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In 1883, when natural gas was first introduced into Pittsburgh as a fuel, loud and many were the complaints that the heat it produced had the effect of making the atmosphere too dry for breathing purposes (not taking into consideration this new and untamed fluid, as to its noxious and combustible qualities) that it irritated the nose and throat.
So great was the complaint at first that a great many persons had it removed from their dwelling houses, but ingenuity often conquers a great many difficulties, and it certainly did in this case. The dryness of the atmosphere produced by the heat of the gas was obviated by kettles filled with water, hung over the fireplaces in which the gas was burning, the water in the kettles would become sufficiently heated to generate steam enough to neutralize the dryness produced by combustion of the natural gas. This dryness of the
RANKIN DM. EFFECT OF NATURAL GAS UPON UPPER AIR PASSAGES. Read in the Section of Laryngology and Otology, at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, June, 1889. JAMA. 1890;XIV(9):306–308. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410090018001d
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