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Oil


Under


Sherwood Forest


Janet Roberts

Smashwords Edition Copyright 2011 Janet Roberts

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History


The history of oil production in Britain goes back to 1847. Up until that time whale oil, predominately from the sperm whale, had been used for illumination, as it gave a bright light with little smell or smoke. However, it was expensive and only the fairly wealthy could afford to buy it regularly.

Then in 1847 Professor Lyon Playfair, a chemist to the Geological Survey, and later Professor in the new School of Mines, came to visit his brother-in-law James Oakes in Riddings near Alfreton, Derbyshire. Oakes owned a coal pit, and had noticed a black oily substance oozing out of the walls of the mine. Playfair immediately sent a sample to his old friend James Young, who in his first scientific paper, dated the 4th January, 1837 had described a modification of a voltaic battery invented by Michael Faraday. Playfair included with the sample an explanatory note

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