History shows energy drives the plot in gasoline, natural gas

I love it when I come across something random during the day that points back to my work. (Here’s where the cynics will say, “Said no one, ever …” — but bear with me.) We’ve just past a solemn anniversary that led to great leaps forward in energy safety. Eighty-plus years ago on March 18, 1937, gas that had accumulated beneath the floors and in the walls of the London School in New London, Texas, exploded. Some 295 people, mostly teens and pre-teens, died. Workers rushed from the nearby oil fields to attempt rescues. Most natural gas at that time had no odor. The disaster was instrumental in the decision to add mercaptan to gas. The podcast Stuff You Missed In History Class recently had an excellent take on New London, including this fact I never had known about the disaster: the school district had tapped into a waste natural gas line for heat, a fairly common practice of the day. Accounts of the disaster, as cited in the podcast, tell of how much of East Texas stepped up that spring to assist New London. It was the Greatest Generation, indeed, which points me to my second story from that

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