Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,164 pages of information and 209,699 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Abraham Gesner

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Abraham Pineo Gesner (1797-1864)

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1933 'MAN WHO “INVENTED” KEROSENE OIL.
—In an unmarked grave at Camp Hill cemetery in Halifax [Nova Scotia] have been found the bones of Dr Abraham Gesner, the forgotten genius who gave the world kerosene oil. One of the world’s greatest industries and some of its greatest fortunes were founded on his inventions, but Dr Gesner himself received but meagre returns. He died in 1864, and only recently was attention called to his achievements. Now his grave has been located, and one of the great oil companies are erecting a suitable monument to his memory. Dr Gesner was a native of Nova Scotia, son of a Loyalist who left the United States after the Revolution. He studied medicine in London, but returned to Nova Scotia to interest himself in science. Then he was connected with the development of artificial illuminants from hydrocarbons, and in 1851 suoeeded in obtaining illuminating oil from Trinidad asphalt. Subsequently he distilled an oil suitable for burning in lamps from cannel coal and bituminous shale. In 1853 Dr Gesner took out several patents, which later he disposed of to the New York Kerosene Company. His processes are still in use, with improvements experience has taught.'[1]

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Sources of Information

  1. Falkirk Herald - Wednesday 2 August 1933