The Strange Case of the YELLOW DOG

By Staff
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Yellow Dog measurements are: 13 inches from spout to spout,7 inches tall without handle, weight approximately 14 pounds.

1615 Brick Kiln Lane, Louisville, Kentucky 40216

Have you ever thought of how things would be if there had never
been any gas or oil?

Of course no one could possibly know what that would mean to our
current lifestyle, but have you ever thought about it? If
you’re like most of us probably not. Most people take things
like that for granted. But if that were true there would certainly
be an altogether different set of circumstances surrounding our

Instead of natural gas heat, most of us would be using, perhaps
wood or electricity, or something else not ever dreamed of, for
that, and what about our automobiles? What about our old gas
engines and tractors? What a whole new ball game that would be.

Without doubt there would be alternate sources of fuel, you can
count on that. After all, a young Henry Ford envisioned automobiles
as running on hydrogen, and in fact invested much time and money in
experiments with this particular fuel. The biggest obstacle he
encountered was with the storage of hydrogen in the automobile.
Such storage required a container able to withstand tremendous
pressure safely, but with much less weight than containers of the
day. If he had had the technology that we have available in this
day and age, at his disposal, there is no doubt that liquid
hydrogen would have played a very important part in the fueling of
our auto engines. Since hydrogen is so abundant it may well turn
out to be a ‘fuel of the future’.

Of course there are other fuels that could have been used such
as alcohol and even coal, if indeed there was coal available.

Most people would be very much surprised to hear that Rudolph
Diesel, the father of the diesel engine, at first intended his
engine to run on coal. That’s right! Powdered coal mixed with
water. What’s more surprising is that right today, this very
thing is being done in Europe on an experimental basis and a large
single cylinder engine, designed to drive a generator, has been
running for several months now with no major problems. This engine
is approximately 200 HP in size and runs well but is being
evaluated as to wear from the powdered coal and water mixture,
which obviously would be much greater than with conventional diesel
fuel. It is believed this concept is entirely feasible and most
certainly will be used in the future. I know it is difficult for
the average person, including myself, to believe that a compound
such as this would fire in an engine, but it does.

I hadn’t really thought much about the oil and gas aspect of
my old gas engines until I became so very much interested in the
oil and gas industry as a result of my attendance at the West
Virginia Oil and Gas Festival at Sistersville each year. (Sept.
12-15 this year). And the more I learn about this important
industry, the more fascinated I become with everything about

One of the many stories in connection with that concerns the
title of this story ‘The Yellow Dog’.

The yellow dog didn’t have four legs and a wagging tail, as
you might expect. It wasn’t alive at all. If someone called you
a yellow dog you’d be inclined to resent it and may very well
be ready to fight. I know you’ve heard it said that ‘so and
so’ would vote a particular party if there was a yellow dog
running on the ticket.

Now that may be true but that also is not the type of yellow dog
I’m talking about.

It seems back in the early days of oil well drilling, and in
operating a producing well, there were no electric light,
especially in remote areas, and night operations were very hard and
in fact almost impossible to continue by the light of a ‘coal
oil’ lantern. So good old American ingenuity took over and the
iron foundries of the area started producing a vessel looking
somewhat liked an old iron tea kettle but with two spouts, one on
each side. Now how in the world did something like that get such a

Well, picture yourself if you will, walking down a dark hollow
at night, and through the mist. Hanging low up ahead, you can make
out two yellow spots. These spots were two wicks, one in each
spout, that were lit to provide light at the well site. Since there
was an abundance of crude oil available, it was a simple matter to
fill the ‘kettle’ and light the wicks. The two yellow
lights were said to look, from a distance, like the eyes of a dog
shining in the night, hence the name ‘yellow dog’. It’s
amazing how names develop, isn’t it?

Recently, thanks to ‘good old Ed Deis’ I acquired one of
these yellow dogs. Not in very good shape to be sure but then maybe
someone out there has a better one that they would part with. If so
let me know.

Little do we realize how much our lives depend on the oil and
gas industry. Without it that plastics industry would most surely
not be in the high degree of development that it is today. The
makeup of our wearing apparel would be almost all oriented toward
the natural fibers instead of synthetics.

Many types of food additives have been developed from oil as
well as medicines, fertilizers and many chemicals that are directly
involved in all facets of our everyday lives. Whether this is good
or bad simply depends upon your particular viewpoint.

The amazing reality is that our use of oil as a fuel involves
less than one third of our oil consumption. Ah yes! Where would we
be without our abundant supply of gas and oil?

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