The Argosy of Pure Delight.

The Discoverer of Natural Gas

From the Pittsburgh Dispatch

A little paragraph from 1887, reprinted in a trade magazine called The American Architect and Building News, suggests that journalists had a lot more fun in the nineteenth century.

The Discoverer of Natural Gas.—There is one man who is deserving of a place in the history of the discovery of natural gas. Dr. Oesterleni of Findlay knew of the presence of natural gas there fifty years ago. He was passing a stone quarry and detected its presence. He made a little cone of mud over a fissure, and put a bucket over the orifice. In a few minutes he struck a match under the bucket. When the Doctor picked himself up in the adjoining corn-field the bucket was still in the air, sailing north in the direction of Toledo. It was through Dr. Oesterleni’s energy, fifty years later, that the first natural-gas company in the town was organized. He had been laughed at and derided for half a century, and even after the flow had been struck in 1884, they say a good many of the people thought Old Nick had a hand in the thing somewhere.—Pittsburgh Despatch.