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Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the U.S.

THE STATE OF OHIO

Introduction

            Ohio’s manufactured gas history is similar to others in the upper Midwest. The first gas works in the State, at Cincinnati, about 1830 was early and development generally did not appear until 1846, after which one or two gas works were established each year. Incorporations through 1851 were all by Special Acts of the Legislature, with General Law provisions becoming available in 1856 (Evans, 1948, p. 60-61). Beginning in 1856, gas works were incorporated in all but two years, with an average of seven companies per year and with incorporation peaks of 34 (1885), 28 (1886), 44 (1887) and ten or eleven each for 1883, 1884, and 1899). Historically we know that the anomalies of 1883 through 1887 represent the effect of discovery of “high-pressure” natural gas in northwestern Ohio in November 1884, and with its first large-capacity well going on stream in January 1886.

            Not all incorporated gas companies are able to survive completion of a plant, yet these numbers are impressive, especially when considered in the context of the U.S. EPA level-of-effort estimate of 1500 FMGPs nationally (“Radian Report”, 1985). Working Ohio manufactured gas plants is further hampered in the historic statistical sense. It is difficult to identify and isolate the small natural gas companies that came and went with the ebb and flow of discovery of small gas fields and their usual mismanagement to extinction.  The author has found 126 FMGPs and other coal-tar sites and believes that the real figure will prove to be significantly larger, considering that Ohio was the scene of creation of 318 gas companies by 1899, an average of more than seven companies per year (Evans, ibid.).

Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
Ohio map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.

Click the green "Hatheway" link below to view the
Ohio map of Professor Hatheway's research.

Copyright © 2012  by Dr. Allen W. Hatheway    All rights reserved.
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