but I have not been working there for more than about 14 years. We used brick ovens, at a low best. We used many kinds of coal; yard coal for coking the lower oven, and black pin coal for the tar ovens. We got about 250 gallons of tar a week about 12 months ago.

        John Richards, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I am a master coker from Tredegar. I used brick ovens with the grates underneath. We applied a very slow beat. The product was tar, but sometimes I called it mineral oil. I made about 400 gallons weekly. The works were at Argoed. Mr. Moses was proprietor. We got about 10 gallons of oil from a ton of coal, and we sold it for l.25d. per pound; there were about 10 pounds to the gallon. The gas tar was sold for about 2d. per gallon. In 1834 I knew of tar-works at Pontypool and Blaernarvon. The oil I made was used for lubricating purposes.

        John James, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I have been at Blaine about l5 years. When I first went there the products which they got from the iron-works were pig iron and malleable iron. We made the pig iron in blast furnaces heated with coke and ironstone. We made our own coke on open fires; we had ordinary coke-ovens. Then we had two different methods of coking, in one the object being to obtain tar and coke, and in the other the object being to make a sort of oily tar, the object being tar; we then used that coke with the others for smelting iron.

        The old original oven, and the one best adapted for making tar, has a small grate underneath the bottom of the oven only. The other oven is a double oven, the coke underneath and above; and in coking underneath you drive off the volatile products, and leave inferior tar. There is a small fire kept underneath the ovens I first mentioned, burning on a grate, and we charge the oven in the ordinary way. We break up the lumps of coal small, and keep the fire underneath the ovens on the grate, and drive off the volatile products, taking care that it shall not rise to a high heat, or it spoils the oily substances of the tar. There is a zigzag pipe placed in the upper oven, and the tar escapes through this pipe; it is condensed, and runs off into a receiver. As a rule, there is an exit to ever bend of this zigzag pipe. At the far end of the pipe there is an opening where the gas escapes. The heat was applied to the double oven by charging a certain quantity of coal in the lower oven, and then We did not burn the coal away, but coked it; consequently we had a higher heat in those ovens.

        By obtaining the coke and the tar, you sacrifice the quality of the tar. The tar made in those ovens with the grates underneath, where coal tar was the object, was of a dark brown oily colour. The other ovens produced a dark coloured tar—a rather glutinous substance—and we were obliged to use other oils to mix with it. We did not care about selling the tar, because we could not make a sufficient supply for our own use. We used the Soak vein coal, and we also used three-quarter coal. We got about 12 gallons per ton from the Soak vein coal. When we commenced charging the ovens in the ordinary process, they were quite dark. By the time the coke was taken out, the ovens were cooled down. The heat was applied gradually under the ovens, so as to keep the temperature as low as possible; otherwise the oily substances would be destroyed.

        From evidence presented for the defence

        Saturday 23rd April 1864

        W. Williams, Esq, examined by Mr. GROVE.

        About 26 years ago, I was the managing partner of the Pentwyn and Golynos Iron- Works. I am a magistrate for the county of Monmouthshire. The late Mr. Samuel Rogers was employed by me and my partner to erect coke and tar ovens; and during the time they were erecting I was constantly there, every other day at all events. There were twelve ovens altogether. We got the heat as high as we could, because we wanted the coke good. It was always red. Our object was to make coal tar and coke; and the instruction to the workmen were that the coke was to be made as good as we could make it. High heat produces the best cake. The tar was similar to that which has generally been used in Wales for trams. The Pentwyn works, the Vartey works, the Nantyglo works, and the Brynmawr works, all made tar similar to ours. When the coke was not so good as I wished it to be, I instructed them to heat it higher. It was important to get good coke for the blast furnaces. The ovens at Abersychau were on the same principle as those at Golynos, and the product was the same. At the Blama works and the Clydock works the ovens and the product were the same when I knew them from '24 years ago up to 18 years ago. I know Mr. Rogers for about 35 years up to7 years ago. I am not aware that he ever produced anything else than coal tar.

        Cross-examined by Mr. MACKESON: The lower part of the oven was always red. There has only been one kind of tar-oven used in our works during the 26 years I was manager. It is about 6 or 8 feet long and 5 feet wide; it was heated by a grate at first, but it was afterwards altered to an oven. Tar was a second consideration with us—coke was our main object. We were so ignorant in Wales that we always thought a high heat was best for the tar; but since I have heard from scientific men that it is not, I must take it for granted that I was wrong. Gas tar could also be used for lubricating wheels. We had 120 ovens for making coke in which no tar was made at all. The double ovens were made expressly for making tar as well as coke. The receiver was as close to the oven as that gentleman is to me. Mr. Frederick Charles Sage, examined by Mr. HINDMARCH. I am at present an analytical chemist, residing at Wolverhampton. I was formerly at the Abersychan works in Monmouthshire; they were the property of the Ebbw Vale Company. I was there from May, 1853, to ay, 1860. For the first two years I was employed as an analytical chemist, and after that furnace manager also. Their ovens were used for the production of coal tar and coke. We always used a very high heat. The tar sank in water. It was used for grossing trams and for greasing some of the cog— wheels of the rolling-mills, and also can varnish to cover the roofs of build ings. They used the Rock vein and other coal. I never saw any cannel there. I am now acquainted with Young's paraflin oil, and what we produced was altogether a different substance and sank in water.

        Cross-examined by Sir F. KELLY : The operations carried on were for the purpose of making coal tar, which was used as a substitute for grease.

        From The Journal of Gas Lighting, Water Supply and Sanitary Improvement, 22nd March 1864

      • A01023: 22/04/1864

        VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COURT (Before Vice-Chancellor STUART.)

        Selected extracts including the opening summary of charges.

        Monday 29th February 1864

        Mr Grove (for Young, the plainiff)

        In 1861 it was found that a firm of the name of Miller &Co., who carried on business at Aberdeen and Glasgow, were infringing the patent. Proceedings were taken against them; they paid £5000, and took a licence from Mr. Young. Some other proceedings were taken about the same time against a company at Wareham, known as Messrs. Humphrey and Co. After these proceedings were commenced, it was found that the defendants had mortgaged their plant and their works; the mortgagees fore closed; they became bankrupt, and their works closed altogether. The plaintiff therefore, did not proceed any further.

        Then there came the alleged infringement in the present case; and this was attended with circumstances which he thought the learned counsel for the defendants must regret. The plaintiffs had been going on manufacturing oil, and selling it at a reasonable price; and they had very largely increased their manufactures. The trade had become one of great importance, and, as to the products, of great notoriety. The plaintiffs had introduced into their manufactory certain practical improvements, but still adhering to the substantial mode of treatment indicated in the specification.

        In February, 1861, a person of the name of Charles Hussey Jones, who was the owner or lessee of a colliery at Leeswood, in Flintshire, applied to the plaintiff for a licence. He was, as it subsequently appeared, interested with Fernie, more or less; and a person of the name of Varley, who was employed and paid by Fernie, one of the defendants in the present case, inspected the plaintiff's works, and was shown there all their processes, and certain retorts for the manufacture of their paraffin-oil were furnished to him of the best character. About the same time Jones applied to the plaintiff for a licence. He was offered one at the ordinary royalty at which the plaintiffs granted them to other persons; but, after some negotiation, Jones said the terms were too high, and declined to take a licence.

        In 1861, in addition to the works which were at Leeswood, works were erected at Saltney, about 10 miles from Leeswood, and having a railway communication between them. Application was made to Jones, who had taken a licence from the defendants, for returns of any manufactures under the licence but none were ever offered; and, after some inquiry, the plaintiffs were inclined to suspect that Fernie, and whoever else was associated with him, were manufacturing their oil without any licence or per mission. In addition to the information which Jones had got as a licences, and which Varley had got by having inspected the plaintiff's works, it appeared that certain apparatus was procured by Fernie from persons who had formerly been employed by the plaintiffs in putting up their works; so that the defendants in this way got possession of everything which Mr. Young was doing.

        The gentlemen who, on the present occasion, would tell his honour that the invention of Mr. Young was two centuries old seemed to have taken very elaborate pains to find out what he was doing; and, having done so, they put it in practice in a manner which, for some time, defied the efforts of Mr. Young to discover. But in the months of February and July, 1862, a person of the name of Rennie went to Saltney and Leeswood, to find out what the defendants were doing. He found that the works at Saltney were practically at a standstill; and so, also, the works at Leeswood. However, he persevered, and on the 2nd of August, in that year, Mr. Rennie, accompanied by a Mr. Smith, went to the works at Leeswood, and on getting near the works, they saw several retorts at work, with fires underneath them. They saw the materials with which the retorts were charged, which was with Leeswood cannel coal, that being one of the kinds of coal specially referred to by Mr. Young in his specification. Rennie saw a man charging the retorts with cannel coal. Smith went into the works, and asked the engineer to give him a bottle of the crude oil which was running from the retorts or stills. This request was complied with; the contents were analyzed, and were found to be the crude paraffin-oil of Mr. Young.

        An examination of the works at Saltney was made by Rennie the next day. There he saw large quantities of cannel coal, and also retorts similar to those of the plaintiffs. On the 29th of August, a chemist of the name of Turner applied to the defendants for a 30-gallon cask of paraffin-oil. This was supplied; it had also been examined by chemists, and the result was that it was found to be the some as the product of the plaintiffs. The retorts were also being worked at the "low red heat" pointed out by Mr. Young. The contest on the part of the defendants was that they employed a lower temperature than "low red heat," and therefore did not infringe. He (Mr. Grove) contended that this was no defence at all, because the specification of Mr. Young, though be indicated a "low red heat" as the temperature, only said that that should not be exceeded. The defendants said that they produced their result at a temperature of 600°; but that was an entire fallacy, as the scientific evidence would prove. There were some very simple but very satisfactory tests. Mercury boiled at 660°; lead melted at about 620°. If a piece of bituminous coal were placed in melted lead or boiling mercury, it would be necessarily exposed to a temperature above 600°; and you might leave a piece of coal in it for an indefinite period and it would come out as it went in.

        Saturday 5th March 1864

        Mr. Charles Wilson, examined by Mr. BOVILL

        In 1824 and 1825 I had the management of a portion of the Leeswood works for Messrs. William and Thomas Jones. I was there upwards of thirty years. We raised four kinds of coals; Main's coal, Brassey coal, Two-yard coal, and cannel coal. We raised the cannel coal in 1824-25. I know the Leeswood collieries, which are worked by Mr. Hussey Jones. He produces cannel and other bituminous coals. In August, 1862, I went to Messrs. Fernie's works, and saw the retorts they were using. I presumed they were used for distilling oil; there was no gas that I saw, The coal used was cannel coal. The heat was a dark heavy red. It was not approaching melting heat. It was the early stage of redness.

        Cross-examined by Mr. MACHISON:

        The lower part of the retort was of a dark red. It was a horizontal retort. There was said which was off; it was at the end of it. It was a mouthpiece, if you like to call it so. It was at the side. I do not know how long the lid had been taken off, except from the state of the embers. The retort was cased in brickwork. I saw the embers that had been taken out of the retort, and also the state of the fire. The embers I speak of were taken out of the retort. They were of a deep red, and so was the retort. I went to Leeswood on private business; there was a man there who owed me some money, who was employed there. I lived at Chester in August, 1862. I went to see my son-in-law, who lives in the neighbourhood, and once I got admission to the premises, because I went to inquire whether they wanted any retorts, I being a dealer in iron on commission. I think I gave information to the plaintiffs about a fortnight ago of what I saw, perhaps I was at Leeswood half an hour. I did not go as a spy to see what was being done.

      • A01022: 22/04/1864

        VICE-CHANCELLOR'S COURT (Before Vice-Chancellor STUART.)

        Selected extracts from the famous court case that provide descriptions of oil production from adapted coke ovens at various sites in South Wales.

        Monday, March 7 1864

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL said he was arguing that shale and coal were analogous substances, and not the same. He would now call attention to a patent taken out in 1860, some months before Mr. Young's, by a person of the name of Stones, for improvements in treating peat and other carbonaceous and ligneous substances, so as to obtain products therefrom, by means of superheated steam, which prevented the temperature rising above a low red heat. Then Michel took a patent a few months before Mr. Young, for improvements in treating coal and in the manufacture of gas; and in describing the heat which he used for the first 50 hour, he said it should "not exceed nascent red heat, or 964' Fahr.," being a little below what Daniel and Poullet gave as the point of incipient red heat. Then, speaking of what they now called shale, Michel described them as "coal of the tertiary formation." Then, with reference to the earlier use and production of the article now claimed, it would be found from the evidence that, in a great many places in the east and, south-east parts of the South Wales coal-field, the manufacture of this species of oil had been going on from the beginning of the present century upon a large and commercial scale.

        From the year 1808 to 1815, a witness of the name of Rogers, since dead, whose evidence had been taken de bane case, was engaged at the Pontypool works, in Monmouthshire; that, although gas was then burnt in the works, there was a very large production, in retorts and ovens properly constructed for the purpose of coal oil distilled from the coal, and distilled always at a heat not exceeding a low red heat; and that there was a large sale of that for lubricating purposes. It would also be proved that there were in the region he had referred to two distinct veins—one of what was called the Horn coal, which produced the oil in a limpid and pure state, floating on water, and having all the characteristics attributed by Young to his oil; and another, called the Rock vein—a sort of house coal—which by the same process and the same temperature would never produce any oil but one that would sink in water. That manufacture at Pontypool was still carried on by the Ebbw Vale Company.

        The same process was introduced with the same results at Risca in 1815, and at Golynos, Nantyglo, and Blaina in 1831.The fact that Mr. Young knew that his own product was produced at his own temperature at Pontypool was clear from his not treating it as an infringement of his patent, although it had been going on since the beginning of the century. There were other works at Brynmaur in 1833 and 1834, and at Clydach, in Breconshire, from 1849 to 1862. At Abersychan there were similar working before 1850. A gentleman named Leigh obtained paraffin from coal at a low red heat in 1840 and 1847. and Messrs. Parkes and Fisher would prove that they did so from 1810 to 1849. Then what the defendants did was this: they tried one or two vertical retorts, but the greater number were horizontal, and they were most carefully prepared, so as never to raise the temperature so high as a low red heat; and that produced a much better result than if a low red host were used, as would be proved most conclusively. It was said that a man of the name of Vary was sent by the defendants to Mr. Young, in order to obtain information as to Mr. Young's mode of carrying on his works; and that Mr. Young gave him some information upon the faith of a representation made by him, that the defendants were going to take out a licence. It was quite true that, at. one time, it was under consideration whether the defendants would not, instead of engaging in litigation, take out a licence, if they could do so on reasonable terms. That was a consideration never favourably entertained by Mr. Fernie, but Mr. Jones recommended it, and the partners of Mr. Fernie wished, if possible, to avoid litigation. But there was not the least pretence for saying that Vary was sent us a ruse to get information of Mr. Young's mode of proceeding. Indeed, it would be proved that the information which Vary got was never communicated, much, less used. That, no doubt, was introduced in order, if possible, to prejudice the defendants. But he submitted that, whether his honour looked to the point of novelty or to the point of infringement, the case of the defendants would be clearly established. He had forgotten to state that, in addition to the working on coal in Wales, there was an extensive and profitable working at Wareham, both from shale and coal, established in 1849, and in operation for manufacturing puposes before the date of Mr. Young's patent.

        Mr. GROVE: Did you say coal was ever worked?

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL: So I am informed.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: That is, for the production of crude oil?

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: Yes, and paraffin. The plaintiff said that in 1861 he received information of the proceedings of the Wareham Oil Company, and threatened them will a bill of injunction; but immediately afterwards the company became bankrupt, and it was not therefore worthwhile to proceed.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: Was it a Bituminous Shale Company?

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: It was originally.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: That company was wound up in this court.

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: But they have successors. The announcement in the original prospectus covers the whole ground of the commercial results aimed at Mr. Young, and a considerable business has been continually done at Wareham.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR: Am I right in supposing that, by your process, the melting-point of zinc, which is about 770 degrees, is the best that you use?

        The ATTOURNEY GENERAL: I think that the results of our evidence will be that

        Mr. George Parry, examined by Mr. CHANCE

        I am operating chemist to the Ebbw Vale Iron Company, and have been engaged for the last 3 years in attending to distillation from bituminous coal. I have been living all my life amongst distillation from coal. I do not agree with Mr. Young that the term " bituminous mineral substances" covers coal. I do not consider there is a novelty in Mr. Young's process, as described by him. The breaking of coals into small pieces it not necessary, is not new, and is very unimportant. The mode of condensation pointed out is the worst that could be pointed out. A common gas-retort for the purpose of distilling oil is very best. It is a common iron pipe closed at one end, with a door at the other, so arranged that the fire goes all round it. Supposing a common gas-retort to be heated to a low red heat, it would be much too high for distillation from bituminous coal. I consider the description states that the whole retort should be heated to a low red heat, and that would be wholly ineffectual for oil distillation. The operations are generally performed by day, and there would be a difference of 50° or 70° according to whether the retort was looked at in day time or at night. There is no benefit to be attained by gradual heating until you have arrived at the point at which volatile products are given off. Supposing it is practicable to take off the oil at 800°, it would be prejudicial to go to 1000'.

        The Vice-Chancellor: What are the Ebbw Vale works?

        Mr. CHANCE : We say they have been making our oil.

        Examination continued : The processes of purification and rectification described by Mr. Young are not new, and have been much better described before. I have had knowledge of coal-oil-works since 1826, at Brynmawr, in South Wales. The oil was reduced by the coal put into an oven. The bottom of the oven was heated, and the oil was condensed in zigzag pipes and received into a receiver; and the oil was used for lubricating the wheels of the trams. The temperature was the same that I have noticed since. I know what gas tar is; and the oil produced was very different from that. The coal distilled was a common house coal, not highly bituminous. In 1833 I recollect oil being produced for sale.

        The VICE-CHANCELLOR; At Brynmawr the oil produced was not for sale but was continuously produced.

        By Mr. CHANCE : I recollect oil being produced at Colebroke Vale 30 years ago. It was similar to Mr. Young's, and different from gas tar. At the Beaufort Iron-Works oil has been produced for 30 years; and at Pontypool. The heat was applied to the bottom of the oven only, and the result would be a low temperature. I have heard that extensive sales have been made at Pontypool for many years. I have seen their books, and seen entries of sales. The oil was not the same, because the material was different; but if you put Boghead coal into any of those ovens, you would get Young's oil.

