It has seemed to me that I can turn the hour that you allow me on this occasion to the best account in the discussion of some subject connected with petroleum and its derivatives.
Petroleum has long been in the world. Man has been acquainted with it through much of his brief day. As soon as he “came to himself,” in the earliest stages of civilization, we find him making use of asphalt, one of the best marked derivatives of petroleum. Asphalt took a prominent place in his arts and commerce, and frequent mention of it occurs in some of the oldest records of the race.
In later times asphalt, the representative of petroleum, lost to a considerable extent its relative importance, being replaced in several lines of service by other and more easily obtained substances, but within the last half of the present century the bituminous series, represented . . .