How Oil Has Propelled Society
brought to you by Jones Oil – The home heating oil providers.
Oil is everywhere. Whether you’re filling up your car, sketching with some crayons, or wearing pantyhose (yep that’s right, their nylon is a petroleum-derived thermoplastic), you’re using it. Our society relies on it fundamentally. Without it, we’d probably still be trying to keep warm with mammoth fur. Well, maybe things wouldn’t be that bad, but just to make sure, let’s oil up our thinking muscles and share some fuel for thought. Eh? Eh? … I’ll get my coat.
3rd AD Century China
As it is so often, the Chinese were the pioneers. 2,000 years ago, they were developing deep drilling, and paved the way for extraction. Drills were constructed using bamboo, and before you ask, yes, pandas were an incredible nuisance and consumed countless rigs.The Chinese along with the Japanese, who referred to oil as “burning water”, used the fuel for lighting and heating.
9th AD Century Persia
This very bright Persian scholar, called Razi, invented kerosene and with it, the ability to have a reliable light source. This was a real game changer and really lit up the oil scene. However, it wouldn’t be till 1854 when Canadian geologist, Abraham Gesner would distil it for commercial use.
1854, Yale University
While Gesner was making a few bucks selling kerosene lamps. Benjamin Silliman, who really should have been called Benjamin Cleverman, was over at Yale distilling petroleum from crude oil for the first time. With access to petroleum at any time, the world was our oyster in terms of innovation.
Oil is now the world’s most important source of energy, it’s precious, inspiring movies that star big names like Antonio Banderas: Day of the Falcon. But also about 90% of our vehicles rely on oil. That’s a lot, but that’s not all. Oil is the raw material for just loads of chemical products including pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics.
Here’s a few of our favourite products that wouldn’t exist without oil. Some are unexpected, and some are downright outrageous. And all of them rely on black gold.
Approximately five percent of worldwide oil production is used to make plastics. So without oil millions of people would be bopping along to empty Walkmans. Oh wait, they wouldn’t have the Walkmans in the first place…
Praise this invention. It has saved countless children from the trauma of a kiss from a toothless grandparent. Not only is it involved in the adhesive element. The synthetic flavouring of the teeth glue is often derived from petroleum. So if I had no teeth and oil didn’t exist, “Denture Adhesive” would sound like “Enshure Ahhesithh”. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is science fact.
No one would disagree the lather is a lot of fun. It’s almost magic. Why does it smell so good? That fragrance is again, yes that’s right, made from oil. In fact, 95% of synthetic fragrances are created from petroleum.
Me: “Shampoil more like, am I right?
You: “Hell yeah!”
Ice Cube Trays
Oil is the primary source for some 40 basic chemicals on which 40,000 chemical products are based. Including ice cube trays. Before these you had to buy ice in a shop but ice cube trays puts the power to mould ice in your hands, but be careful, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Where to start? Today most aspirin is created using phenol, a compound derived from crude oil. Helping millions through the stress of pain and mitigating such conditions as arthritis, most of us have used aspirin from one time or another. Again, we can thank oil.