        At Pontypool they have been making oil from coal for two years from my own personal knowledge, but I have heard of it from my youth. I made some experiments at Pontypool in December, 1862. They were made in the old ovens, which were similar to those I have described, and heated by coke ovens underneath, though originally they were heated by fire. I charged the oven hot with 22 cwt. of the Rock vein coal, and the time of distillation was 48 hours. The temperature at which It distilled was a low red heat, on the evening of the day; and after the vapours had been driven off, it was a little hotter. Rock vein coal is an ordinary bituminous coal; it is poor in bitumen. The specific gravity of the oil produced was 1060. I put that into a 2-gallon can. I charged oven No.2, with Pontypool horn coal, which is much richer in oil. I put in 24 cwt. That proved a failure; and on the 9th of January, 1863, I repeated the experiment. I charged the oven with 18 cwt. of the same coal, and the mode and time of distillation were practically the same. The temperature of the bottom of the oven was a low red heat; the sides were black. The specific gravity of the oil produced was '940 on the first day, but the bulk was '977. When I took that which had a gravity of '940, the process had been going on 24 hours only. Oven No.3, I charged with 19 cwt. of Leeswood curly cannel. The specific gravity of the oil produced was '980. Oven No. 4, I charged with 19 cwt. of Torbane Boghead, and the oil reduced was '940 specific gravity. I did not take the quantity, because the condenser was not calculated to do so with a highly bituminous coal. There is a reservoir at Pontypool which contained the oil produced by 22 ovens; that is from the Rock vein coal.

        By the VICE-CHANCELLOR: The 4 ovens of which I last spoke were part of the .

        What was left I subjected to the heat of melted lead—a bath of melted lead. I think that is about 620'. According to my experiment the oil began to pass over at 600°; a very light oil. It was more like naphtha than oil. had no means or measuring the temperature higher than that.

        That looks like the pipe I made used of for the purpose of testing the temperature at Mr. Fernie's Works [referring to an iron pipe which Mr. Chance produced]. That would be called an inch gas-pipe. On the 29th of February, I went down to the Pontypool Iron-Works, in south Wales. I noted the kilns there which was used for the purpose of distilling coal. They are made of brick. At Pontypool there were ovens made of brick 14 feet long and 6 feet wide.

        By the Court: "Were they ovens or retorts. They call them ovens down there. They were charged with 2 tons of coal, and the charge was worked off in 48 hours.

        By Mr. Cilascc; The coals are heated by a fire placed in the neighbourhood. [The Witness handed two piece of paper to his honour.] The grates extending not quite the length of the ovens themselves, and the products of combustion from the fire escape at the end of the fire place by a side flue. At Pontypool, they are coking-ovens. These coking ovens are for the purpose of heating coals. It is economical to do the two operations at once—to make coke and oil at the same time. There is no heat carried along the sides of the ovens, nor along the upper part. The heat simply runs the length of the bottom oven. The heat is prevented from coming in contact with the bottom of the kiln by brick arches. Only the bottom of the retort is exposed to the host. The temperature must be comparatively a low one for these ovens. The heat would first be applied to the coal lying at the bottom of the retort, and would gradually spread through the mass. I do not think it could rise to a red heat until the bituminous matter had passed over, or it must be a very low red heat. I saw the say they were being worked. I did not see them charged at Pontypool. I examined the oil. The coal that was being distilled seemed to be like ordinary gas coal. The oil was very fluid. It was a little heavier than water. The specific gravity was about 1020. I attribute the fact of the specific gravity being heavier than water to the nature of the coal; it was heavier than water. If Leeswood were distilled in the same way, it would produce an oil lighter than water.

        On the 1st of March of this year, I went down to Blaine, in South Wales. I found some brick retorts there in which they were distilling; brick retorts with brick ovens—very much the same as those at Pontypool. I had a plate made of the brick ovens. [The plate was handed to his honour.] When its structure is continuous they are called retorts, and when they are built up with bricks they are called ovens. The fireplace is marked beneath the oven. The fireplace is not a coking oven at Blaina; it is simply fire used for the distillation of oil. The oven is separated from the fireplace by a considerable layer of brickwork, and also by some brick arches. Then the fire runs the length of the bottom of the retort, or, fine, or chimney. The oil which is distilled from the coal passes along a wooden tube or condenser—in fact, crosses the yard where the operation is conducted—and then is connected with a series of vertical condensers. The condensers appear to me to be very good ones. At the bottom of the condenser, there is a sort of trough which is in communication with them, and into this trough the condensed oil runs, and flows into the receiving-vessel. Gas is always produced by the decomposition of coal, no matter what the. temperature may be. Whenever you have coal decomposed, there is always gas given off. In this case, the gas escapes by a pipe in connexion with the condenser, and passes off as it does in Mr. Fernie's works. This is very much Mr. Fernie's plan of distilling the coal. The principle is the same. It is a brick oven, and they have an opening in the top to introduce the charge. The oven is only heated at the bottom. The temperature I should say was not exceeding a low red heat at an ' time, unless it was at the last hour of distillation, when they wanted to give off any sulphur from the coke. Of course, it is very desirable when coke is used for smelting purposes to expel as much sulphur from it as possible. Before that is done, all the volatile' products would have been driven off. About 15 cwt. of coal is put into the oven. The operation lasts about 24 hours at Blaine. It was from" 10 to 1'2 cwt. at Blaina ; 15 cwt. was at another lace. I made an experiment upon the temperature of the ovens. the process was what was called three-quarters coal, and it seemed the ordinary gas cool. I am informed it is used for making gas; not a very rich gas coal. The result of my operation was that 1 got, at a temperature , less than a low red heat, an oil the specific gravit of which was greater than that of water. I attribute that to the nature of t e coal. This is some oil. which I brought from Blaina [referring to some oil in a bottle produced]. It is very different to gas tar; it is much thinner. This is some paper stained, with that. It contains a little tar, as is evident from this paper, but the gas tar leaves no stain at all. It is made from the Welsh coal.

        The ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Mr. Parry will be called. Witness continued : I also went to the works at Nantyglo. I there found eight brisk ovens in which coal was being distilled. They were constructed similar to those at Pontypool, which I have described. They made coke there also. The general construction was the same in all the works. I was informed by the manager that they kept down the temperature as much as possible because they got a better article. I saw the manager. His name is Mr. Habakkuk. As I had not got time to complete the observations on the temperature, I left instructions with a Mr. Cox to carry out the experiment at the end of the distillation, and observe at-what time the fusion of the zinc took place, and then to introduce antimony and make a similar observation.

        Cross-examined - The oil, however, is extremely fine; quite equal to the Boghead. I produce a specimen of the Blaina shale, taken from the mine.

        The Vice-Chancellor: I think any man would say that was a piece of cannel coal.

        By Mr. CHANCE: There are about 8.5 lbs. in a gallon of crude oil. The poorest shale I have met with yielded 1 gallon to the ton.

        Cross-examined by Mr. Hmnsrancn: The Ebbw Vale Company is an extensive iron company. I have been in their service as chemist for 50 years, advising them as to the manufacture of iron. The oil they made was not for sale, but was used for greasing the tramways on which heavy weights are carried. This has been done since 1808 in Wales. We did not commence to do it till 1861, but I proposed to do so in 1848. I understand that Mr. Robinson, a defendant, is one of the proprietors of the Ebbw Vale works. I went to Leeswood and had a few lessons before I commenced work.

        I was at Leeswood two days about the end of 1860, and I paid a second visit in 1861. I bought some retorts, which hold 6 or 7 cwt. they are placed horizontally, and are of cast iron; they are protected by brickwork, as Reichenbach recommends. The tar-ovens are virtually retorts. Pontypool is about 10 miles from Ebbw Vale. I first saw the retorts made of brick in 1826, when I was a schoolboy. The product was called coal tar, and is so called a still. It is commonly used in Wales for lubricating machinery, and has been so for along time. If you do not see it, you can smell it.

        About 1833 I became acquainted with Mr. Rogers, and saw his ovens at Nantyglo. The ovens held from 15 cwt. to 2 tons of coal. The fire was beneath the ovens, and there were no flues at the sides. I saw some of the coke produced, and was sold. It was a very good sort of coke. It was not at all hard. We use the coke daily. It is too soft for blast-furnaces, but we have used it. The price of the coke depends upon the coal. The coke from the rock vein is better than that from the Boghead. I did not know of Young's specification when I began to work. I must have heard of paraffin oil. I have a distinct recollection of reading a medical work in 1836, and I was told that if I used a bright heat I should get gas, and with a low heat I should get tar or oil. In my opinion, that tells the whole world how to make Young's oil.

        Ure's books I rely upon, and I am corroborated by the extracts. Dr. Ure is quite enough for me. At page 38 he states that which convinces me Young's invention is not new. A worm is the worst possible condenser for an oil containing paraffin; I should use a pipe. If you use a worm, you must keep the temperature up to 55". I say that a common gas-retort would fail commercially at a low red heat, because the vapours would decompose against the sides of the retort. Gas-retorts are partiality protected, but not like ovens. I cannot fix the temperature of low red heat. My impression, years ago, was that it was 900" or 1000 per day. I say that low red heat would be fatal, and would spoil our oil. After the charge is drawn from the retort, you see a glimmer or light. In my experiments at Leeswood the low red heat was clearly visible in the day time. The retort was under a roof. I looked through the sight-tube. This was in the beginning of September last. I distinctly saw the point of the tube red hot. Each retort is heated by its own fire. I saw redness in the flues. There was redness in the side tube, and the redness in the fires was on all sides of the retorts

        The Brynmaur tar works have been abandoned, because the coal has been worked out.

        Friday Evidence of John Cox, Gas engineer Ebbw Vale works.

        I was present with Mr. Parry when some experiments were carried on at the Pontypool Iron-Works. We experimented on 5 retorts. Directly the charge was put in, we put in a tube reaching into the middle of the retort and resting on the bottom, blocked up at the one end through a hole which we made in the door. We worked it for 48 hours. We looked at the tube 21 hours afterwards. At that time the tube which was put into the charge of Leeswood coal and Torbanehill mineral showed a dark, dull red. That was at the bottom of the tube only. I looked through the tube two or three times after that; the temperature did not appear to have risen, but it had increased in altitude, showing that it had got higher up in the coal. I saw the ovens discharged; and from their appearance I was the same opinion as to the temperature at which the distillation had been going on. We tried another experiment with the Pontypool Rock coal; that Worked off in 24 hours, because there is so small a quantity of oil in it. Those experiments were carried on with great care, and the oil was put into cans and delivered to Mr. Parry. A man named Richards, who formerly managed the tar-ovens at Argoed, and all the labourers, were present, besides Mr. Parry, when these experiments were conducted. I have been to Blania two or three times lately, and have made experiments on distillation in brick ovens, similar to those at Pontypool in 1845. I measured the depth of the coke which came out of the retort, and found it to be about 10 inches. …......

        Tuesday 19th April 1864

        Daniel Lewis, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I am a coker at Colebrook Vale, at Blaina. I recollect those works about 35 or 40 years. We have worked in the same way all along. I am not in charge of the works: my brother was. He is in America. We used the soap-vein coal, and the product was tar, at a low heat. It was nothing but gas tar; it was high coloured brown. It was used for the trams underground. (A bottle was handed to witness). It was like that, only not quite so thin. I got from 10 to 12 gallons a ton.

        Cross-examined by Mr. Bovill: I have been a coker for about 15 years. We were paid for our work by the quantity of coke, and the better the coke, the better we got paid. The coke was used for blast furnaces.

        Cross examined by Mr. MACKESON: The retorts were protected at the top. The fire was underneath, and the fires in the bottom. which go up to the top. The were bricked in at the sides. The fire went all round the retort, and tone ed the top.

        William Bowen, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I am a worker in coal tar—nothing but coal tar, and coke of course—at Nantyglo, in Monmouthshire, South Vales. I have known those works rather more than 16 years, but I have not been working there for more than about 14 years. We used brick ovens, at a low best. We used many kinds of coal; yard coal for coking the lower oven, and black pin coal for the tar ovens. We got about 250 gallons of tar a week about 12 months ago.

        John Richards, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I am a master coker from Tredegar. I used brick ovens with the grates underneath. We applied a very slow beat. The product was tar, but sometimes I called it mineral oil. I made about 400 gallons weekly. The works were at Argoed. Mr. Moses was proprietor. We got about 10 gallons of oil from a ton of coal, and we sold it for l.25d. per pound; there were about 10 pounds to the gallon. The gas tar was sold for about 2d. per gallon. In 1834 I knew of tar-works at Pontypool and Blaernarvon. The oil I made was used for lubricating purposes.

        John James, examined by Mr. MACKESON.

        I have been at Blaine about l5 years. When I first went there the products which they got from the iron-works were pig iron and malleable iron. We made the pig iron in blast furnaces heated with coke and ironstone. We made our own coke on open fires; we had ordinary coke-ovens. Then we had two different methods of coking, in one the object being to obtain tar and coke, and in the other the object being to make a sort of oily tar, the object being tar; we then used that coke with the others for smelting iron.

        The old original oven, and the one best adapted for making tar, has a small grate underneath the bottom of the oven only. The other oven is a double oven, the coke underneath and above; and in coking underneath you drive off the volatile products, and leave inferior tar. There is a small fire kept underneath the ovens I first mentioned, burning on a grate, and we charge the oven in the ordinary way. We break up the lumps of coal small, and keep the fire underneath the ovens on the grate, and drive off the volatile products, taking care that it shall not rise to a high heat, or it spoils the oily substances of the tar. There is a zigzag pipe placed in the upper oven, and the tar escapes through this pipe; it is condensed, and runs off into a receiver. As a rule, there is an exit to ever bend of this zigzag pipe. At the far end of the pipe there is an opening where the gas escapes. The heat was applied to the double oven by charging a certain quantity of coal in the lower oven, and then We did not burn the coal away, but coked it; consequently we had a higher heat in those ovens.

        By obtaining the coke and the tar, you sacrifice the quality of the tar. The tar made in those ovens with the grates underneath, where coal tar was the object, was of a dark brown oily colour. The other ovens produced a dark coloured tar—a rather glutinous substance—and we were obliged to use other oils to mix with it. We did not care about selling the tar, because we could not make a sufficient supply for our own use. We used the Soak vein coal, and we also used three-quarter coal. We got about 12 gallons per ton from the Soak vein coal. When we commenced charging the ovens in the ordinary process, they were quite dark. By the time the coke was taken out, the ovens were cooled down. The heat was applied gradually under the ovens, so as to keep the temperature as low as possible; otherwise the oily substances would be destroyed.

        From evidence presented for the defence

        Saturday 23rd April 1864

        W. Williams, Esq, examined by Mr. GROVE.

        About 26 years ago, I was the managing partner of the Pentwyn and Golynos Iron- Works. I am a magistrate for the county of Monmouthshire. The late Mr. Samuel Rogers was employed by me and my partner to erect coke and tar ovens; and during the time they were erecting I was constantly there, every other day at all events. There were twelve ovens altogether. We got the heat as high as we could, because we wanted the coke good. It was always red. Our object was to make coal tar and coke; and the instruction to the workmen were that the coke was to be made as good as we could make it. High heat produces the best cake. The tar was similar to that which has generally been used in Wales for trams. The Pentwyn works, the Vartey works, the Nantyglo works, and the Brynmawr works, all made tar similar to ours. When the coke was not so good as I wished it to be, I instructed them to heat it higher. It was important to get good coke for the blast furnaces. The ovens at Abersychau were on the same principle as those at Golynos, and the product was the same. At the Blama works and the Clydock works the ovens and the product were the same when I knew them from '24 years ago up to 18 years ago. I know Mr. Rogers for about 35 years up to7 years ago. I am not aware that he ever produced anything else than coal tar.

        Cross-examined by Mr. MACKESON: The lower part of the oven was always red. There has only been one kind of tar-oven used in our works during the 26 years I was manager. It is about 6 or 8 feet long and 5 feet wide; it was heated by a grate at first, but it was afterwards altered to an oven. Tar was a second consideration with us—coke was our main object. We were so ignorant in Wales that we always thought a high heat was best for the tar; but since I have heard from scientific men that it is not, I must take it for granted that I was wrong. Gas tar could also be used for lubricating wheels. We had 120 ovens for making coke in which no tar was made at all. The double ovens were made expressly for making tar as well as coke. The receiver was as close to the oven as that gentleman is to me. Mr. Frederick Charles Sage, examined by Mr. HINDMARCH. I am at present an analytical chemist, residing at Wolverhampton. I was formerly at the Abersychan works in Monmouthshire; they were the property of the Ebbw Vale Company. I was there from May, 1853, to ay, 1860. For the first two years I was employed as an analytical chemist, and after that furnace manager also. Their ovens were used for the production of coal tar and coke. We always used a very high heat. The tar sank in water. It was used for grossing trams and for greasing some of the cog— wheels of the rolling-mills, and also can varnish to cover the roofs of build ings. They used the Rock vein and other coal. I never saw any cannel there. I am now acquainted with Young's paraflin oil, and what we produced was altogether a different substance and sank in water.

        Cross-examined by Sir F. KELLY : The operations carried on were for the purpose of making coal tar, which was used as a substitute for grease.

        From The Journal of Gas Lighting, Water Supply and Sanitary Improvement, 22nd March 1864

      • A00003: 27/07/1864

        MINERAL OIL FIELD TO BE LET.

        A MINERAL FIELD, of about 230 Acres, containing Several Seams of Superior Bituminous Shale, with Smithy and other Coals, Fireclay, Ironstone, aud Limestone, in the Estate of Westwood, lying in the parish of Livingstone, about a mile distant from the Edinburgh, Bathgate, and Morningside Railway, and well suited for an extenstive Mineral Oil Work, is to be Let. For further particulars and terms, application may be made to the Proprietor, Robert Steuart, Esq. of Westwood, West Calder; Thomas Sprot, Esq., W.S., Edinburgh or Messrs. Mackenzie & Moore, ME, Glasgow.

