Home >> History Of Standard Oil >> A Modern War For to An Unholy Alliance >> General Character of the

General Character of the Crude Product

oil, surface and temperature

GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE CRUDE PRODUCT The crude oil, as it is gathered on your lands, has a dark brown colour, which, by reflected light, is greenish or bluish. It is thick even in warm weather—about as thick as thin molasses. In very cold weather it is somewhat more stiff, but can always be poured from a bottle even at 15° below zero. Its odour is strong and peculiar, and recalls to those who are familiar with it the smell of bitumen and naphtha. Exposed for a long time to the air, it does not thicken or form a skin on its surface, and in no sense can it be called a drying oil. The density of the crude oil is .882, water being .000. It boils only at a very high temperature, and yet it begins to give off a vapour at a temperature not greatly above that of boiling water. It takes fire with some difficulty and burns with an abundant smoky flame. It stains paper with the appearance of ordinary fat oils, and feels smooth and greasy between the fingers. It is frequently used in its crude state to lubricate coarse machinery. In chemical characters, it is entirely unlike the fat oils. Most of these characters are common to petroleum from

various places. In one important respect, however, the product of your lands differs from that obtained in other situations, that is, it does not, by continued exposure to the air, become hard and resinous like mineral pitch or bitumen. I have been informed by those who have visited the locality, that on the surface of the earth above the springs which furnish your oil there is no crust or deposit of this sort such as I have seen in other situations where petroleum or mineral tar is flowing. This difference will be seen to be of considerable importance, as it is understood and represented that this product exists in great abundance upon your property, that it can be gathered wherever a well is sunk in the soil, over a great number of acres, and that it is unfailing in its yield from year to year. The question naturally arises, Of what value is it in the arts, and for what uses can it be employed ? These researches answer these inquiries.