Sunday, February 2, 2003

First Ethyl gasoline sold at Dayton station


Ohio Moments

[photo]
This insignia on a gas pump promised antiknock Ethyl gas.
OilHistory.com

On Feb. 2, 1923, the first Ethyl gasoline went on sale at a roadside station in Dayton.

In those days, gasoline caused car engines to knock or ping. It was not only annoying, but potentially harmful to the engine.

Thomas Midgely and Charles Kettering, researchers for General Motors in Dayton, discovered that adding tetraethyl lead to the gas eliminated the problem. Kettering coined the resulting mixture "ethyl gasoline," which was dyed red to distinguish it from regular gas.

It was first made available to motorists at a Dayton gas station owned by Willard Talbott, a friend of Kettering. Of course, leaded gasoline was toxic to the environment and to people.

By the mid-1930s a collaboration among General Motors, DuPont and Standard Oil produced Ethyl gas. They managed to suppress government reports about the danger of the product and tetraethyl lead was added to 90 percent of the gasoline used in the United States. Leaded gas was phased out in the 1970s.

Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear here daily during 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at rgoodman@enquirer.com or (513) 768-8361.




COLUMBIA DISASTER: LOCAL REACTION
(Complete Columbia coverage at Cincinnati.com)
Tristaters shocked, seek answers
Terrace Park man loses friend on Columbia
Tristate Jews stunned by Israeli's death
India natives offer special prayers
KIESEWETTER: Another tragedy unfolds on TV
PULFER: Flight: a routine miracle
Enquirer seeking local connections
Disaster evokes Challenger image at Wright-Pat
School superintendent's hometown in debris path
Local woman witnessed 'perfect' launch
Ohio astronaut: `Oh, my God'
List of Ohio astronauts
Space program must go on, scientists say
DeWine: NASA funding will be rexamined
Reading firm makes shuttle fuel tanks

TOP STORIES
Marine families sundered
Service reductions to go deep

IN THE TRISTATE
Funds for 'Cultural Trust' discussed
UC to charge students for paper
Norwood council must shrink
Obituary: Marjorie Smith, interior decorator
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
BRONSON: Finishing strong
PULFER: Branding doctor
CROWLEY: GOP win should wake up Democrats
HOWARD: Some Good News

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Bumpy road halts approval for housing

OHIO
Judge allows lawsuit by doctors
GOP lawmakers oppose prison closing
Medina prosecutors want teen to be tried as adult
Retired professor put 'pop' in culture at Bowling Green
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Forum urges education support
Three face drug charges after raid near schools
Thousands to lose Medicare eligibility
Judge unseals records in First Amendment dispute over priests
Four killed in crash were part of elite Fort Campbell regiment