        The Glasgow Herald, 27th July 1864

    • 1865
      • A01024: 28/01/1865

        The trade in mineral oil is the hope of North Wales. The discovery of cannel coal near Chester has already given a wonderful impulse to mining enterprise, and the success of the American oil works at Saltney has been so great, that, now that the patent has expired, huge petroleum works are in course of erection in various parts of the Welsh coal mining districts. We have had an eloquent Chancellor of the Exchequer dilating upon the inestimable benefits which may result to Chester and North Wales from the anticipated discovery of cannel coal in regions heretofore unexplored by the miner's pick or boring-rod. We have had a scientific lecturer expressing; the confident expectation that, in a few years more, coal and cannel will be raised from the waste land now scoured every day by the tidal waters of the Dee. We have heard it said that cannel is to coal what gold is to iron, and we find that a substance which a few years ago was put aside as useless, is now looked upon as the most valuable product of Flintshire.

        The manufacture of oil from cannel has proved a great success, but Flintshire has an immense competitor in America. By the discovery of the oil-springs of Pennsylvania, a new trade has been suddenly created, and a new source of enterprise opened to capitalists. In two or three years the mineral-oil trade in America has reached enormous proportions, fairly putting into the shade the humble but increasing manufacture of oil in the neighbourhood of Chester. A sketch of the discovery and history of mineral oil cannot fail to be interesting to us who are so intimately connected with the prosperity of the oil manufacture. Hitherto patent rights have trammelled private enterprise, but now that the manufacture is open to all, we are likely to see a great start made. In America vast undertakings have resulted from the discovery of petroleum, and it is not unreasonable to expect that the discovery of cannel coal will benefit the district surrounding Chester in a corresponding degree. We have before us two remarkable pamphlets, reprints of articles which have attracted great attention on the other side of the Atlantic.

        The first describes the most wonderful natural phenomenon that has been brought to light in modern times, and its present bearing on an important commercial enterprise. The second of endeavours to foreshadow the probable future of that enterprise, and its development into the largest and most important engineering undertaking the age is likely to produce, Both pamphlets are of a nature to demand notice, and we scarcely know which to consider the more interesting of the two— that which relates to what are now accomplished facts, bringing forth rich fruit, or that which suggests further results to which those facts naturally give birth. The surprise which we are first excited by the discovery in America of the existence of vast quantities of oil in the bosom of the earth, and the manner in which this oil might be procured and turned to the most useful purposes, has now subsided. The world had long been acquainted with mineral oil— so long that history does not go back to a period when its existence was unknown.

        Herodotus, the " father of history," mentions that this oil was extensively used in the construction of the walls and towers of Babylon. Traces of it are said to have been found among the ruins of Nineyeh. The oil springs of Is, situated on a tributary of the Euphrates, attracted the attention of Alexander, and are still in existence. On one of the lonian Islands there is an oil spring, which has been flowing for 2,000 years. And the oil springs of Rangoon, in the Burman Empire, have been worked for ages, and now yield annually 400,000 hogsheads. In America, the Indians had long been aware of the existence of mineral oil The Seneca tribe are said to have used it for medicinal purposes, and the remains of the Indian pits or wells are still found in some parts of the country. The white people soon learnt that it was to be found in the soil, but they appear to have considered its existence rather a nuisance than otherwise. We believe that the discovery of the vast quantities in which it might be obtained, and its great utility as an illuminating agent, was entirely due, in the first instance, to what is termed accident— that favourite mode which Heaven adopts to point out to man the resources stored up for him in the world which he inhabits.

        Boring for water, a Pennsylvanian struck upon a huge subterranean reservoir of oil, which welled up and flowed so freely that it speedily covered the ground for a considerable distance. A light thoughtlessly applied to the liquid caused a conflagration, which it required the utmost exertions of the people of the neighbourhood to subdue. But when this was extinguished, the oil still flowed, and it continued to bubble forth at the rate of 1000 gallons per day. This discovery was the precursor of many others of a similar nature- A large extent of country was found to be completely saturated with oil, and the earth, when tapped, yielded it in abundance. Speculators and capitalists were drawn in numbers to this wonderful region, and soon began to reap a rich harvest. Such was the origin of the American oil trade, which has now assumed gigantic proportions.

        The Cheshire Observer, 28th January 1865


      • A01025: 11/02/1865

        The following memorial has been presented to Sir George Grey by Lord Richard Grosvenor, MP. for Flintshire :—

        To; The Right Hon. Sir George Grey, Bart., Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department.

        The humble memorial of the undersigned owners and lessees of Collieries and other Mineral works and establish roents in the district of Leeswood, Tryddyn, Nerquis, and Pontblyddyn, and also of the mineral district of Mold and Hawarden, in the county of Flint,

        Sheweth,— That on the 16th of December last, an accident, whereby the lives of several persons were lost, occurred at the Leeswood Green Main Coal Colliery, near Mold, such accident being occasioned by the sudden eruption of an unexpected body of water. That without taking upon themselves the right in any way to call in question the local circumstances under which such accident arose, your Memorialists feel it incumbent upon themselves, alike in justice to the general interests of the public as of their own in particular, to lay before you, sir, some of the facts connected with the Coroner's inquest, which they cannot but regard as a most serious departure from justice, and of the greatest possible importance to the welfare of the public, if such inquest and its surrounding circumstances be not the subject of a further and rigid scrutiny.

        That the inquest in the first instance was held by and before Mr. Peter Parry, the County Coroner of Flintshire, on Tuesday, the 10th day of January last, and was then adjourned to Tuesday, the 17th January, when the same was concluded, and a verdict of manslaughter recorded against the Lessees of the Colliery in question— namely, William Craig, Henry Taylor, and William Wright Craig. That such verdict has occasioned the utmost surprise and consternation in ttie minds of your memorialists, and of the inhabitants of the district generally; and your memorialists most respectfully but earnestly submit to you, sir, that the interests of justice imperatively demand a rehearing of the case, and a full and searching inquiry into all the circumstances thereof. That your memoriansts earnestly entreat that such steps may be taken by the Home Department as may lead to an immediate and searching inquiry into, and re-hearing of the case to which be ventured herein to call your attention.

        • Thomas B Sharp, for the Coed Talon Colliery Company, Limited.
        • Henry Jones, for the Leeswood Cannel and Gas Coal Company. Limited.
        • Griffiths Brothers, Coppa Colliery near Mold.
        • For the Bromfield Hall Colliery Company, Frederick Bromley.
        • John Hokroft, Nant Colliery.
        • Thos. F. Cottingham, mining engineer, Mold.
        • A. and A. Craig, Leeswood Hill Colliery.
        • William Brentnall, Mold. - P. P the proprietor of the Aston Hall Colliery,
        • S. Edward Peace; Mancott Banks Colliery,
        • David McCuttock. Great Mancott Main Colliery,
        • E. Mainwaring. Little Mountain Coal Company, Buckley,
        • Joseph Turner. Northop Hall and Dublin Coal Company, Limited,
        • Joseph Rowley. Upper Nant Colliery, Edward Thompson. ditto,
        • Thomas Ollis,. Henry Wright and Company, Padeswood Colliery.
        • Flint Marsh Colliery, Limited, William Jones.
        • George Haworth, for the Flintshire Oil and Cannel Co., Limited
        • Roberts and Hopwood, Tryddyn Colliery.
        • Brencoed Colliery Co , Limited, Mold, per Chas. Hales.
        • John Catherall. Nant Coal Company.
        • Hope Mineral Oil Company, per W Dyson.
        • Thomas Green, for Mineral Oil Works, Coppa Colliery, near Mold.
        • George H. Birchbeck, Mineral Oil Works, Coppa Colliery. Mold
        • E. S. Battery, Hope Mineral Oil Works, Mold
        • Page and Co.. Mineral Oil Works, per F Marshall.
        • Pentrobin Colliery, Wm. Tudor.
        • Plas-y Mwys Colliery, W. McCullock, viewer.
        • Leeswood Iron Co., Limited, per Gerard Gandy, secretary.
        • Robt. Williams, Mineral Agent, Mold.
        • The Padeswood Oil Works, per F. F. Winter. Major.
        • Leeswood BrickWorks, per J. B. Butt.
        • C. H. Earp and Co., Oil Merchants, Mold.
        • Thomas Taylor, Hartsheath, one of the jury of the inquest.
        • Geo. Griffith, Ty Newydd, one of the jury of the inquest.
        • Cadwalader Griffiths, Leeswood, one of the jury of the inquest
        • Geo. Ingram, Leeswood, one of the jury of the inquest.
        • Edward Ingram, Leeswood, one of the jury of the inquest.
        • John Williams. Leeswood, one of the jury of the inquest
        • Richard Lewis Williams, Tryddyn, one of the jury.
        • Hugh Jones, one of the jury.
        • A. C. King, Argoed Colliery, Buckley.
        • Robert Piatt, Tryddyn Lodge, near Mold.
        • Joseph Dougan, manager, Coed Talon Colliery.
        • Walter Ness, manager of Coppa Colliery.

        The Cheshire Observer, 11th February 1865

      • A01026: 08/05/1865

        The Shale Districts

        The history of manufactures contains few more striking examples of the successful prosecution of commercial enterprise than those presented to us in the rise and progress of the extensive industries which the discovery of the peculiar properties of the Torbanehill mineral was the means of introducing into Linlithgowshire. Prior to the experiments resulting in the recognition of the fact that a new and valuable commodity could be obtained from coal, which had hitherto only been regarded as fuel, the manufactures of West-Lothian were comparatively unimportant, and its trade with the great marts of commerce inconsiderable. The discovery, however, some fifteen years ago, of the famous Boghead mineral about a mile from Bathgate, gave to West-Lothian a better position in the markets beyond its own borders, changed to some extent the physical aspect of many parts of the country, called into existence fresh fields of industrial labour, and introduced to daily life several most useful and valuable articles of consumption. Since the period of this discovery, quiet meadows have been invaded by the hum of the workshop; towns and villages have sprung up suddenly; a labouring population has inundated the shire; shafts have been lowered, stalks erected, railways constructed, and the face of the country blackened with smoke and the huge piles of refuse cast out from the pits and paraffine works.

        The chief seat and centre of the new activity is Bathgate. This town, which is built upon the slope of a hill, may be said to lie in the very heart of that great bed of coal which stretches in a belt across Scotland, from the eastern to the western coast. Within the period since the great coal discovery, Bathgate has sprung into a place of considerable wealth and importance, and has quite changed its ancient appearance. In years anterior to the erection of the huge chimneys which now darken the air with their smoke, when the people were few, and the paraffine coal had not yet yielded up the secret of the rich qualities it possessed, the principal occupation followed by the population of the town was cotton handloom weaving in connection with the Glasgow factories.

        With the opening of the coal-seams in the neighbourhood came the symptoms of a new and as yet undreamed of prosperity to the needy proprietors of the looms. An entirely different direction was given to the energies of the population, and a new era commenced in the history of the town. Fields of minerals were suddenly opened up in various parts of the district, the produce of which soon gave to the place a European celebrity, and converted the little country-town, that had so long lain peacefully on its sloping hill-side, into a busy and bustling hive. Small hamlets such as Armadale gradually swelled to the dimensions of bulky towns, and places which a few years previous were covered with waving crops were changed into thriving and populous villages. Although a large district was thus suddenly aroused to the prosecution of a remunerative industry, no place benefited more by the tide of unexpected fortune than Bathgate itself. The large quantities of coal and bituminous shale in the immediate neighbourhood of course decided its selection as the principal seat of the oil and paraffine manufactures. Large chemical works were established without delay, and were the means of opening up new sources of employment that proved highly beneficial to the inhabitants. The weavers of the place, too much accustomed to the pinching narrowness of poverty and whose average earnings had generally amounted to not much more than six shillings a-week, regarded the erection of the works with lively satisfaction. Little persuasion was requisite to make the greater number of them embark as workmen in the new enterprise, which promised them many and substantial benefits. The weaving was naturally thrown aside; and as the employment in the chemical-works required no apprenticeship to master its mysteries, the weavers, after a little practice and experience, became dexterous in their new labour, and were in a short time enabled to treble their former scanty earnings. The deep hold which the new industry took upon the district, and the practical success which it ultimately realised, are clearly shown by the fact that the population of the town and district of Bathgate, which was but 3,300 in 1851, is at present 10,000, being fully a threefold increase in less than a single decade.

        The application of the Boghead mineral to the production of articles alike valuable and useful, and this too by a series of processes that were somewhat novel to science, naturally aroused considerable attention among the learned, and carried the reputation of the Bathgate minerals far beyond the limits of the county. The commodities extracted from the coal opened up a rich and quite undeveloped branch of commerce, and in various quarters of the world markets were found ready to receive at remunerative prices the manufactured articles which were turned out of the chemical works. In 1851 the works, which were destined to add threefold to the population and prosperity of Bathgate, were begun.

        The Bathgate paraffine works thus so suddenly brought into existence are situated about a mile south-west of the town on the road leading to the iron-working village of Shotts. From the hill on which Bathgate is clustered, the distant confusion of roof-tops topped with belching chimneys forms a feature in the surrounding landscape of undulating fields which at once arrests the eye. The works, mapped out into various sections and departments, are spread over an area of twenty-five acres, and form what seems a huge, bustling, dusky village. Main streets of stills and retorts lead into branch thoroughfares of boilers and tanks. Clusters of sheds, stores and workshops, connected with different departments of the manufactory, and varying in shape and capacity according to the purposes they are devoted to, are met with in every direction. Branches of railway from the main lines in the vicinity cross and intersect each other in the grounds within the enclosure, converge at those points most favourable for the lading and unlading of goods, and bear along continuously loads of mineral from the pits, and great puncheons of oil from the stores. Immediately on the boundaries of the works, the visitor comes upon huge black mounds of waste formed by collecting the refuse of the coal cast out from the retorts and stills. Incessant accumulation of this waste has swelled the mounds into the dimensions of small hills, from the tops of which a far stretching view of surrounding country can be got with Bathgate in the distance. These waste-hills rise from the level of the ground in a gradual but steep incline, which increases in height as it recedes. Up the middle of this incline and iron tramway is led, along the lines of which small trucks, laden with refuse, are constantly dragged by horses, thus daily swelling the already overgrown heaps. Ceaselessly, day and night, the various stages of the manufacture are carried on, and the huge furnaces kept roaring by their attendants. Nor are the exertions of the gangs of workmen confined to the operations for producing the oil for which the place is so famous. Several subsidiary branches of manufacture are regularly carried on in addition to the staple one of the works. In one shed, a battalion of coopers shape hoops and staves, and bind together casks for the conveyance of the oil to be exported. In another, redolent of the blast of furnaces and the invigorating din of anvils, a large number of blacksmiths devote their skill to the fashioning of sundry articles of iron-work used on the premises. Sulphuric acid and soda, both of which articles are largely employed in the manufacture of paraffine, are made in other parts of the works.

        The process by which the remarkable virtues are extracted from the Boghead mineral, and made in so material a degree to minister to the wants of domestic life, is, as may readily be imagined, complicated and laborious. The strange art of chemistry, which gives to science the power to change and transmute substances, and to reveal their hidden properties, so that they may be made useful to mankind, has seldom perhaps been employed in a more interesting, and in many respects wonderful, manufacture than that which is carried on at Bathgate. Delicately tinted wax candles and oil, almost as transparent as water, would seem to be the last things in the world which one would expect to see derived from coal; and yet this is not only done, but it is achieved in a way that raises our admiration by its perfection and ingenuity.

        There are four different articles manufactured by Mr Young – viz., paraffine oil for burning, paraffine oil for lubricating machinery, a light volatile fluid called naphtha, and solid paraffine or wax. We shall endeavour to give a brief description of the various operations by which these are produced. The Boghead coal used in the manufacture is a hard, lustreless, rusty-black coloured mineral. By means of branch lines of railway, it is brought direct from the mouths of the pits on the Torbanehill estate into the heart of the works. When taken from the waggons, it is in masses of considerable size; and the preliminary step required in the process of manufacture is to break it into small pieces, to allow it to be shovelled conveniently into the retorts, and acted upon equally and uniformly by the heat. Entering a lofty shed, we see the huge crushing-machine in motion. This machine is formed of two large iron-toothed cylinders which revolve in opposite directions, and exert a force capable of breaking almost anything that comes within the influence of their formidable-looking teeth. The blocks of coal are fed into the machine in barrow-loads at one end, and the rollers, with their resistless, inevitable motion, gradually draw them in and crush them like twigs between their tusks. The broken coal falls into a pit below in pieces about the size of road metal, and is then ready for the introduction into the retorts. As it escapes from the machine, it is filled into trucks placed upon a "lift," and hoisted to the floor above. Ascending aloft with the trucks, we land with them upon an iron platform, and find ourselves in a a large iron-roofed shed up among the tops of the retorts, and under the guidance of another set of workmen. These retorts are vertical cast-iron tubes, 12 feet in length and some 14 inches in diameter. The retorts are divided into sets of four each, arranged in the form of a square, and each set is built into one furnace, and has a man specially appointed to superintend it. There are in all about fifty sets of retorts all constructed upon the same principle, and worked after the same method. The retorts rise about 3 feet above the platform to which the broken coal is hoisted, and their tops are shaped like common funnels, to facilitate the feeding of the coal into the tubes. The openings in the tops of these funnels are closed by spherical valves or lids, which are worked by counterpoised levers. The body of the retort or tube passes below the platform on which we are standing right down through the furnaces to the ground below; and the lower end is made air-tight by being led into a small pool of water. The charging of the retorts is a simple operation, and requires but little practice to enable it to be done with safety and dexterity. The truckloads of broken coals raised aloft from the pit of the crushing-machine are received by the man in attendance, and hurled along the platform to the particular set of retorts to be charged. Arrived here, the funnels of the retorts are filled with coal, and the spherical lid closing the orifice is depressed, which causes the coal to fall suddenly into the retort. When the retorts are thus filled, the lid is again raised, by using the counterpoised lever, and the opening is made air-tight by having fine sand sprinkled over the joint. Having seen the retorts thus fully charged with coal from the top, we descend from the elevated platform to the grounds below, to take a glance at the management of the furnaces. The workmen in charge of these are careful and attentive in the discharge of their simple duties; for on the proper discharge of them depends much of the success of the future operations. A low red heat is constantly kept up, just sufficient to promote the distillation of the coal in the retorts, care being observed to keep the temperature precisely at the requisite height. The coal which we saw filled in at the top of the retort falls down the tube as it is acted upon by the heat till it reaches that part of the tube which passes through the furnace. Here the decomposition of the coal is effected, and oil produced in the shape of vapour, which passes of by a pipe. The refuse material left behind falls further down the tube till it passes out at the bottom into the pool of water, and is there raked away. The vapours as they are generated by the furnace pass into a large main iron pipe, to undergo the process of condensing. This pipe runs along the entire length of the sheds where the retorts are situated, and leads into the condensers placed outside in the open air. These condensers are constructed upon the self-same principle as those employed in gas works, and consist of a series of pipe on the syphon principle, standing in vertical rows. The vapours, in passing through these pipes, are acted upon by the coldness of the atmosphere, and became condensed into a liquid. A small portion of the vapours is always incondensable. This is collected into a gas-holder, and is used for lighting the workshops. The condensed liquid portion is run off from the pipes into an immense reservoir or brick stock-tank sunk into the ground, and which, when full, is capable of holding 100,000 gallons. The crude oily liquor thus collected is a thick, black, greasy fluid, not unlike tar, that moves with a sluggish motion when stirred, and gives off inflammable vapours at the usual atmospheric temperature. The collection of this artificial petroleum into the great brick reservoir completes the first part of the process which the Boghead coal goes through in its wonderful transformation into pure oil and paraffine. The crude oil is only drawn off when required, and as there is often an immense quantity in the tank, precautions against fire are necessary; and such a calamity is avoided by the exercise of every possible care and precaution. The vapours given off by the oil when in its crude state are highly inflammable; the primary object to be secured, therefore, is to prevent as much as possible their contact with the atmosphere. The tank is accordingly covered with a sheet-iron roof, and the doors, formed of the same material, are so constructed as to make the tank perfectly air-tight. To obviate still further the risk of a disastrous conflagration, an iron pipe is led through the roof of the tank, by means of which, in the event of the oil becoming ignited, a strong jet of steam could be injected into the reservoir, and the flames thus quenched.

