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I read this last week when you started the thread, Bill. Very cool.

My only suggestion would be to make the graphic higher-rez and clickable. Even when I expanded the schematic 400% via Explorer, the labeling of the individual parts was difficult to read.

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  • 2 months later...

My only suggestion would be to make the graphic higher-rez and clickable. Even when I expanded the schematic 400% via Explorer, the labeling of the individual parts was difficult to read.

This is the best that I can get it.

Click to Enlarge
2009102624852_acetylene.GIF

687.85 KB

I also happened across this recently:

THE STORY OF ACETYLENE AS TOLD IN QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. ©1900

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Was acetylene used for space heaters? My old house (1870) was plumbed for gas in every room, including a tap for a space heater and one for a light, apparently added after the building had been up for some time as there were access holes cut through upper floor boards.

I have removed all of the gas lines from the second floor, and all the lighting and space heating branches on the first floor, but most of the gas pipe in the basement is original, including a few valves.

Tom

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Hey Bill, a question regarding that article: Anyone who has used Oxy-

Acetylene for brazing etc. knows how dirty Acetylene burns on its own. How did they get around this or did they?

I don't have much experience with burning acetylene, except playing around with an old miners head-lamp and a bicycle lamp. From what I've read though, the carbon produced seemed to be more of a problem on the burner tip openings, which required regular cleaning. The tips for lighting, versus the burners for torches, were likely quite different.

Also, consider what other fuels for lighting were available at that time, for comparison. Kerosene and sometimes gasoline were used where "city gas" wasn't available. In cities and larger towns, that had gas works and distribution piping, the gas was usually "coal gas". The burners and lamps available at the time with these fuels also burned pretty "dirty".

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Was acetylene used for space heaters? My old house (1870) was plumbed for gas in every room, including a tap for a space heater and one for a light, apparently added after the building had been up for some time as there were access holes cut through upper floor boards.

I have removed all of the gas lines from the second floor, and all the lighting and space heating branches on the first floor, but most of the gas pipe in the basement is original, including a few valves.

Tom

Burning acetylene for for illumination was cost-effective. For heating, it's not.

When burning acetylene for illumination, with only surrounding oxygen present, a brilliant, steady white light is produced. Long after electricity was readily available, acetylene lighting and projectors were still preferred in theatres.

For any decent heat output, additional oxygen needs to be mixed with the acetylene. Each pound of acetylene burned would require about 28 cu. ft. of pure oxygen. The cost to produce, transport and store that volume made it a poor choice for heating. There were also concerns that burning that ratio would produce tremendous amounts of carbonic acid (H2CO3).

What you describe is much more likely for the distribution of "city gas".

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I suspected as much. That actually helps me to age the gas system as the other "old" houses on my street are at least 50 years newer than mine. Interesting that indoor plumbing came before a public heat and light utility, when I bought the house it had the original septic system with 1896 on both the cast iron tank lids.

Tom

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My only suggestion would be to make the graphic higher-rez and clickable. Even when I expanded the schematic 400% via Explorer, the labeling of the individual parts was difficult to read.

This is the best that I can get it.

Click to Enlarge
2009102624852_acetylene.GIF

687.85 KB

I also happened across this recently:

THE STORY OF ACETYLENE AS TOLD IN QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. ©1900

It was the slightest bit fuzzy--in part due to the old-style font--but I could read every word. It's likely that only the geeksters like us would take the time to read the schematics and try to understand them, but it's nice when they're legible.

It's sort of like the Scully nozzle in another post of yours tonight. Its actual name isn't really that important, but I knew what it was 'cause I took the time to read some other schematic several years ago.

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