Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/40

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34
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
 

PSM V81 D040 High woods trinidad.png

Photo, C. R. Toothaker, Phila. Commercial Museum.

High Woods, Trinidad.
 

source of bitumen. Long before the asphalt was used on any industrial scale, attempts to reach this and obtain petroleum were made. A comparatively shallow well was sunk not far from the lake, and a heavy liquid asphalt was discovered, but the facilities available at that time for sinking a deep well, and the lack of demand or means of utilizing this material, caused development to be abandoned. Success has now crowned the efforts to obtain this liquid asphalt in commercial quantities, and it is now available for road construction. It has proved to be a most remarkable and unique form of bitumen. Primarily it is, of course, a petroleum, being a liquid form of bitumen coming from a depth of about 900 feet below the surface. Its characteristics as determined by the usual form of distillation proposed by Engler, and generally followed by oil experts, appears from the following data:

 
Specific gravity at 60° F .965
Beaume at 60° F 15 .1°
Flash—open cup 95° F.