        We pass on now to the second step in the elaborate operations. Having witnessed the part which the retorts have to perform, the stills come next under our observation. The crude oil, when taken from the stock-tank to undergo its first purification, is pumped up into large receptacles at a considerable height from the ground. These receptacles, connected with the stills by means of pipes, are raised aloft for the purpose of filling the stills easily, as the oil then flows down the pipes from the superior height into the stills by the mere force of gravitation. The stills are cylindrical in shape, and are of great strength and dimensions. They are fixed in a horizontal position above the furnaces, and are built in rows forming small streets. When the stills are filled with the crude oil, the doors are closed, and the joints made air-tight with clay. This satisfactorily accomplished, the fire is applied from below, and a regular heat is carefully maintained. This is kept up till the oil is distilled over, and passes once more into vapour. The vapour, as in the preliminary process, is made to pass through iron pipes, which are sunk in small ponds of water for the purpose of attaining the proper degree of coldness to act upon the product of the distillation. In its passage through these pipes, the vapour is re-condensed into liquid, and flows into tanks prepared to receive it. The collection of the oil in this state completes the process of the first purification of the crude liquor. Thus collected, the fluid shows marked signs of the improvement it has undergone by the vigorous measures to which it has been subjected. When filled into the stills, it was dirty black in colour, and of a thick sluggish consistency; now it is dark-green in colour, and greatly thinner. The impurities which have been extracted from it are left behind in the still in the shape of a black, lustrous, compact residue, resembling the coked burned in locomotives. This coke makes excellent fuel, and as such is employed in the works.

        The second process of purification to which the oil is subjected after passing the ordeal of the stills, is of an entirely different nature from the first, and to witness this we must pass to another part of the works. We enter a long narrow building filled with circular cast-iron tanks, ranged like a row of boilers down its entire length. The dark-green oil in the condition in which it left the stills is run into these tanks till they are nearly filled, after which a certain quantity of strong sulphuric acid is added. The acid is employed to separate the impure substances from the oil; but in order to accomplish this, it is essential that both fluids should be thoroughly mixed up and assimilated as nearly as possible. This is a work of some difficulty, because of the difference in the specific gravity of the two liquid, the oil being greatly the lighter, and having the tendency to float on the top. To overcome this disadvantage, each tank is fitted up with a revolving stirrer. This is moved rapidly by machinery, and puts into commotion a series of blades that agitate the liquor violently, and give to it something of the motion of boiling water. For four hours the dissimilar fluids are fiercely and rapidly beaten about, and their peculiar properties brought to act on each other, until, under the biting influence of the acid, the dark-green oil changes to pale green, and gives token of having parted with much of the grosser substances that had rendered it dull and opaque. The prescribed time having expired, the stirrers are stopped, and the liquor is allowed to settle, which causes the organic impurities separated from the oil by the action of the vitriol to collect in the bottom of the tanks. The lees are in the shape of a kind of black coarse acrid tar, which is drawn off from the tanks, and subsequently used as fuel.

        The oil, thus far cleansed of its foulness, is now transferred to clean tanks, mixed with a strong solution of caustic soda, and again undergoes violent agitation with the stirrers. This operation, which constitutes the third stage of purification, has the effect of neutralising any sulphuric acid that may remain in the oil, and separating from it another lot of impurities. The cleansing satisfactorily accomplished, the liquor in the tanks is allowed to settle as in the former case, and the refuse is drawn off. The oil is then pumped back into the stills, distilled a second time, and re-transferred to the tanks, and again subjected to the action of the acid and soda.

        The effective system of distillation and purification which the oil has by this time gone through has had the effect of bringing it to a comparative state of purity. The blackness has been gradually extracted from it, it has been made less opaque, and has now assumed a clear pale yellow colour, contrasting wonderfully with the foul slimy appearance which it presented on being pumped from the great brick reservoir. When in this state, the oil contains the elements of no less than four different products, each of which is possessed of its own commercial value. To separate these, so as to make each available as an article of commerce, is the next care of the oil makers. This result is achieved by again distilling the oil at various temperatures.

        At the lowest temperature the lightest and most volatile parts of the oil pass off in the form of vapour. These vapours, on being cooled by passing through the pipes, yield a liquid which, on being distilled by itself, gives a light, transparent, inflammable fluid known by the name of naphtha. The specific gravity of this naphtha is considerably less than that of the naphtha derived from coal-tar. It constitutes a valuable article of commerce, and is largely employed for various useful and economic purposes. The proprietors of itinerant booths and caravans use it as their chief illuminating agent, as it is easily carried about, and gives forth a strong glaring flame not easily extinguished by the wind. Street huxters who have to display their wares sub Joʈe employ it for the same purpose, as likewise do workmen engaged in tunnelling and works of excavation. The paraffine naphtha is also an admirable substitute for turpentine, and is used to a great extent in india-rubber works for dissolving the substances that are employed in that important branch of modern manufactures.

        The naphtha being thus carefully separated from the oil in the manner explained, the next step is to take off the second product in point of volatility. To effect this, the temperature in the stills is considerably elevated, and the vapours which come over are collected and distilled, and yield paraffine or illuminating oil. This oil is separately put through the process of distillation and purification till it obtains the requisite degree of clearness. When ready for the market, it is a transparent liquid, almost colourless, and nearly free from smell. It is the most valuable and important of all the articles manufactured at Bathgate, and is known far and wide for its beautiful illuminating qualities. In country districts, where no gas is manufactured, the paraffine has almost entirely superseded all other kinds of oil; and is universally admired for the clearness and brilliancy of the light which it affords. When lighted, it gives forth a fine, transparent, lambent white light, peculiarly free from glare, and mild and pleasant to the eye. Markets for the sale of the oil have been opened up in all quarters of the globe; and the demand for it has increased to such an extent as to raise the district around Bathgate to wealth and position, and keep in active operation the largest chemical work in Great Britain. The greatest demand for the refined oil is of course during the winter months; and as the drain upon the works at this period of the year is very great, it is found necessary to keep large quantities in stock. For this purpose, a number of iron tanks, similar in outward appearance to gasometers, each capable of holding 100,000 gallons, have been erected within the works. During the summer months, when the demand for the oil has slackened, these huge reservoirs are filled with oil, which is kept carefully stored against the winter. The superior excellence of the paraffine oil over all other descriptions of burning oils is a point that has been decided by the testimony, founded on experiment, of distinguished men of science. A gallon of this oil weighs about 8½ lb.; in point of illuminating power is nearly equal to one gallon and a quarter of American native petroleum oil; and it can be purchased at a price which gives a light cheaper than English coal-gas. Another, and not the least important virtue which this paraffine oil possesses, is the safety with which it can be used for domestic purposes. So ample are the precautions employed to separate the last particle of naphtha from it that there is no risk of explosion, and it may be used under any circumstances with the greatest safety.

        A yet higher temperature than what was necessary for the production of the burning oil produces a thick heavy lubricating oil. This oil, when it comes over from the still, is in reality a mixture of oil and solid paraffine, and on being allowed to cool, acquired the consistency of grease. When warm, the thick oil, containing crude particles of paraffine floating in it, is collected in open tanks and allowed to cool. The cold causes the paraffine to crystallise, and the step next taken is to separate the oil from the paraffine. This important operation is performed in another department of the works. The heavy oleaginous liquid, when thoroughly cooled, is poured into strong canvas bags, and these, when filled, are placed in hydraulic presses. The pressure is then applied with such force that the oil is squeezed out of the bags, leaving the solid paraffine inside. The oil which the strong pressure filters through the bags, flows into receptacles prepared for it beneath the presses, and the fluid thus obtained is known as the lubricating oil. This oil is admirably adapted for the purposes which have given it its name. Large quantities of it are used in the Lancashire cotton factories for oiling the more delicate machinery, and it is held in much esteem by watch and clock makers, philosophical instrument makers, and other tradesmen, the fineness of whose work requires oil of a superior quality. The lubricating oil has the advantage over whale oil, inasmuch as, with lapse of time, it shows no tendency to rancidity, and is free from the qualities which in all other vegetable and animal oils cause spontaneous combustion.

        We come now to consider the fourth and last product of Boghead coal – solid paraffine. This remarkable substance derives its name from two words, which indicate its want of affinity with almost all the other chemical bodies. As finally purified, paraffine is a fine milk-white substance, much more transparent than wax, and of a beautiful lustrous structure. It lacks both taste and smell, burns with a luminous white flame without giving out smoke, and, when thoroughly consumed, leaves nothing behind in the shape of refuse or waste. Before reaching this degree of purity, however, it has to undergo a regular series of cleansing operations. In its crudest state we saw it first when separated from the lubricating oil by means of hydraulic pressure. On being emptied from the bags, it is seen in its coarsest state, and is then of a dirty yellow colour. This hue is derived from the large quantity of oily matter it contains; and to extract this successfully, the care of the workman is next directed. This result is effected by the repetition of a single process. The paraffine is placed in cast-iron vessels, dissolved in heated naphtha, and kept in solution for a considerable time in order to allow the naphtha to act upon the impurities contained in it. The liquid is then allowed to cool, and the paraffine to crystallise again. The cold liquor is once more strained through canvas bags, and the oil squeezed out as in the former operation. When shaken from the bags a second time, the crystals of paraffine are found to have changed colour from yellow to dirty white, and are consequently so much the purer. The operation of dissolving the paraffine in naphtha, cooling it, and filtering it through the bags, is repeated till it has acquired the requisite whiteness and purity. This finally achieved, the paraffine is transferred to another department of the works, the odour of naphtha with which it is impregnated is driven off by steam, and the paraffine in a liquid state is run into circular cast-iron moulds to cool. When thoroughly crystallised, the paraffine is lifted out of the mould in thick round cakes, and is carried to the packing department, where it is stowed into casks, and sent off to the markets.

      • A01028: 16/05/1865

        A description of Addiewell Oil Works under construction

        In our previous article on the shale district, we showed that Bathgate owes its prosperity to the discovery of the Boghead mineral. Fifteen years' steady and uninterrupted progress followed the establishment of the paraffine works in that district. Once fairly begun, they waxed gradually in size and importance until they became the centre of one of the recognised industrial occupations of the country. Great, however, as has been the success of this new branch of manufactures suddenly opened up in the heart of the Scotch coalfield, there are not wanting signs to prove that the paraffine oil trade is yet in its infancy. At present it may be said to be in a transition state, and on the eve of extensive and still more rapid development. The perfection attained in its manufacture, and the moderate price at which it is sold, have had the effect of introducing it into the markets of distant countries, and the consumption has consequently been yearly increasing.

        To meet the large demand that has arisen, Mr James Young is at present engaged erecting new chemical works at West-Calder. These, when completed, will be the largest in the kingdom, being designed to cover several acres of ground more than the establishment at Bathgate. The works are at present only in the preliminary stage of construction, but they are being pushed forward with vigour, and it is expected that by the autumn they will be well advanced.

        The new manufactory is being built on the estate of Addiewell. This estate, as well as a large portion of the surrounding district, abounds in bituminous shales, which will afford an abundant and constant supply of raw material to the stills. The new buildings are in course of erection in a series of fields about a mile from the village, to which convenient access is gained from the turnpike road. Viewed even in its present condition, with heaps of building material scattered in every direction, the site of the paraffine establishment gives sufficient token of the nature and extent of the works in process of construction. The evidences of labour everywhere surrounding the visitor bear abundant testimony of the progress of some considerable undertaking. The fields, in many parts still bearing traces of recent harvests in the shape of stubble, are cut up in all directions with newly formed rough metal roads. Huge "parks" of shale and coal suggest ample supply for the capacious retorts about to be placed in position. Wooden huts, whence proceed mingled sounds of labour, denote that the artificers are already industriously intent in executing the many preliminary operations necessary to the commencement of an extensive enterprise. Here and there piled upon the ground, gigantic cast-metal cauldrons and stills give a visionary notion of the size and capacity of the apparatus to be employed in the new works. Some half-dozen chimney-stalks mark the mouths of the coal-pits that are in full operation. Gangs of labourers scattered in different directions impart life and animation to the scene as they busily prosecute their various callings. A general view of the ground, coupled with the prevailing activity and the heaps of building materials that cumber the fields, are suggestive of the foundation of a new town.

        A more narrow inspection shows that the ground has been elaborately planned and laid out, and that the new establishment will not only be upon a larger scale than any in the country, but will be constructed on principles admitting of the introduction of the latest improvements in practical chemistry. The leading ideas are, to economise labour by the extensive employment of machinery, and to facilitate production by the convenient arrangement of the different departments. The stills and retorts will be of gigantic dimensions compared with those at Bathgate, and will be fitted up on an improved and more convenient principle. The furnaces are at present in course of construction, and considerable progress has been made towards the erection of the principal buildings. The works are to be divided into two almost equal parts by a broad open way running like a street down the centre. Down this street a branch line of railway will be led, upon which a small steam locomotive will be placed. This line, laid down so as to form direct communication with the coal-pits, will afford the means of conveying the shale to the retorts with little trouble, and can be used generally for the conveyance of goods to and fro within the works. Connected, again, with this railway is another double line, now in process of formation, intended to strike across the country and join the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway. This will prove of great importance in the development of the new establishment. Whilst providing an easy and ready outlet for the goods produced, it will also bring the works at Bathgate and West-Calder into communication. One great advantage of this will be to enable Mr Young to transport shale direct from his own coal-pits at the latter to the former place when occasion requires.

        About 200 men are employed at West-Calder pushing forward the works. A larger number would be engaged to hasten their completion were it not for the limited house accommodation in the neighborhood. The village itself is very small, and every available lodging has been taken possession of. The opening of four or five coal-pits, which was the first step taken by Mr Young in the prosecution of his new enterprise, brought an unexpected influx of pitmen into the district. Subsequent arrivals of masons, brick-makers, joiners, blacksmiths, and labourers taxed to the utmost the accommodation which the cottages of the hamlet provided, and it was consequently found to be somewhat difficult to induce men to come to a locality where they could not get themselves properly housed. To remove this obstacle Mr Young addressed himself at the outset. A long row of neat brick cottages was erected without delay upon his own estate, and these have been given over to the skilled mechanics employed at the works. In addition to these, two rows of commodious wooden huts, capable of accommodating about 130 men, have just been completed and taken possession of by the navvies. A good many cottages and houses have also been recently built at the village to meet the want that existed, and which promises to be soon renewed.

        Much time and expense will be saved in the erection of the new chemical works by the means that have been taken to procure a sufficient and constant supply of bricks. One of the fields in the immediate vicinity yields clay in large quantities; and on this being discovered, Mr Young immediately built a brick-work, which is at present in active operation. Steam machinery is used in one of the departments of this trade, and an apparatus is about to be fitted up to supersede the system of making bricks by hand. This machine is estimated to turn out thirty-five thousand bricks a-day, and will give facilities for keeping up a constant supply. The whole of the buildings will thus be constructed from bricks manufactured on the spot – an arrangement which, besides being cheaper, will save endless carriage and carting. The brick-work will form a permanent part of the new establishment. In a huge chemical work like the one in process of formation, bricks are constantly in demand. The intense heat applied to the stills soon consumes the brickwork of the furnaces, and necessitates their constant repair. The clay, accordingly, which is so abundant on the estate, will be put to a very useful purpose.

        The first care of Mr Young, after having satisfied himself of the presence of shale in the district, was to sink shafts and get the coal-pits in operation. This was accomplished with as little delay as possible, and there are now six pits being worked night and day. These pits are quite close to where the new buildings will stand, and are within a short distance of each other. The deepest of these pits is sixty fathoms, and it contains two seams that are being simultaneously wrought. The topmost consists of shale and the lower one of ordinary fuel. The pits have been in full operation for some time, and a very large quantity of shale and coal has been collected to be ready against the completion of the retorts. As the mineral is brought up from the subterranean galleries, it is piled in vast fields at the mouths of the shafts, small lines of rails being laid down, along which the coal is hurled in trucks, and heaped into squares. There is a considerable difference between the appearance the shale of West-Calder and the Boghead mineral. The latter is taken from the pits in huge pieces resembling coal, is compact in texture, and of a dull lustreless colour. The former is procured in thin unequal slabs; its pervading hue being also a dull black, varied by frequent patches of ironstone colour, which give it somewhat the appearance of rusty metal. It is scaly in its formation, and when broken frequently presents a black shining appearance like congealed tar. By the time the works are ready and immense quantity of shale and coal will be collected to commence operations with; and the pits being within a stone's-throw of the stills, the supply can be easily and continuously kept up.

