Sep 8, 2017

Gas is Not a Gas

Soon after oil was found in Pennsylvania during 1859, John Cassell, publisher and coffee merchant, began importing it to London. Cassell came up with a name for the substance, inspired by his own name, cazeline. On 27 November 1862 he placed an advertisement in The Times that stated, "The Patent Cazeline Oil, safe, economical, and brilliant … possesses all the requisites which have so long been desired as a means of powerful artificial light.

The first use of gasoline to be found in America is in an 1864 Act of Congress which declared a tax on the oil.

Cassell discovered a shopkeeper in Dublin, Samuel Boyd selling counterfeit cazeline and wrote to him to ask him to stop. Boyd did not reply, but instead went through his stock, changing with a single dash of his pen, every ‘C’ into a ‘G’ and gazeline was born.