Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/267

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
263
DENATURED ALCOHOL

likely to deter any from endeavoring to make and sell denatured alcohol, except those who have already devoted a large share of a studious life to an endeavor to understand the present rules governing the distillation of spirituous liquors.

A few of these regulations are enough to give a fair idea of the whole 152 which require sixty-two good-sized, closely-printed pages for their statement. Any one desiring to denature alcohol must construct a bonded warehouse on the distillery premises. The most minute details of its construction are laid down, even to the make of locks used for locking the doors and securing the faucets and openings of the tanks. A room must be provided for an internal revenue officer whose duties appear to be largely to sit in the room and keep the keys in his pocket. "Not less than 300 wine gallons of alcohol can be withdrawn at one time for denaturing purposes." The denaturants after being approved must be kept locked in the bonded warehouse until used. Exact instructions concerning the bookkeeping of the establishment are given. The denaturants must be 'thoroly mixt' [sic] with the alcohol in the presence of a revenue officer. If no mistakes have been made thus far (and any mistake involves a stoppage of the process, the filling out of numerous legal blanks, and reference to an endless chain of supervisors, inspectors, collectors, and chemists), the manufacturer may draw off his product 'thru' his approved pipes and locks into receptacles of not less than 5 gallons, nor more than 135 gallons capacity, "all of which receptacles must be painted light green." Under no circumstances is a package containing denatured alcohol to be of any other color. It is to be hoped we may not be left too long in suspense as to the exact shade of green demanded for this momentous purpose. "Upon each head of the package shall be stenciled in red letters of not less than 112 inches in length by 1 inch in width, the words, 'denatured alcohol.' "Seven other items of interest must be stenciled on the head, but probably through some oversight, the size and color of these letters do not appear to be specified. Complete transcripts of records of the previous month must be sworn to before the tenth of the next month. The form of affidavit is given, nothing seems to be forgotten, even the colors of the inks with which the records are to be written are prescribed.

Next follow regulations for the sale of denatured alcohol, if any one ventures into the precarious business of making it, undaunted by the legal pitfalls and penalties provided. 'Manufacturers of and dealers in beverages of any kind' are not permitted to keep nor store denatured alcohol; they are in danger of the strong arm of the law if they so much as have a light green cask with red letters on it in their possession. Druggists are mercifully exempt from this prohibition. Permits, which must be renewed each year, must be obtained before