        The importance of such a gigantic establishment as the one being erected, to the district of West-Calder will undoubtedly prove very considerable. It will give an impetus to the prosperity of the place such as was altogether undreamed of some years ago. The character of the locality must in a year or two be greatly altered. The village, at present but little visited, and of no account whatever in the manufactures of the country, promises at no distant date to be the seat of an extensive trade, and the centre of a bustling population. That such will be the case no one can doubt who has noted the sudden growth of the parish of Bathgate, and the wealth which it has developed. West-Calder will start with the advantage of a manufactory several times larger than was the Bathgate one at its commencement. It will have the further advantage of turning out commodities for markets that are now fully established, and the demand for which articles is increasing. To carry on the huge works now being hurried forward seven or eight hundred will be requisite; and these, with the floating population which gathers to the scene of all new enterprises, will throw a life and activity into the district that will make it a place of some consequence. Should the event turn out according to promise, the capital of the oil district must in course of time be transferred from Bathgate to West-Calder.

        Regarding the duration of the supply of the coal and shale, no fears need at present be entertained. The shale district proper may be said to extend some twenty miles in length, and five in breadth. So far as investigations have yet been made, the mineral seems to be plentiful, and can be procured in sufficient quantities to keep the largest works going. When the present seams at Torbanehill are exhausted, there are still thirty acres of the valuable mineral that have been kept in reserve. Should the Bathgate field, however, become quite worked out, the shales in the West-Calder district are plentiful enough to remove all fear of the supply suddenly falling short.

        According to present appearances, there is a prosperous future for the oil trade of those regions. Great as is the production even now, the increase promises to be very large. As long as the shales hold out the supply of oil is unlimited; and as we are yearly discovering new purposes to which to apply it, and it is becoming cheaper owing to the larger quantities manufactured lessening the cost of production, it must come more and more into use as an article of consumption. Should the shale fields yield the necessary quantity of the raw material, we may have here many years not a few changes effected by the paraffine manufactures. Oil will be produced at such a moderate rate and so superior to the quality formerly in use that the whale fisheries may suffer. Whether this result follow or not, it is quite apparent that new uses must soon be discovered for an article that can be produced in such large quantities.

        Mr Young has set himself to the consideration of this problem, and intends to increase as far as possible the number of products derived from shale, and thus greatly the sphere of his operations. He proposes to distil coal at a low temperature, and apply the manufactured articles to new purposes. His design is to collect the gaseous portion, and sell it at a cheap rate as a heating and lighting agent. If he carry out his project, a new gas will be introduced and sold for illuminating and other purposes, at a considerably lower rate than at present. The coke, which is the residue of the oil after it passes through the stills, forms excellent smokeless fuel, and a trade in this may be largely developed. The paraffine oil, he thinks, may also come to be advantageously used for the fuel of steamships. Being liquid, it could be stored in out-of-the-way places, thereby economising space. Its use would also save staff of firemen and their accommodation on board ship, and the increased space thus gained could be made available for other purposes. He estimates that a steamship in crossing the Atlantic consumes 1600 tons of coal in ten days' voyage. The Admiralty allowance for a ton of coal is 48 cubic feet. A ton of paraffine oil would go as far as a ton and a-half of coal. Nor does this idea of substituting oil for coal as the fuel of ships seem chimerical or impracticable. The Duke of Somerset recently expressed a confident hope that the time was approaching when the ships of the navy would carry petroleum ass fuel in place of coal. This result realised, the development of the oil trade in Scotland would receive an impetus that would make it rank among the most important of our manufactures. As it is, its production will ever take rank as one of the most wonderful of modern inventions, and the good qualities of the oil will always be valued by all who do not love darkness rather than light.

      • A01027: 16/05/1865

        The Shale District of West Calder

        In our previous article on the shale district, we showed that Bathgate owes its prosperity to the discovery of the Boghead mineral. Fifteen years' steady and uninterrupted progress followed the establishment of the paraffine works in that district. Once fairly begun, they waxed gradually in size and importance until they became the centre of one of the recognised industrial occupations of the country. Great, however, as has been the success of this new branch of manufactures suddenly opened up in the heart of the Scotch coalfield, there are not wanting signs to prove that the paraffine oil trade is yet in its infancy. At present it may be said to be in a transition state, and on the eve of extensive and still more rapid development. The perfection attained in its manufacture, and the moderate price at which it is sold, have had the effect of introducing it into the markets of distant countries, and the consumption has consequently been yearly increasing.

        To meet the large demand that has arisen, Mr James Young is at present engaged erecting new chemical works at West-Calder. These, when completed, will be the largest in the kingdom, being designed to cover several acres of ground more than the establishment at Bathgate. The works are at present only in the preliminary stage of construction, but they are being pushed forward with vigour, and it is expected that by the autumn they will be well advanced.

        The new manufactory is being built on the estate of Addiewell. This estate, as well as a large portion of the surrounding district, abounds in bituminous shales, which will afford an abundant and constant supply of raw material to the stills. The new buildings are in course of erection in a series of fields about a mile from the village, to which convenient access is gained from the turnpike road. Viewed even in its present condition, with heaps of building material scattered in every direction, the site of the paraffine establishment gives sufficient token of the nature and extent of the works in process of construction. The evidences of labour everywhere surrounding the visitor bear abundant testimony of the progress of some considerable undertaking. The fields, in many parts still bearing traces of recent harvests in the shape of stubble, are cut up in all directions with newly formed rough metal roads. Huge "parks" of shale and coal suggest ample supply for the capacious retorts about to be placed in position. Wooden huts, whence proceed mingled sounds of labour, denote that the artificers are already industriously intent in executing the many preliminary operations necessary to the commencement of an extensive enterprise. Here and there piled upon the ground, gigantic cast-metal cauldrons and stills give a visionary notion of the size and capacity of the apparatus to be employed in the new works. Some half-dozen chimney-stalks mark the mouths of the coal-pits that are in full operation. Gangs of labourers scattered in different directions impart life and animation to the scene as they busily prosecute their various callings. A general view of the ground, coupled with the prevailing activity and the heaps of building materials that cumber the fields, are suggestive of the foundation of a new town.

        A more narrow inspection shows that the ground has been elaborately planned and laid out, and that the new establishment will not only be upon a larger scale than any in the country, but will be constructed on principles admitting of the introduction of the latest improvements in practical chemistry. The leading ideas are, to economise labour by the extensive employment of machinery, and to facilitate production by the convenient arrangement of the different departments. The stills and retorts will be of gigantic dimensions compared with those at Bathgate, and will be fitted up on an improved and more convenient principle. The furnaces are at present in course of construction, and considerable progress has been made towards the erection of the principal buildings. The works are to be divided into two almost equal parts by a broad open way running like a street down the centre. Down this street a branch line of railway will be led, upon which a small steam locomotive will be placed. This line, laid down so as to form direct communication with the coal-pits, will afford the means of conveying the shale to the retorts with little trouble, and can be used generally for the conveyance of goods to and from within the works. Connected, again, with this railway is another double line, now in process of formation, intended to strike across the country and join the Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway. This will prove of great importance in the development of the new establishment. Whilst providing an easy and ready outlet for the goods produced, it will also bring the works at Bathgate and West-Calder into communication. One great advantage of this will be to enable Mr Young to transport shale direct from his own coal-pits at the latter to the former place when occasion requires.

        About 200 men are employed at West-Calder pushing forward the works. A larger number would be engaged to hasten their completion were it not for the limited house accommodation in the neighbourhood. The village itself is very small, and every available lodging has been taken possession of. The opening of four or five coal-pits, which was the first step taken by Mr Young in the prosecution of his new enterprise, brought an unexpected influx of pitmen into the district. Subsequent arrivals of masons, brick-makers, joiners, blacksmiths, and labourers taxed to the utmost the accommodation which the cottages of the hamlet provided, and it was consequently found to be somewhat difficult to induce men to come to a locality where they could not get themselves properly housed. To remove this obstacle Mr Young addressed himself at the outset. A long row of neat brick cottages was erected without delay upon his own estate, and these have been given over to the skilled mechanics employed at the works. In addition to these, two rows of commodious wooden huts, capable of accommodating about 130 men, have just been completed and taken possession of by the navvies. A good many cottages and houses have also been recently built at the village to meet the want that existed, and which promises to be soon renewed.

        Much time and expense will be saved in the erection of the new chemical works by the means that have been taken to procure a sufficient and constant supply of bricks. One of the fields in the immediate vicinity yields clay in large quantities; and on this being discovered, Mr Young immediately built a brick-work, which is at present in active operation. Steam machinery is used in one of the departments of this trade, and an apparatus is about to be fitted up to supersede the system of making bricks by hand. This machine is estimated to turn out thirty-five thousand bricks a-day, and will give facilities for keeping up a constant supply. The whole of the buildings will thus be constructed from bricks manufactured on the spot – an arrangement which, besides being cheaper, will save endless carriage and carting. The brick-work will form a permanent part of the new establishment. In a huge chemical work like the one in process of formation, bricks are constantly in demand. The intense heat applied to the stills soon consumes the brickwork of the furnaces, and necessitates their constant repair. The clay, accordingly, which is so abundant on the estate, will be put to a very useful purpose.

        The first care of Mr Young, after having satisfied himself of the presence of shale in the district, was to sink shafts and get the coal-pits in operation. This was accomplished with as little delay as possible, and there are now six pits being worked night and day. These pits are quite close to where the new buildings will stand, and are within a short distance of each other. The deepest of these pits is sixty fathoms, and it contains two seams that are being simultaneously wrought. The topmost consists of shale and the lower one of ordinary fuel. The pits have been in full operation for some time, and a very large quantity of shale and coal has been collected to be ready against the completion of the retorts. As the mineral is brought up from the subterranean galleries, it is piled in vast fields at the mouths of the shafts, small lines of rails being laid down, along which the coal is hurled in trucks, and heaped into squares. There is a considerable difference between the appearance the shale of West-Calder and the Boghead mineral. The latter is taken from the pits in huge pieces resembling coal, is compact in texture, and of a dull lustreless colour. The former is procured in thin unequal slabs; its pervading hue being also a dull black, varied by frequent patches of ironstone colour, which give it somewhat the appearance of rusty metal. It is scaly in its formation, and when broken frequently presents a black shining appearance like congealed tar. By the time the works are ready and immense quantity of shale and coal will be collected to commence operations with; and the pits being within a stone's-throw of the stills, the supply can be easily and continuously kept up.

        The importance of such a gigantic establishment as the one being erected, to the district of West-Calder will undoubtedly prove very considerable. It will give an impetus to the prosperity of the place such as was altogether undreamed of some years ago. The character of the locality must in a year or two be greatly altered. The village, at present but little visited, and of no account whatever in the manufactures of the country, promises at no distant date to be the seat of an extensive trade, and the centre of a bustling population. That such will be the case no one can doubt who has noted the sudden growth of the parish of Bathgate, and the wealth which it has developed. West-Calder will start with the advantage of a manufactory several times larger than was the Bathgate one at its commencement. It will have the further advantage of turning out commodities for markets that are now fully established, and the demand for which articles is increasing. To carry on the huge works now being hurried forward seven or eight hundred will be requisite; and these, with the floating population which gathers to the scene of all new enterprises, will throw a life and activity into the district that will make it a place of some consequence. Should the event turn out according to promise, the capital of the oil district must in course of time be transferred from Bathgate to West-Calder.

        Regarding the duration of the supply of the coal and shale, no fears need at present be entertained. The shale district proper may be said to extend some twenty miles in length, and five in breadth. So far as investigations have yet been made, the mineral seems to be plentiful, and can be procured in sufficient quantities to keep the largest works going. When the present seams at Torbanehill are exhausted, there are still thirty acres of the valuable mineral that have been kept in reserve. Should the Bathgate field, however, become quite worked out, the shales in the West-Calder district are plentiful enough to remove all fear of the supply suddenly falling short.

        According to present appearances, there is a prosperous future for the oil trade of those regions. Great as is the production even now, the increase promises to be very large. As long as the shales hold out the supply of oil is unlimited; and as we are yearly discovering new purposes to which to apply it, and it is becoming cheaper owing to the larger quantities manufactured lessening the cost of production, it must come more and more into use as an article of consumption. Should the shale fields yield the necessary quantity of the raw material, we may have here many years not a few changes effected by the paraffine manufactures. Oil will be produced at such a moderate rate and so superior to the quality formerly in use that the whale fisheries may suffer. Whether this result follow or not, it is quite apparent that new uses must soon be discovered for an article that can be produced in such large quantities.

        Mr Young has set himself to the consideration of this problem, and intends to increase as far as possible the number of products derived from shale, and thus greatly the sphere of his operations. He proposes to distil coal at a low temperature, and apply the manufactured articles to new purposes. His design is to collect the gaseous portion, and sell it at a cheap rate as a heating and lighting agent. If he carry out his project, a new gas will be introduced and sold for illuminating and other purposes, at a considerably lower rate than at present. The coke, which is the residue of the oil after it passes through the stills, forms excellent smokeless fuel, and a trade in this may be largely developed. The paraffine oil, he thinks, may also come to be advantageously used for the fuel of steamships. Being liquid, it could be stored in out-of-the-way places, thereby economising space. Its use would also save staff of firemen and their accommodation on board ship, and the increased space thus gained could be made available for other purposes. He estimates that a steamship in crossing the Atlantic consumes 1600 tons of coal in ten days' voyage. The Admiralty allowance for a ton of coal is 48 cubic feet. A ton of paraffine oil would go as far as a ton and a-half of coal. Nor does this idea of substituting oil for coal as the fuel of ships seem chimerical or impracticable. The Duke of Somerset recently expressed a confident hope that the time was approaching when the ships of the navy would carry petroleum ass fuel in place of coal. This result realised, the development of the oil trade in Scotland would receive an impetus that would make it rank among the most important of our manufactures. As it is, its production will ever take rank as one of the most wonderful of modern inventions, and the good qualities of the oil will always be valued by all who do not love darkness rather than light.

        The Scotsman, 16th May 1865


      • A01029: 17/11/1865

        "Looker-on," in " Rylands' Iron Trade Circular,"' November 11, 1865, states that " having some personal experience of petroleum, its discovery, its raising, and its refining," he gladly accepted instructions to proceed to Flintshire on Monday last, for the purpose of examining certain statements respecting the production of oil in Flintshire.

        Passing Cefn, he says, without stopping, although strongly tempted to halt - not by the beauties of the vale of Llangollen, but by a remarkable pit of Cannel coal at Plas Kynaston, just the railway side - l pushed for Padeswood, a small station about two miles from Mold, in Flintshire, and landed at once in the very heart of the mineral oil region. T'was as if I had fallen asleep in the train at Chester, and woke up amongst the "Oil Wells" at Enniskillen (Canada West) or Pennsylvania.

        There was the identical mud, about the same quantity of smell (slightly diminished in strength), the same run of land, the same rough people, the same sort of fires and furnaces, cauldrons, retorts, kettles, stew-pans for oil and distilleries – the same heaps of lime, the same carboys of sulphuric acid, everything the same but the primeavel forest, for the trees are fast disappearing. Here were the "oil wells", will all their wealth of production, minus their uncertainty in production, and the never-failing crop of open, cheating and miscellaneous roguary that spings up from the fattening soil around them. The stuff they make here is actually petroleum. It has the green colour, the smells and gives out to the same treatment, the same products, saving that it less rich in turpentine, or that the turpentine it contains has less volatile spirit. The taste is the same, and - well I know it - the effect of tasting it exactly similar; again reserving the medicinal effect of extr. terebinth, which my medical readers will comprehend.

        Curiously enough, at the door of the very first refinery I visited there stood a young girl who had been sent by her mother to beg a small phial of coal-oil for her chest. Now, I remember seeing the Mayor of London (Canada West) sell a bottle of it for a shilling to a girl at the door of his refinery for similar purpose; and I have over and over again known it to be taken for chest and lung diseases, and heard it almost sworn to as having curative effects equal to cod-liver oil. The Indians, indeed, use it for their spavined horses, and those rheumatisms to which the uncomfortable dwelling savage (a weedy lot are those Red Indians, in spite of all that novelists and travellers tell you) is always liable. It was known a century ago in our Pharmacopaeia as " Seneca Oil," and if you sleep in a shirt saturated with it, as they do in the Toronto Hospital, your aches and pains will surely disappear. There it was in Flintshire, running out of the receiver from the retort, unmistakeably crude petroleum; and this, in my opinion, settles the question for geologist as to its character, and the method of its original production in nature.

        The Coppa Company's works, which lie close to the Leeswood Colliery, from whence, believe, they draw a portion of their great supply, are neighbouring to the station, and cover seven acres of ground. They are like gas works on a small scale, only the tanks are underground. They have 198 retorts, each of 15 cwt. capacity, and 16 stills, so that they possess a capacity of producing 1,500 gallons, equal to 120 tons of oil weekly. The shares of this company are chiefly held, I think, in Birmingham, and they have been doing a comfortable 10 per cent, business for the last three years, through all the difficulties attendant on the first experiments.

        The Western Daily Press, 17th November 1865


      • A01030: 30/11/1865

        Alarming Fire near Port Dundas

        Man Burned to death

        Yesterday afternoon, about half-past one o'clock, an alarming fire broke out in the premises of the British Asphalte Company, asphalte manufacturers, and distillers of tar and mineral oil, &c., situate at 88 Stirling Street, Port-Dundas. The fire was occasioned by the bursting of a still containing shale oil, situated to the North of the works; and immediately caught after the oil, which flowed into the furnace, lofted and blazed with great fury.

        To the south of the works is situated the extensive soap manufactory of Messrs. James Parker & Co., and when the Northern and Central Fire Brigades arrived the soap works were in imminent danger. By the exertions of the firemen, however, the flames were prevented from spreading to the factory; and the large stock of oils in the yard, forming part of the premises of the Asphalte Company, was similarly preserved. Although a plentiful supply of water was at hand it was of no use, previous experiences having proved that water thrown upon burning oil only causes the flames to spread; and on this occasion, had the hose been brought to play upon the fire, the flames would, in all probability, have extended to the soap works, and caused a greater destruction of property.

