Model of horizontal oil shale retort

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Postcard of Model of horizontal oil shale retort.
© National Museums Scotland

Model of horizontal oil shale retort

This is a model of the type of retort used in the 1850s by the scientist and entrepreneur, James Young.

This type of retort was used from 1851 when Young started his Bathgate works. After the introduction of the vertical retort in 1852 its use was very gradually superseded.

James Young, 1811-1883, the founding father of the oil industry, was the first to realise the potential for extracting paraffin from oil rich shales and coals. He set up a successful business but sold it in 1866 to return to research in pure science.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-868-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0088: Innovators and Innovations (multimedia essay)
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1926.126
Date: 1850s
Dimensions: 320 mm H x 275 mm L x 235 mm W
What: Retort, horizontal, oil shale / model
Subject: 6. MINERAL OILS, Models (Departmental Classification)
Who: James Young (scientist)
Mackenzie and Co. (model maker)
Where: Scotland, Lanarkshire, Glasgow
Scotland, West Lothian, Bathgate, Young's Oil Shale Works
Description: Model of a horizontal oil shale retort to a scale of 1/2 of an inch to 1 foot, a type in use from 1851 when Young started his Bathgate works
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