If you think about it the name “natural gas” is kind of weird. Why “natural”? Does that mean there is “unnatural gas”?
The answer: Yes, although “manufactured gas” is the usual term.
I have a story in today’s Monitor about the days 70 years ago when Concord, like many cities, manufactured its own gas for heating and industrial uses by basically cooking coal. The industry died with the arrival of natural gas, which has about twice the BTU, but there are still remnants, notably the former gas-holding building ni Concord.
I talked to the former president of the company, who’s now 94, about how this worked and what the transition to natural gas (also known as “rock gas,” by the way) happened – including why his company bought a lot of new appliances.
The story is here.
And “rock gas” was an early term for “natural gas”.