        When the bursting took place, a worker named John M'Gown, 60 years of age, residing in Rumford Street, Bridgeton, was knocked down in front of one of the furnaces, and rendered insensible by the gases which escaped from the still. Although the workmen knew where the poor man was lying – against a quantity of coal – it was impossible to render any assistance, as any attempt to remove him might have been attended with fatal consequences. As soon as the brigades arrived, a branchman was stationed on the wall on the west side of Port-Dundas Road, and when the floating oil ignited the coals where M'Gown lay the branch was brought to play upon them, and by this means the body of the unfortunate man was saved from being quite consumed.

        As it was, however, his head and part of one of his legs were fearfully charred. The body was recovered about five o'clock, by which time the fire was considerably spent. Deceased has left a widow and three of a family. As we have already stated, the fire raged with terrific fury, shortly after its outbreak, and continued till nearly four o'clock. About half-past three the flames ascended to a height of fully fifty feet, and at this time fears were entertained for the safety of the chimney stalk, situated in the centre of the works. Dense volumes of black smoke ascended from the burning oil, and at times no parts of the works or stalk were visible. There are five or six stills in the premises, but those situated to the west of the one which gave way were saved; the oil, however, which the stills and tanks at the east side of the factory contained, was all consumed. We have not learned the cause of the accident; but it is supposed that too much gas has generated within the still, and the bursting was the result.

        The value of oil destroyed has not as yet been ascertained, but we are informed that the damage will amount to upwards of £600. The stock destroyed, it is said, is not insured. At five o'clock last night all danger was at an end, although the oil contained in the still which burst continued to burn. Firemen were left in charge of the premises. The dense volumes of smoke, which were blown over the city in a south-westerly direction, attracted such large crowds to the scene of the conflagration that Superintendent M'Farlane, of the Northern District, deemed it necessary to call out a number of night constables to assist the day officers in keeping the spectators out of danger

        The Glasgow Daily Herald, 30th November 1865

      • A01015: 06/12/1865

        "Struck Ile"; or the Scotch Petrolia No.II

        Two weeks ago we pointed out, in a very cursory manner, the extent, the importance, and prospects of the Paraffin Oil Trade in Scotland; and we now resume the subject, in order to enter into more ample details regarding the manufacture of this comparatively new article of commerce. The oil producing shale, as we have stated, is found in some form or other in all the coal and ironstone fields in Scotland; but so far as explorations have yet been made, it seems to be most productive in the district lying between Coatbridge and the Firth of Forth.

        This is our Pennsylvania, and the little village of Broxburn, on the Bathgate and Edinburgh railway, is destined in a short time to become our Oil city and capital of Paraffin. Let the reader, then, accompany us while we make a short excursion into this land, rich with treasures which a few years ago nobody conceived or dreamed of. We start from Glasgow and rush out to Coatbridge in the early morning, where we catch the train for Bathgate on the Monklands line, and during a slow ride of more than an hour's duration watch the gleams of burning ironstone and the numerous coalpits seen dimly on every side in the dusk of the morning. At Bathgate we pass onto the Edinburgh line, and have scarcely glanced at the morning papers, when the railway porter shouts "Bro-ax-burn," and we get out at a miserable looking station, though the number of greasy barrels about it indicate that fortune has looked in on the dilapidated box.

        On inquiring at the ticket-lifter the nearest way to the Oil Works, he points out to us an old country road at the back of the station loading to the village; and into this we go plunge half to the knees in mud. The road is quite innocent of Macadam, and has in consequence been fearfully cut up by the recent traffic which it has had to bear since the shale fields were opened. A quarter of an hour's walk through a stagnant river of "glaur," on which are occasionally to be seen in the less muddy pools streaks of oil exhibiting the exquisite colours of the Aniline dyes, brings us to Broxburn, which lies on each side of the great turnpike between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

        The village before the shale era must have been a quiet, sleepy place – too far removed from any large town to feel its influence, and totally unacquainted with those brisk energies which are now operating in great force round about it. But Broxburn has awakened from its dull repose, and finds itself famous. The little place is beginning to stretch its limbs in every direction, the new roads are breaking into it from all points of the compass. It has already got some brand new buildings, and we believe the Roman Catholics, with that wise foresight for the benefit of their brethren which everywhere characterises them, are looking out for a site on which to build a handsome chapel.

        But the village with all its hurry is unable to accommodate itself to the increasing trade of the locality. Workmen are pouring into it in increasing numbers every week, and there is therefore little wonder that Broxburn should be sadly put about to lodge and house the flood of new incomers. We are told that in some very small houses – we hardly like to state how small – forty persons are hurdled together, and eat, sleep, and enjoy themselves in some unaccountable manner. An old farm steading at the west end of the village has been hurriedly extemporised into a miners square, and byres, barns, and other outhouses are now filled with an overflowing population. On looking round through the dull rainy atmosphere we find the landscape pleasant though somewhat flat, and the level fields apparently in an excellent state of cultivation.

        The aesthetic character of the village and surrounding country is, however, sadly broken in upon by the unsightly heaps of rubbish that dot it here and there around the pits, and by the flaring brick buildings where the paraffine oil is distilled. Here and there you observe a slander from tube projecting like a diminutive steamboat funnel above these red buildings, and at the top there streams upon the breeze a long rugged pennant of flames which has a singular appearance during the day and must have rather a striking effect at night. This beautiful burning flag, which surmounts the retorts, is the simple method in which the gas from the shale is disposed or – a process which we shall explain in a little.

        We search out the house of Mr Bell, the lessee of the shale lying around about Broxburn to the extent of some five thousand square acres, and are fortunate in finding him at home. He is willing to become our clearone for the day, and so, in company with him and his intelligent manager, we start on the work of exploration.

        On our way to the shale pits we pass a row of half–brick and half-wooden houses which are in course of erection for Mr Bell's workmen. They are built upon an entirely novel plan and merit a passing observation. The front is run up with overlapping wooden deals fixed to wooden standards, but so arranged that when more time is obtained the boards can be taken down and brick substituted. The row consists of a house of two apartments and a large room, or both alternately. In the home the married man with his family will reside – the wife taking upon herself the task of supplying the culinary wants of the inhabitants of the contiguous bothy, which will afford sleeping accommodation for sixteen grown up persons. The row is constructed in this fashion to meet the great demands which exist for lodgings, but it has been so planned by the pushing proprietor that, when houses have become more plentiful the bothy can easily be transformed into a comfortable dwelling of two apartments.

        Passing on through new made roads, or rather ruts cut out of green fields by cart-wheels, we arrive at one of these brick buildings to which we have already referred. Here there are above a hundred retorts where the crude oil is extracted from the shale just as its taken from the mine. Mr Bell has erected a portion of his retorts on the top of a little eminence, where the shale crops out nearly to the surface. He has not, consequently, been put to the expense of sinking a pit in this locality, but having turned off the soil to the depth of a few feet he quarries the bituminous substance with the greatest ease. A considerable number of workmen are engaged with large quarrier's picks and crowbars in turning over the shale, which comes away in large thin flakes like huge slates. Men are busy filling the loose mineral into tubs capable of containing about half a ton, and these are drawn up a steep incline from the bottom of the "open cast" by a stationary engine at the top, after which there contents are either emptied into the retorts or sent off to other works.

        At the low side of the shale quarry, where the metals "dip" too much to allow of their being worked in this easy fashion. Mr. Bell has driven a mine; and having supplied ourselves with large oil lamps , we venture into the dark subterraneous passage. In a few minutes we catch the last glimmer of daylight from the mouth of the mine, and can only faintly discover its jagged sides by the aid of our blazing lamps, which, to our unaccustomed eyes, serve only to make "darkness visible." At the end of the level – on which the wooden hutches are pulled to the mouth by horses – we come to the workings, where several colliers, or shalers, as they should probably be designated, are busy undermining the seam with there picks preparatory to its being brought down by gun powder. The workings are fully three feet high, although the depth of the shale seam is between five and six feet, the remainder, which is of inferior quality, being left for a roof.

        The shale is worked on what is technically called the "long wall" system – that is, it is all extracted – no pillars being left for the support of the roof. Of course a great deal of wood has to be put up in order to prop the super incumbent strats, and the miners, as a still greater aid, build up the old workings with the refuse as they proceed with their excavations. This building is so closely and neatly executed that when the weight from above presses upon it, it looks almost like a solid mase which had never been touched by the pick. Though easily turned up in the "open cast" workings, the shale is not very readily extracted in the pits and the mines. The "cracks" run all in horizontal and seldom in perpendicular lines and as it is of a splintery character neither the picks or the wedge can bring it away in any great quantities. Gunpowder is not even very effective in loosening it, for the force of the explosion is lost to some extent by the character of the shale which lies, not like coal or sandstone rock in solid mass, but in laminun. Each workman, we understand, sends out as his "darg" about a ton and a half per day, in the production of which he will expend a pound of gunpowder.

        In the mine which we are examining the shale is not more than four or five fathoms from the surface; but the average depth in the Broxburn fields runs from sixteen to twenty fathoms. Is is found in beds that dip all round to a centre as if it had been deposited in ancient lakes of no very great extent; for we understand that in the grounds of Mr. Bell a great number of these beds exist. The workmen make excellent wages. The process of working the shale in the pits is identically the same as that which we have described in the mine.

        We have thus seen how the "ile" is struck first of all, and we will now emerge into daylight and examine the second process by which the black rock is made to yield up the fat with which it is saturated . The retorts into which the tubs of shale are emptied are, as we formerly explained, of iron supported by a brick building; and thirty or forty of them are placed side by side, having a little furnace about the size of a child's cradle beneath and at the front of them. Each retort is provided with a lid, which you see on the roof of the building, and the top or roof is made perfectly flat so as to allow the shale waggons to be run along on rails in order to supply the retorts when needed. An iron pipe, sloping at an angle of about 45 degrees, communicated between each retort and horizontal cylinder, which runs along the whole length of the back of the building, and receives the discharge from the contents of the retorts.

        Another pipe, or rather a coil of pipes, having a gentle slope backwards to the cylinder and ending in a miniature funnel to which we have already referred, carries off the gas, which blazes in banner form at the top. Let us suppose the retorts to be filled with shale; the fires are then lighted and a flue carries the flames round about the sides and bottom of the retorts, each being placed so closely together that one furnace contributed to the heat of the other, thus having fuel. The discharge from the shale soon begins to run down the iron pipes into the large cylinder, where it is subjected to a process of refrigeration, and is then emptied into a large barrel sunk into earth. The contents of this barrel are oil and ammoniacal water; and the oil being the lightest comes to the top, while the water is precipitated to the bottom.

        The water is then run off into another barrel by means of a syphon, and the uncondensable gas, which is the third ingredient in the shale, flames in the air. The crude oil is taken away to the refining works to go through a variety of other processes, and the ammoniacal water is emptied into a cistern in a house contiguous, where, under the influence of acid, it forms beautiful sulphates of ammonia, which are sold at from twelve to thirteen pounds sterling per ton for manure and other purposes. The shale, however, has not all passed of in gas, crude oil, and water. A workman opens a little door above the furnace and rakes out the shale from the retort, which looks at first sight little the worse for the heat to which it has been subjected, and the materials which it has lost.

        On examining it, however, we find that the roasting process had made it so "frush" - to use a Scotch word – and so soft that it can be crushed up in the hand without any great exertion. But it is not therefore lost. Indeed, the singular peculiarity of the paraffin manufacture seems to be that nothing is lost. The shale, after having been stewed in the retorts is laid down in large heaps and burned, when it assumes an appearance not unlike calcined ironstone. It is taken away to a brick manufactory, where it is ground into a red putty by large stones, then mixed with a little clay, put into kilns, and comes out as s excellent red bricks as can be seen anywhere. It is with these bricks that Mr. Bell is building the workmens houses which we have already described. The refuse of the shale heaps, like ironstone dust, makes a capital top-dressing for garden walks or carriage drives.

        The gas is the only article in the manufacture which had not yet been formed by which it will be carried round from the large refrigerating cylinder to the flues beneath the retort, and made to serve the purpose of fuel. We believe that Mr. Bell has offered to supply the village of Broxburn with this gas from his works, and there can be no doubt that it could be easily used for this purpose. We have thus traced the shale from its excavation in the "open cast" and the mine, through its various transformations of gas, crude oil, sulphates of ammonia and bricks. The process, it will be obscured, is much the same as that employed in a rude way by Mr. Douglas, the miner who first practically demonstrated the oil producing capabilities of shale. The head of his tobacco pipe represents the retort into which the bituminous mineral is placed, the kitchen fire is the furnace, and the shaft of the pipe is the iron tube which in the oil works communicated with the back end of the retort and the receiver underneath. Mr. Bell has added this receiver, and the coil of tubes through which the gas passes into the air, placing them at a gentle slope, so that any residue of oil might run back and be caught in the earth sunk barrel. This completes the first stage of manufacture; and here we may rest in our description, till next week, when we will follow the crude oil through the purifying process.

        The Scotsman, 6th December 1865


      • A01031: 06/12/1865

        "Struck Ile"; or the Scotch Petrolia No.II

        Two weeks ago we pointed out, in a very cursory manner, the extent, the importance, and prospects of the Paraffin Oil Trade in Scotland; and we now resume the subject, in order to enter into more ample details regarding the manufacture of this comparatively new article of commerce. The oil producing shale, as we have stated, is found in some form or other in all the coal and ironstone fields in Scotland; but so far as explorations have yet been made, it seems to be most productive in the district lying between Coatbridge and the Firth of Forth.

        This is our Pennsylvania, and the little village of Broxburn, on the Bathgate and Edinburgh railway, is destined in a short time to become our Oil city and capital of Paraffin. Let the reader, then, accompany us while we make a short excursion into this land, rich with treasures which a few years ago nobody conceived or dreamed of. We start from Glasgow and rush out to Coatbridge in the early morning, where we catch the train for Bathgate on the Monklands line, and during a slow ride of more than an hour's duration watch the gleams of burning ironstone and the numerous coalpits seen dimly on every side in the dusk of the morning. At Bathgate we pass onto the Edinburgh line, and have scarcely glanced at the morning papers, when the railway porter shouts "Bro-ax-burn," and we get out at a miserable looking station, though the number of greasy barrels about it indicate that fortune has looked in on the dilapidated box.

        On inquiring at the ticket-lifter the nearest way to the Oil Works, he points out to us an old country road at the back of the station loading to the village; and into this we go plunge half to the knees in mud. The road is quite innocent of Macadam, and has in consequence been fearfully cut up by the recent traffic which it has had to bear since the shale fields were opened. A quarter of an hour's walk through a stagnant river of "glaur," on which are occasionally to be seen in the less muddy pools streaks of oil exhibiting the exquisite colours of the Aniline dyes, brings us to Broxburn, which lies on each side of the great turnpike between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

        The village before the shale era must have been a quiet, sleepy place – too far removed from any large town to feel its influence, and totally unacquainted with those brisk energies which are now operating in great force round about it. But Broxburn has awakened from its dull repose, and finds itself famous. The little place is beginning to stretch its limbs in every direction, the new roads are breaking into it from all points of the compass. It has already got some brand new buildings, and we believe the Roman Catholics, with that wise foresight for the benefit of their brethren which everywhere characterises them, are looking out for a site on which to build a handsome chapel.

        But the village with all its hurry is unable to accommodate itself to the increasing trade of the locality. Workmen are pouring into it in increasing numbers every week, and there is therefore little wonder that Broxburn should be sadly put about to lodge and house the flood of new incomers. We are told that in some very small houses – we hardly like to state how small – forty persons are hurdled together, and eat, sleep, and enjoy themselves in some unaccountable manner. An old farm steading at the west end of the village has been hurriedly extemporised into a miners square, and byres, barns, and other outhouses are now filled with an overflowing population. On looking round through the dull rainy atmosphere we find the landscape pleasant though somewhat flat, and the level fields apparently in an excellent state of cultivation.

        The aesthetic character of the village and surrounding country is, however, sadly broken in upon by the unsightly heaps of rubbish that dot it here and there around the pits, and by the flaring brick buildings where the paraffine oil is distilled. Here and there you observe a slander from tube projecting like a diminutive steamboat funnel above these red buildings, and at the top there streams upon the breeze a long rugged pennant of flames which has a singular appearance during the day and must have rather a striking effect at night. This beautiful burning flag, which surmounts the retorts, is the simple method in which the gas from the shale is disposed or – a process which we shall explain in a little.

        We search out the house of Mr Bell, the lessee of the shale lying around about Broxburn to the extent of some five thousand square acres, and are fortunate in finding him at home. He is willing to become our clearone for the day, and so, in company with him and his intelligent manager, we start on the work of exploration.

        On our way to the shale pits we pass a row of half–brick and half-wooden houses which are in course of erection for Mr Bell's workmen. They are built upon an entirely novel plan and merit a passing observation. The front is run up with overlapping wooden deals fixed to wooden standards, but so arranged that when more time is obtained the boards can be taken down and brick substituted. The row consists of a house of two apartments and a large room, or both alternately. In the home the married man with his family will reside – the wife taking upon herself the task of supplying the culinary wants of the inhabitants of the contiguous bothy, which will afford sleeping accommodation for sixteen grown up persons. The row is constructed in this fashion to meet the great demands which exist for lodgings, but it has been so planned by the pushing proprietor that, when houses have become more plentiful the bothy can easily be transformed into a comfortable dwelling of two apartments.

        Passing on through new made roads, or rather ruts cut out of green fields by cart-wheels, we arrive at one of these brick buildings to which we have already referred. Here there are above a hundred retorts where the crude oil is extracted from the shale just as its taken from the mine. Mr Bell has erected a portion of his retorts on the top of a little eminence, where the shale crops out nearly to the surface. He has not, consequently, been put to the expense of sinking a pit in this locality, but having turned off the soil to the depth of a few feet he quarries the bituminous substance with the greatest ease. A considerable number of workmen are engaged with large quarrier's picks and crowbars in turning over the shale, which comes away in large thin flakes like huge slates. Men are busy filling the loose mineral into tubs capable of containing about half a ton, and these are drawn up a steep incline from the bottom of the "open cast" by a stationary engine at the top, after which there contents are either emptied into the retorts or sent off to other works.

        At the low side of the shale quarry, where the metals "dip" too much to allow of their being worked in this easy fashion. Mr. Bell has driven a mine; and having supplied ourselves with large oil lamps , we venture into the dark subterraneous passage. In a few minutes we catch the last glimmer of daylight from the mouth of the mine, and can only faintly discover its jagged sides by the aid of our blazing lamps, which, to our unaccustomed eyes, serve only to make "darkness visible." At the end of the level – on which the wooden hutches are pulled to the mouth by horses – we come to the workings, where several colliers, or shalers, as they should probably be designated, are busy undermining the seam with there picks preparatory to its being brought down by gun powder. The workings are fully three feet high, although the depth of the shale seam is between five and six feet, the remainder, which is of inferior quality, being left for a roof.

