It is interesting that the first gas station was opened a little more than 100 years ago. Until that time, gasoline has come a very long way from the usual antiseptic used by doctors and sold in pharmacies for home use to the engine of the world economy. Today gasoline is gradually becoming a thing of the past, giving way to other types of fuel. Let’s try to briefly describe how it all began
The use of clean oil and the birth of gasoline
Oil was used in Byzantium and Ancient Greece. With its help they kindled the lights of lighthouses and bonfires. Oil was widespread during the war. Arrows were dipped into oil, which were then set on fire and with their help they destroyed entire cities, oil was the basis for the “Greek fire”, the first “flamethrower”.
The first attempts to refine oil were made in the tenth century, but did not bring tangible benefits. In the eighteenth century, they began to purify it, and even the first oil refineries were built. But their products have not found widespread use.
The first to extract gasoline from oil was the Englishman Faraday. He named the resulting substance “gasoline” as he received raw materials from the Middle East. And in Arabic it is “fragrant substance.” At the beginning of the nineteenth century, gasoline was burned in primo stoves, and even then reluctantly, oil and kerosene lamps were used more.
Rush demand for gasoline caused a woman
The next step in the history of gasoline was the invention of the four-stroke internal combustion engine and the receipt of a patent for it by the German physicist Otto and his colleague and friend Langen. The partners conducted a series of experiments, from which they concluded that gasoline is much more efficient than coal. In addition, the efficiency in their invention was twice that of a steam engine.
Around the same time, Karl Benz invented the gasoline two-stroke engine and put it on the crew. It turns out to be a self-propelled car. It was not perceived by society for a long time, it was considered technical nonsense. But a woman intervened.
Karl Benz’s wife Berta decided to visit her mother, who lived in another city, more than a hundred kilometers away. Without her husband’s request, she took their self-propelled carriage, loaded the children into it, and set off. The main problem on the way was the lack of fuel. As a result, not a single gram of gasoline was left in any pharmacy following Bertha’s. But the woman reached her destination safely. Thus, she proved that self-propelled crews, with the presence of fuel, can travel long distances.
The popularity of motor transport is gradually growing, and hence the need for gasoline. It was no longer sold in pharmacies, and entrepreneurs began to open specialized stores. There, gasoline was sold in buckets, so refueling a car was another challenge.
However, the first gas station did not open until 1903 in the United States. The opening of the first conveyor plant for the production of cars became a real boom, which made it possible to reduce the price for them in half. And already in 1920, in America alone, there were more than 12 thousand gas stations, and in 1949 there were already 143 thousand.
The next step was the pursuit of high octane numbers. Gasoline was refined and refined. Until now, Formula 1 races use fuel with an octane rating of 101. Along with the improvement in quality, the substitution of gasoline for other sources of energy has come. Diesel first, then electric cars. But it is still too early to discount gasoline. He will drive cars on the roads of the whole world for a long time to come.