Who Was The First Gas Burner Manufacturer?

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Although the widespread use of manufactured gas dates back several decades, we possibly tend to think that burning gas to provide a heating flame only really came in when we started to switch to natural gas in the late 1940’s. From that thought, we could be excused in saying that the first Gas Burner Manufacturer probably set up shop some time after 1940. A little research will soon show us that companies existed in the US to manufacture gas burners around the start of the 20th century; basic burners were probably being made since at least the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

This Thinking Could Be Very Wrong

It is popular theorizing these days, even amongst us “Westerners”, to claim that the ancient Chinese invented most things and discovered most places. Did they discover America and did they invent soccer? The theories propounded sound convincing; but are often more hypotheses than convincing explanations. Maybe the first Gas Burner Manufacturer was making his burners long ago in China?

Natural Gas As A Fuel

Some assert that the Chinese started to use natural gas as a source of heat and light during the 4th Century BC. It is known that the early Chinese did drill deep boreholes for the extraction of underground brine which they could then evaporate to obtain unrefined table salt. Some of these boreholes are known to have been down to depths of 2,000 feet so it is logical to expect that some of them encountered natural gas as well as brine deposits.

It would follow that there would have been accidental fires when natural gas was unexpectedly encountered and, it is claimed that the Chinese called such wells “fire wells”. No one doubts the resourcefulness of the Chinese and they would have certainly found ways to exploit this natural source of fire (they did invent gun powder and fireworks after all). It would appear that, by utilizing a system of bamboo pipes with burning holes drilled into them; the Chinese provided the first Gas Burner Manufacturer.

Many of today’s gas burners follow a system that is not all that far removed from the Chinese bamboo pipes. The pipe will be made of cast iron or a stainless steel and the pipe burner will have a more sophisticated way of mixing air with the gas to ensure that it burns with the correct flame characteristics; but, a line of separate gas flames is still the result.