        The shale is worked on what is technically called the "long wall" system – that is, it is all extracted – no pillars being left for the support of the roof. Of course a great deal of wood has to be put up in order to prop the super incumbent strats, and the miners, as a still greater aid, build up the old workings with the refuse as they proceed with their excavations. This building is so closely and neatly executed that when the weight from above presses upon it, it looks almost like a solid mase which had never been touched by the pick. Though easily turned up in the "open cast" workings, the shale is not very readily extracted in the pits and the mines. The "cracks" run all in horizontal and seldom in perpendicular lines and as it is of a splintery character neither the picks or the wedge can bring it away in any great quantities. Gunpowder is not even very effective in loosening it, for the force of the explosion is lost to some extent by the character of the shale which lies, not like coal or sandstone rock in solid mass, but in laminun. Each workman, we understand, sends out as his "darg" about a ton and a half per day, in the production of which he will expend a pound of gunpowder.

        In the mine which we are examining the shale is not more than four or five fathoms from the surface; but the average depth in the Broxburn fields runs from sixteen to twenty fathoms. Is is found in beds that dip all round to a centre as if it had been deposited in ancient lakes of no very great extent; for we understand that in the grounds of Mr. Bell a great number of these beds exist. The workmen make excellent wages. The process of working the shale in the pits is identically the same as that which we have described in the mine.

        We have thus seen how the "ile" is struck first of all, and we will now emerge into daylight and examine the second process by which the black rock is made to yield up the fat with which it is saturated . The retorts into which the tubs of shale are emptied are, as we formerly explained, of iron supported by a brick building; and thirty or forty of them are placed side by side, having a little furnace about the size of a child's cradle beneath and at the front of them. Each retort is provided with a lid, which you see on the roof of the building, and the top or roof is made perfectly flat so as to allow the shale waggons to be run along on rails in order to supply the retorts when needed. An iron pipe, sloping at an angle of about 45 degrees, communicated between each retort and horizontal cylinder, which runs along the whole length of the back of the building, and receives the discharge from the contents of the retorts.

        Another pipe, or rather a coil of pipes, having a gentle slope backwards to the cylinder and ending in a miniature funnel to which we have already referred, carries off the gas, which blazes in banner form at the top. Let us suppose the retorts to be filled with shale; the fires are then lighted and a flue carries the flames round about the sides and bottom of the retorts, each being placed so closely together that one furnace contributed to the heat of the other, thus having fuel. The discharge from the shale soon begins to run down the iron pipes into the large cylinder, where it is subjected to a process of refrigeration, and is then emptied into a large barrel sunk into earth. The contents of this barrel are oil and ammoniacal water; and the oil being the lightest comes to the top, while the water is precipitated to the bottom.

        The water is then run off into another barrel by means of a syphon, and the uncondensable gas, which is the third ingredient in the shale, flames in the air. The crude oil is taken away to the refining works to go through a variety of other processes, and the ammoniacal water is emptied into a cistern in a house contiguous, where, under the influence of acid, it forms beautiful sulphates of ammonia, which are sold at from twelve to thirteen pounds sterling per ton for manure and other purposes. The shale, however, has not all passed of in gas, crude oil, and water. A workman opens a little door above the furnace and rakes out the shale from the retort, which looks at first sight little the worse for the heat to which it has been subjected, and the materials which it has lost.

        On examining it, however, we find that the roasting process had made it so "frush" - to use a Scotch word – and so soft that it can be crushed up in the hand without any great exertion. But it is not therefore lost. Indeed, the singular peculiarity of the paraffin manufacture seems to be that nothing is lost. The shale, after having been stewed in the retorts is laid down in large heaps and burned, when it assumes an appearance not unlike calcined ironstone. It is taken away to a brick manufactory, where it is ground into a red putty by large stones, then mixed with a little clay, put into kilns, and comes out as s excellent red bricks as can be seen anywhere. It is with these bricks that Mr. Bell is building the workmens houses which we have already described. The refuse of the shale heaps, like ironstone dust, makes a capital top-dressing for garden walks or carriage drives.

        The gas is the only article in the manufacture which had not yet been formed by which it will be carried round from the large refrigerating cylinder to the flues beneath the retort, and made to serve the purpose of fuel. We believe that Mr. Bell has offered to supply the village of Broxburn with this gas from his works, and there can be no doubt that it could be easily used for this purpose. We have thus traced the shale from its excavation in the "open cast" and the mine, through its various transformations of gas, crude oil, sulphates of ammonia and bricks. The process, it will be obscured, is much the same as that employed in a rude way by Mr. Douglas, the miner who first practically demonstrated the oil producing capabilities of shale. The head of his tobacco pipe represents the retort into which the bituminous mineral is placed, the kitchen fire is the furnace, and the shaft of the pipe is the iron tube which in the oil works communicated with the back end of the retort and the receiver underneath. Mr. Bell has added this receiver, and the coil of tubes through which the gas passes into the air, placing them at a gentle slope, so that any residue of oil might run back and be caught in the earth sunk barrel. This completes the first stage of manufacture; and here we may rest in our description, till next week, when we will follow the crude oil through the purifying process.

    • 1866
      • A01032: 06/01/1866

        A fellow passenger in the train from Birmingham to Chester tells me of his father mentioning the old Lord Dundonald (father of the Lord Cochrane) as making experiments on coal at Tipton, and his lively remembrance of the great iron rooms, rather than ovens or retorts, which the grim old Scotch Earl put up to bake pitch out of coal. People knew nothing of gas in these times (1781), and a sore trouble did its highly explosive qualities, coupled with the evaporation into steam of the water contained in the coal, prove to Lord Dundonald by blowing up his great fire rooms once a month, more or less, to the infinite terror, not to say also malicious satisfaction of the neighbourhood ; for your North Staffordshire men— at that time— hated strangers, detested innovations, and rejoiced greatly in the fall of inventors.

        When the Chinese first invented gunpowder they used it only to make a noise with, for the purpose of frightening their enemies and concealing the manoeuvres of their forces in the smoke which it created. So, when the old Lord Dundonald distilled coal, he did so only for the purpose of procuring pitch, and although in the course of subsequent experiments he produced a burning oil, it was so thick and dirty that he only used it for purposes of scientific demonstration and the occasional astonishment of his friends. Thus the concentrated sun-light of millions of ages past — as George Stephenson described it to be to Sir Robert Peel—remained hidden for another generation, when it beamed forth in gas, and for another still, until it woke up as burning fluid somewhere about the year 1810, in a place so out of the way as Prince Edward's Island, although its first brilliant flame was not shown until in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Dr. Gesner lighted the lecture room with it, and soon after sold the first " Kerosine" patent.

        And now I see it sputtering forth everywhere on the mountainside, as, coming down from Buckley to the Padeswood Station. I descend into the Mold Valley — a bright, white, brilliant flame, much like the limelight in its vivid clearness — but quite unlike it in its pleasant effect to the sight ; for while the one blinds with an almost fierce intensity and concentration, the other is as actinically diffused, as mellow, and as soft as daylight. The country all round is dotted with works, large and small — which seem by night to be spouting forth gas — real flaring fixtures of the " Jack-o'-Lanterns," that once might have led the traveller astray, but now light him to nests of industry and profit.

        Just on the other side of the rail at Padeswood, is a small venture — " The Padeswood Company" — such companies here being formed by three or four well-to- do and intelligent individuals (intelligence, by-the-bye, is the characteristic of the ordinary people of this district), who combine their practical knowledge and their little nest eggs of capital to operate on these new " diggings." Rightly so called, for Ballarat, Cariboo, or Taranki must now all hide their diminished heads. Something richer is to be found in our British Isles. Yes, sir, I declare — not fearless of contradiction— for there are always plenty of " doubting Thomases" ready in their ignorance, or from their interests to contradict what surprises them— l affirm, I say, that coal here is more profitable to work than gold quartz in Australia — for if they get half an ounce of gold out of a couple of tons of quartz after crushing (and that is hard work, as many a poor fellow knows), they reckon to have made a good " strike," and there is a " rush" upon the ground. Now half an ounce of gold represents in value, say, £2. But here, from five tons of coal yon make tolerably sure, at present prices, after paying for easy working — no harder or more skilful than ordinary cooking — not to say coking — of securing a profit of £4 on your oil — and that is equal to an ounce of gold — at one-20th of the labour, one-50th of the cost, and without going away from home and friends.

        At another small works in the immediate vicinity, Messrs Ness and Griffiths are carrying on a coal oil distillation. Mr Ness is good enough to dispute the £4 per ton profit, and advices that he will supply the ten tons a week which these works produce at £2 per ton profit. I mention this that he may not be without a customer — and even then he will make a cent, per cent, profit.

        There is only one other gentleman in the district who disputes the profit upon the lubricating oil simply — and that is Mr John Gibbon, the manager of the Canneline Company's Works, who proved to me by calculation (he did not know I should quite understand it, or was too hurried, possibly, as he put down the barrels as chargeable to the seller and not to the customer — a nice little item of 36s on the wrong side) — and so, as I have said, he proved to me by calculation that the Canneline Company made their oil for 10s per ton margin — a fact which produced no other impression on my mind than the conviction that the sooner the Canneline Company left off making oil the better — or left off Mr John Gibbon. It is hardly just to say this; for better conducted, and, I believe, better managed works than those of this Company I have never seen. They are high up the valley — close to the Coed-y-Talon whence are taken their supplies of cannel — and they have forty retorts, and produce 10,000 gallons of oil weekly, baying a 6,000 gallon refinery in full work. They are about to put up some upright retorts, and are likely to come to grief upon that experiment. These oil retorts should be after models taken from the old gas retort — as near a D, or rather as near a half egg shape, as is compatible with capacity the better. Too much coal in the retort is like too large a pudding in a pot ; you can't get the heat evenly through it. After all how nearly is practical chemistry allied to mere cooking. This company had some difficulty at first from making experiments with retorts, and it is only since Mr John Gibbon succeeded to their management that they have got quite through it. Their oil stands well in the market, and, as I hear, they are sale for the next two months at least.

        The Mold Company, which lies just off the station, is one which is likely to achieve some distinction in petroleum manufacture. It starts with the latest and best improvements in retorts — the flattened ellipse, or half egg shape — holding a large quantity (15 cwt.), but not in too large a mass — more widely spread, and so more evenly exposed to the surface action of the fire. These are known as " Strange's Registered Improved Retorts," of which there are twelve, with twenty-four furnaces and only one chimney — a curiosity hereabout, where in many places we find two chimneys to each retort, causing a singular agglomeration — a crowd of brick columns all over the neighbourhood. These twelve retorts, it is asserted, can " work" more coals than any similar number In any other works, each "charge" swallowing in from 11 cwt. to lo cwt. The vapours issue from the top of the retort and come down through a swan neck pipe, with two valves, to the con- denser, a long vat of sheet iron, the top of which is kept at an adequate coolness for condensation, by a stream of water running over it. Each of these pipes has a double valve — the action of which prevents the water from passing from the con- denser to the retort in charging, as well as relieves the condenser from any over-pressure of steam. Twelve of these retorts require two men, who are called firemen, to charge them once in twenty-four hours, the time occupied in distilling the coal. These men work at day or night, being relieved alternately. Besides these, one man is employed to " back up" the fires and break the coal, which must not be put in too large, say, not much larger than a man's fist. See ! They open the door by " unluting" it, and un-screwing the cross bar that drives it close up to the furnace mouth. The fire is raging within, but we can soon perceive that the coal is all dry bones — coke in fact, with a reddish appearance and a metallic tinkle. This would be good coke for engine purposes, and would add some value to the saleable products, were it not that we want it here to burn the next charge — and so produce more oil and make more coke, and go on ad infinitum, producing, and re-producing. By infinitum, of course, I mean that unfathomable period known only to philosophers, who calculate that in 600,000 years we are all to sit shivering under a hedge-row, while the New Zealander steams away with our last scuttle of coals. The coke is drawn out and the men throw in the charge — another 15 cwt. — with shovels, taking care to spread it well. The coke is then placed in the furnace under the retort, and the work begins again. At the back of the furnace we see the green thick fluid running down from the condenser to the tank.

        Of the Coppa Works I have spoken before, but shall have more to say on another opportunity.

        Close by the large works of the Coppa Company, I came upon a compact works of twenty-five retorts, belonging to a gentleman, the son of one whose name and fame, in regard to the advancement of educational progress, is only second — if second — to that of Lord Brougham. Inheriting the genius of his father, it was strange to see one so accomplished, and capable of so much, shut up in these mountains, and the companion of uncouth money- makers. But the sons of bishops may be met with in the Californian diggings, and we have heard a ripe Oxford scholar say that he never was so happy as when stock-driving in Australia. This crude oil making was an experiment in science when he first took to it, and courageously worked out the problem ; it is now a profitable manufacture, and pays well for vigilant personal superintendence. Noblesse oblige — how true the proverb! Here, in Welsh mountains, amidst much trade jealousy and very small-mindedness, where every question on was replied to it as if its answer involved the betrayal of a trade secret — when the trade-secret in reality lay in the conceit and ignorance of the person replying, and relying upon his own small chemistry — this gentleman at once volunteered every information, and gave every datum distinctly. Each of his retorts, he said, were charged with from 12 to 13 cwt. — in the proportion, generally, of one-third curly cannel, one-third smooth, and one-third shale. From these proportions he produced 47 gallons of crude oil — worth about 8d a gallon he not " running it over," but selling it to refiners " naked" as is called when merely produced from the coal. The three kinds of coal cost together for the forty-eight gallons about £1, the wages 5s, which therefore made ……..I parted from the hospitable sheds in which we had sat down for half an hour's chat, with considerable reluctauce, and slowly wended my way across the broken tracks and along the railway that spreads out here, up to the colliery in the distant hills like an arterial system.

        That one spark of gentlemanly feeling and kindness to strangers had shone out like a diamond on a dunghill. I say there may be many such about, but it has not been my good fortune to meet with them, at least in Flintshire — and yet I am one who have seen men and things — have mixed much among the wise, the witty, the learned, the poor, the rich, the proud and humble — and am by no means hard to please. They only make the lubricating oil, or " once run" here at present. The second distillation requires more expensive apparatus, and the profit of £1 per ton — as it is — is sufficient to content them. I don't think they have any to sell here, for I did not see any barrels about. In fact, all through the district the story runs, "All sold." I cannot well see how it can be otherwise.

        The petroleum of Pennsylvania made an immense demand for itself. The light from it is so beautiful — so unlike the muddy yellow of the common oils — with a flame bright, clear, beautiful, and white — all the ugly black blue that you see in the middle of a gas light, having being burnt out in the manufacture — or changed into pitch — or worked off into grease. Hence a preference demand for mineral oil. But this demand the petroleum springs could not supply. They soon ceased "flowing" — neither have the petroleum wells as yet made up the deficiency. Besides which they are uncertain in production — and any uncertainty prejudices the regular going transactions of commerce. Moreover, if a barrel of petroleum that was thrown up by nature for nothing, cost only two dollars in Pennsylvania, (they have now got three or four)— to the wholesale dealer it costs a dollar and a half (now -two dollars), for the barrel, and two dollars more at least to bring it to England. So that, all things considered, it is cheaper to make petroleum from coal on the spot here than to get it for nothing iv Pennsylvania. And so the matter, as it stands, is much in our favour. We have the market, and can make sure of the coal to make the oil from, and therefore can be certain of a Steady supply. At one time the trade seemed altogether in the hands of the Americans, but time, circumstances, experience, and taxation, have brought about a knowledge of the fact — that we can manufacture oil in our own country at a cheaper rate from own coals, provided a supply of the right quality can be procured.

        This was the problem to be solved, and the solution of that problem has been worked out at the great works at Saltney belonging to the Flintshire Oil and Cannel Company, where, as I learn, they are making a million and half weekly. This is a commercial enterprise of the highest quality, and deserves the special and separate notice which I propose to direct to in my next. It is a curious fact that the quantity thus made is exactly one-250th part of the petroleum oil produced in the United States. This will show the enormous proportions of the trade with which I am dealing. Meanwhile, while observing the growth of this new industry — the coal oil manufacture — it is impossible not to note the singular corroboration which it has given to the almost prophetic words of Mr Gladstone, who, on " turning the first sod" of a new railway in this district (the Wrexham, Mold, and Connah's Quay), said : —

        " There is a district singularly rich it has these two great advantages : in the first place the coal, speaking generally, lies at depths comparatively moderate, at depths which in the .North-east of England they would consider almost nothing ; and in the second place there is an immense quantity of it. I do not speak now of a single seam. I put together the whole number of feet belonging to the various workable seams, beginning with what they call in Flintshire the Rough Coal and Hollin Coal, which you have here under different names, but winch substantially arc familiar to you all. and going down to the cannel recently discovered, and which promises to make a greater addition to the mineral wealth and power of this district than any discovery heretofore made. I believe you may reckon, that there are fifty feet of coal under a' particular spot of ground. That is a very remarkable richness of the mineral and such as I don't believe is to be found in many other districts of the country."

        Speaking of the Quality of the coal, Mr Gladstone observed—

        "We have a splendid Steam Coal, with an immense demand for it— a demand greater than we can at present supply. This extraordinary treasure of the Cannel Coal, which is, as you know. far better had for the manufacture of gas than any other coal whatever— and with regard to which, I am highly pleased to see in from reviews of the Mineral Specimens at the Exhibition in London that the cannel Coal from Leeswood, near Mold, is considered to be the very finest ever brought before the public— this treasure is really the material on which the Wrexham, Mold, and Connahs Quay Railway has to work. "

        The whole of the country about here has, in fact, become an Eldorado, and everyone is on the look-out for cannel. The Flintshire Oil and Cannel Company, although they possess a contract (the envy of all the district), which gives them a certainty of more than 500 tons per week at half-price for the next ten years from the Leeswood Cannel Company, have become proprietors at a cost of £75,000, of tbe Tryddyn Colliery-, and are rapidly pushing down upon cannel to make themselves rich and independent for ever, and extend their business to a greater profit, inasmuch as they will then get their coal at cost prices, which is in profit almost equal to that of the man who " stole the brooms ready made."

