Re: An unusual car - compressed gas

Malcolm H. Houck

Someone commented earlier about Naptha. IIRC naptha was used in some gas
works to enhance the calorific value of the gas produced, or perhaps to
create other gas mixtures. I also have vague memories that acetylene gas
was also used for lighting here in the UK so it may also have some use in
US passenger car lighting.

Does anyone know what the actual gas was that passenger cars used, and
which may well have been transported by the car in the photo.

Barry Bennett
Coventry, England.
Naptha was the fuel used in the Pintsch Gas lighting
systems. That required a substantial infrastructure of
charging stations (not using freight cars for transport of
the gas generally - mandatory freight car content)
 and was therefore a reason that Pintsch gas usage
 did not gain a wide acceptance, The term Pintsch
gas has evolved to virtually a generic term when making
reference to methods of lighting with hydrocarbon fuel.
Acetylene was used for lighting in many applications
provided either from generators (tanks charged with
calcium carbide and water) at about 5 psi, or from
compressed gas cylinders. Locomotive headlamps
(pre-electrification) were acetylene fueled, as were
headlamps on  early pioneering automobiles and
Frost gas was also a popular usage to the end of
the 19th century. The fuel for Frost gas was gasoline
vapors from under car cylinders packed with cotton
waste and soaked with gasoline. It was popular to a
degree since a single charge would provide fuel
some period in excess of 100 hours; -- well exceeding
the duration of other hydrocarbon fuel usages.
Mal Houck

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