Fossil Fuels Saved The Whales

“In the 1850’s the industrialization of the United States caused a rapid increase in demand for illuminants and lubricants. Whale oil had been widely used for both, and its price soared to $2.50 a gallon. Substitutes were developed, and vegetable oils partly replaced whale ol as a lubricant. In England a method of dis- tilling kerosene from coal was de- veloped, and a coal-oil industry was rapidly growing in this country.”

04 Feb 1939, Page 6 – The Daily Courier at

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One Response to Fossil Fuels Saved The Whales

  1. conrad ziefle says:

    In the 1950s, when I was a kid, my grandfather would light his “coal oil” lantern to go out and check the farm animals before he went to bed at night. They also did not have telephone service. They did have electric service to the house, but only because all the farmers got together and bought and set the poles themselves. Most of their knowledge of the outside world came from the radio, because TV was not widespread yet. And I swear that even though they lived in those primitive conditions, my grandparents were not black! Hard to believe, right!

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