        Leeswood Main Company have already touched it, and are forming a company to manufacture oil everywhere ; they are sinking pits and going down for cannel everywhere ; and the talk is everywhere of cannel, just as we bear of " diggings " in California. As I walked up the hill towards Buckley from the station, this morning, with the 52nd (or thereabouts) cousin of Henry Vlll.,— (he was Tudor, and evidently of the good old breed— as bluff as King Hal himself) we marked many (I know not how many) cannel pits on the way. Before me lay the famous potteries and brick manufactories that from their proximity to the Dee, and its facilities for shipping to all parts of the world have made Buckley a famous name in every port. Behind us lay the long Clwydian range, the Hope Mountains, and the Mold valley between. To the right, Moel Fammai, on which stands a jubilee tower, 150 feet of which was scattered like feathers in a high wind some ten years since. To the left lay the valley of Wrexham, across which, backed by a bright sunlight that brought it out in strong relief, stood the castled height of Caer- y-Galle, the last resting place of Queen Eleanor, " on her way, Sir," observed a Welsh gentleman, "to play us that trick of having a Prince of Wales born at Carnarvon Castle." That trick! He thought his nation cheated out of their loyalty, and could grumble at it after four centuries ! Verily these Welsh are a strange people. It was only yesterday that I discovered they have a colony in some out-of-the way part of the Argentine Republic, speaking Welsh, and all for the sake of having a place where no other language than Welsh is used, and SO preserving the language of the Principality !

        The district of Buckley, always a thriving locality, is about to assume a still greater importance. Its collieries are contiguous to the most valuable of the coal seams of Flintshire; and its fine clay, cheaply and readily got, affords abundant material for a highly profitable manufacture of fire-bricks, pottery, and tiles. In former days there was a large exporting trade along the Dee, and the Main coal about here, as well as the " Hollin " and " Brassey," were extensively worked. There was a large firm of coal owners — Messrs. Rigby and Hancock — who had constructed their tramways from the collieries in this vicinity, and monopolized the supply of Chester, Liverpool, and the neighbouring towns and ports — until the establishment of railways — which took away the traffic, brought in other supplies, and inflicted almost mortal injury on the industry of Buckley.

        Recently, however, the proposed Wrexham and Connah's Quay Railway has given new spirit to this part of the country, while the utilisation of cannel has greatly invigorated the speculative spirit, and awakened the energies of the inhabitants to the mineral riches under their feet. It was reading what bad appeared in a local paper that had brought me up the hill from Padeswood Station on this fine December morning, and I looked with some interest for Nant- y Maur, which I found on my left about a mile before reaching Buckley — situate on the side of the little valley or cleft between two gentle hills, which constituted what is supposed, and therefore said to be — for such is mining doctrine according to my experience — the fault — thrown down, or thrown up, as the case may be, of the ordinary coal measures of the district. Here they had got upon the cannel, and were only not working it at the moment, because the water had got upon them ; but that being now-a-days a matter of mere pumping and steam engines, they had sent off for them, and on their arrival would speedily begin to realise their " digging."

        This, you must remember, is " great news," for while other coal at the pit's mouth ranges from 5s to 7s at the utmost ; that cannel sells at the pit's month for 28s to 29s 6d. He who finds cannel " strikes oil "or gold. In a coal country your neighbour's good fortune is always a matter of rejoicing to yourself — for it is not easy to believe that a few feet, one way or the other, between you can make the difference of dislocating Nature. A man must have very bad luck, indeed, to live at Wallsend and be without coal. So, on hearing this news, we went on our way, much pleased, to where the old road from Chester to Mold forms the main long straggling street of Buckley. What he saw, and how we fared, and what part we thought might be taken in a new working of these South Buckley collieries, on a take of 200 acres from the windmill down to the church, where the pit open already down to the Brassey coal, will Mr. Editor, with your permission, form the subject of another letter.

        From Ryland's Iron Trade Circular, reprinted in The Wrexham Advertiser, 6th January 1866


      • A01033: 03/02/1866

        Fire at the West Calder Oil Works

        A fire broke out on Wednesday morning in the West Calder Oil Works, managed by Mr. A. M. Fell. The fire was first observed about seven o'clock on Wednesday morning. It appears that the men, in order that a pressing demand for oil should be supplied, went to work at an earlier hour than usual. After operations had proceeded for some time, it was observed that a certain pump was not working properly, and one of the persons engaged in this department, noticing the defect, and fearing that the "well" might overflow, went into the refined oil store with a policeman's lamp to see that all was right. Almost immediately after this, and while this workman was standing on the premises, the oil in the tanks began to blaze, and the man was singed about the face by the flame. It is supposed that the vapour, or gas, arising from the oil at a certain temperature, had been ignited by the lantern, and hence the fire. It should be stated that, in the ordinary course of matters, no lamps are aloud near the vicinity of the oil, whatever light required being supplied – through the medium of reflectors – from lamps fixed at a considerable distance, out of the reach of any possibility of their causing danger or disaster.

        At first the fire wore so alarming an aspect that it was feared the whole premises, covering nearly ten acres, would be destroyed. To have poured water upon the building would simply have added "fuel to the flame," and it was found that the French patent extinguisher upon the place took too long a time to "charge" to be of much use in such an extreme emergency. Fortunately, there was a large number of the workpeople at hand, and through their strenuous, and in some cases daring, exertions in throwing sand and pouring sulphuric acid upon the burning liquid, they managed to confine the fire to the house in which it first broke out, and the flames were completely subdued by eleven o'clock in the afternoon.

        Underneath one of the store tanks was chained a fine watch dog belonging to Mr. Fell, who happened to be at Glasgow on Wednesday, and in endeavouring to save the animal, one of the principal workmen, noticing that the tap allow the flow of oil from a large tubular tank was shut, immediately turned it so as to admit of the oil running off. Had he not done so, in all probability the boiler or tank would have exploded and carried the flames into the other parts of the work. He was not, however, successful in saving the poor dog (the fire being too hot), which was burned to death. This, however, was, we are happy to say, the only casualty. Had it not been that every precaution has been taken by the proprietors first to guard against fire, and, in the event of its breaking out, to prevent its spread beyond the locality in which it first appeared – all communication being shut off by fire-proof walls and doors between one department and another – the chances are that the loss would have been very serious. As it is, about 7000 gallons of oil were consumed, the store house, roof and walls, were reduced to a shapeless mass, and the iron tanks have suffered much from the calamity. The damage cannot yet be accurately ascertained, but it is estimated at about from £1500 to £2000. We understand it is covered by insurance.

        Glasgow Herald, 3rd February 1866, reprinted from the Scotsman

      • A01020: 01/03/1866

        A Visit to the Forth Bank Chemical Works

        The Forth Bank Works are situated in the lower part or outskirts of the ancient royal burgh of Stirling, on one of the tongues of land formed by the many links or windings of the river Forth, as it courses along through the beautiful carse of Stirling. The hills all around the carse were, at the time of our visit, covered with their winter mantle of virgin purity. As seen from the top of Cambuskeneth Tower, close by, the surrounding scenery has a beauty which contrasts most forcibly with the sludgy condition of the ground within the Forth Bank Works.

        Regardless, however, of the footing underneath, we depart on our tour of inspection, Mr Shand, the while, apologising for it stating that the anxiety of the firm to meet the enormous demands of the departing winter left them no time to pay much attention to anything else. We begin at the beginning, and naturally inquire how the works are situated with respect to the means of transit for the crude material arriving at the works, and the finished products sent from them. We very soon find that the river Forth is the highway whose powers Messrs Shand & Company call into requisition. The river forms one of the boundaries of the seven acres of ground on which the works are located, and is deep enough, at the company's wharf, for lighters and coasting vessels to load or discharge their cargoes with the utmost facility. One vessel is constantly employed by the firm in taking a cargo of oil to London, at least once every month, besides large quantities which are sent steamers. In the busy season the amount shipped at Leith and Grangemouth varies from 400 to 800 barrels weekly. The proximity of the works to the railway station is likewise in favour of the firm, as there is thus ample facility for railway communication with the whole of Scotland.

        Crude oil is brought from the works of Mr Bell, Dr Steele, and Mr Fernie, at Broxburn, by means of lighters to "lock 16" on the Forth & Clyde Canal, and afterwards to Grangemouth. Then, again, cargoes of American petroleum may either be discharged at Bowling or Grangemouth, and afterwards he lightered on to Stirling. Indeed, Messrs Shand & Company are the only persons who are practically engaged in the importation from America of the crude petroleum as it run from the oil wells. They likewise consume large quantities of the valuable Rangoon earth oil. The petroleum is shipped for them on an extensive scale at New York and Philadelphia.

        At the time of our visit there were two cargoes of oil process of being run ashore at the wharf. The crude oil is kept in the barrels till it is wanted for the first distillation, when the requisite quantity is run into tanks covered with wire gratings to entrap any contained foreign solid matter, such as old bungs and pieces of sticks, and from the tanks it is pumped up into the stills. In the case of the shale oil of this country more labour is required the refining processes than is required by the American petroleum.

        We start with the former. It is introduced into the stills to the amount of 1200 or 1300 gallons at a time. The stills used in this process are made of cast-iron, and are heated directly by fires underneath, while in other cases naked steam and super-heated steam are employed. There are ten of them so employed, each of them having a capacity of from 1500 to 2580 gals.; and altogether there are some three dozen in the works, and more ordered. The distillation is conducted to dryness, when the only residue is a quantity of black shining material, which almost pure carbon, and is in great request, as an excellent quality of smokeless fuel, brassfounders and metal-refiners, and even the Bank of England. Twelve to sixteen hours are usually sufficient for completing the distillation; and as these stills are worked off three times weekly, the enormous amount of 1200 or 1500 barrels of crude oil may be turned over within the six days. The quantity of "once-run" oil obtained from the crude material is 92 to 95 per cent, and has the specific gravity varying from -840 to '870. From the stills the condensed oil runs into immense underground receiving tanks, from which it is pumped up into treating boxes, each of which is capable of holding 80 barrels, or about 2500 gallons. Six of these treating boxes are engaged working " once-run" oil at the rate of about 500 barrels daily. In them the oil is subjected to the action of strong sulphuric acid or oil of vitrol, which varies in amount with the quality of the oil treated.

        If we remember rightly, Mr James Young's original patent mentioned 10 per cent, of acid. The mixture of oil and acid is agitated by means of an Archimedean screw, working great velocity, till the impurities which are affected by the acid are removed by it. Strangely enough, although it is itself so remarkably powerful as a chemical agent, sulphuric acid has no effect whatever on any of the four individual compounds which collectively make up the "once-run" oil. They remain fixed, unchanged, and undecomposable by it, it only has affinity for the impurities which it is desirable to get rid of. A sufficient length of time being allowed for the subsidence of the heavy acid waste, it is drawn off a low level, and has, as we can vouch, a filthy offensive appearance; but it is not necessarily permitted to go to waste, as we shall show by and by.

        The oil which remains in the treating boxes is then subjected, in the same vessels, and by the same means, to the action of equally strong chemical agent, caustic soda, solution, which is employed for the purpose of neutralising and removing any sulphuric acid that may remain amongst the oil, and possibly to remove any other impurities that are not removeable by means of the acid. The agitation is carried on for several hours, and when the mixture has become well settled the oil is drawn off, taken to stills, and distilled to dryness.

        The distilled product is again treated and agitated alternately with sulphuric acid and caustic soda, but in smaller quantity than at first. It is then re-distilled with great care, — nay it undergoes what is termed in chemical phraseology " fractional distillation." For some time after the heat is first applied the vapour of a very volatile compound passes over and condenses : this we have previously spoken of as naptha or turpentine substitute. The specific gravity of this substance is about .740, It is eminently a light body, and very inflammable, and when its vapour is mixed with a certain quantity of atmospheric air an explosive mixture is formed. It is very abundant in the American petroleum, and hence an explanation of the numerous explosions which occurred this country when that substance was first brought into use. When properly rectified and in its most purified state, this naptha, or spirit, it is also called, may be used as benzole removing oily or greasy stains, and stains of tar, resin, wax, and paint, from cotton, woollen, silk, and other fabrics, or from hair, furs, feathers, and wools, and for cleaning gloves and other articles made of leather. We may quietly inform our lady house-keeping readers, likewise, that the naptha in question may be used for making excellent furniture paste, by dissolving one par. of resin and one of wax in two parts of the volatile liquid, with the aid of a gentle heat.

        The second substance which comes over from the still, following the naptha, is the colourless paraffine oil for burning in lamps, having a specific gravity varying from .805 to .820. Lastly, the process of fractional distillation yields a heavy oil whose specific gravity is about .880. It consists, however, of two products, one of them solid held in suspension, or more correctly, in solution, by the liquid. To effect their separation, the liquid mass is allowed to cool, and is then made to give up its solid ingredient draining in flannel bags, so suspended that the liquid exudation may freely escape and run into tanks having a united capacity of many thousand gallons, where it collects as machinery or lubricating oil. The semi-solid substance which remains the bags is afterwards subjected to great pressure to remove all the liquid material. This effected by expressing it in canvas bags between layers of strong wicker work. The expressed liquid runs away to the common reservoir. The solid which remains a golden-yellow body consisting of aggregated crystalline scales ; it is the parafflne we have previously spoken of.

        At the time of our visit to Messrs Shand & Company's Works, the whole of their first year's gathering of paraffine was in stock, but all was contracted for by an eminent, London firm, in whose hands it is thoroughly refined, and then sold to the makers of paraffine candles. The stock which we saw was still in rough state, not properly pressed, as the hydraulic presses were only in course of erection. Including what was stored away at about 200 tons, having a money value, when thoroughly refined, of something like £20,000. What an illumination it would make. We now proceed to speak of the methods employed in the refining of the American petroleum, the processes just now detailed being those which are employed by Messrs Shand & Company alike for shale oil, and that obtained from Boghead and other coals.

        The business of this eminent firm began a goodly number years ago, operating upon the refuse of the neigbouring gas-works, with the object making or extracting from that offensive compound the marketable materials known as sulphate of ammonia, coal-tar naphtha, coal-tar oils, and lamp-black. This branch of the business is still continued by Mr Shand s firm ; but with such beginning there was unnatural matrimonial alliance made when the petroleum refining item was added to it. This branch of the business almost exclusively conducted Messrs Shand & Company. The barrels of petroleum being run ashore, the contained liquid is either retained in the barrels, or it emptied into underground tanks, from which it can conveniently be pumped into the stills. It differs very much from shale oil as regards the amount of each of its proximate ingredients. It is purer, and contains more spirit and light or burning oil than does the crude artificial mineral oil, and less lubricating oil and solid paraffine. A mode of treatment somehow different from that given above is therefore adopted. It is first distilled without any acid or alkaline treatment, not to dryness, but leaving instead a residue called " still bottoms," which is run off and used for greasing purposes. This material is well adopted for the machinery of underground works, such as colliery waggons; as it has no smell it has not the usual offensiveness possessed grease preparations where there is a limited circulation of air. The condensed distillate from the stills is collected in casks and puncheons, and them is removed to the treating house.

        By a process peculiar to Messrs George Shand & Company, the crude petroleum, as it runs from the wells, is rendered fit for the finishing processes by one distillation. They have six refining stills in operation which are capable of working off 300 barrels three times a week. By carefully conducting the process of distillation, the several distillates are obtained separately in the order of their specific gravities:- lst, the volatile spirit or naphtha- 2nd, the illuminating oil for use lamps; and 3rd the heavy lubricating oil. The solid paraffine is so small in amount in the American petroleum— being only about five pounds in a ton, or 265 gallons— that it is not deemed desirable to make any effort to separate it. All the three products just named are separately treated with acid and caustic soda in succession, in the same way shale oil is treated, but with a much smaller quantity of those chemical agents There is this difference, however, that the agitation along with the acid is not effected in ordinary steam agitators, as it is considered that the oils are injured by the great heat which is generated, if there be not in addition even waste of the volatile products. The treatment with acid and alkali is conducted by manual labour a large one-storey building, in about fifty cast-iron pans, each of them containing 250 gallons. these the liquids are finished. These treating vessels have to stand good deal of tear and wear, the oil of vitriol acting as a powerful corrosive and eating holes in them, which are stopped by plugs of metallic lead, an operation which we saw two men performing when we passed through the building. The refining operations are not wholly finished until the liquids have been thoroughly washed with water. Then the oil is exposed to the bleaching influence of the air and sunlight for a period of time varying from twelve to twenty-four hours, in large shallow iron vessels.

        Mr Shand informed us that he considers that the oil is sometimes improved to the extent of two pence per gallon by a day's bleaching. It is ultimately brought to a condition in which it is as clear, colourless, and limpid water, and having odour almost ethereal— indeed it might almost be used instead of eau de Cologne It rises the wick of a lamp with the greatest possible amount of facility. Its temperature of ignition is 105° Fah., while the standard fixed by the Petroleum Act is 100°, so that the Stirling illuminating oil is perfectly safe. When the oil properly bleached, it is either barrelled and sent to St Petersburg, Dantzic, Stettin. Pillau, Konigsberg, Dunkirk, Rotterdam, Christiana, Rouen (for Paris), and many other places, or it is stored in large lead-lined wooden tanks, enclosed within stone walls, and old steam boilers—having a collective capacity of hundreds of thousands of gallons. The arrangements of this enterprising firm are such that, in the busiest season, from 6000 to 7000 barrels of burning oil can be sent out monthly.

        Having thus gone into some details regarding the refining operations of Messrs George Shand & Company at their gigantic establishment at Stirling, we may refer our readers to few generalities connected with the business of that firm. First, then, be it known that some time ago the oil refinery at Stirling was the cause of much public dissatisfaction to the lieges of that ancient and royal burgh, being regarded many of them as a nuisance. A cargo of Canadian petroleum had been purchased at an unlucky moment, and true to say, its distillation was not attended with the escape into the atmosphere of the most delicate and sweet-scented perfumes. The murmuring became so loud and prolonged that Mr Shand determined to remove the cause of complaint, and sought out and secured ground to the extent of five acres at Balfron, near the Forth and Clyde Railway. The required buildings were duly erected, and operations commenced. The Balfron works are still continued, and are going through some 800 barrels of crude oil per week. Possession of the grou