Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 20, 1887
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2. “Notice of a Discovery of Illuminating Gas,” by J. C. Crawford, F.G.S.

The writer stated that he had lately commenced to sink a bore for water on the flat land on the Hataitai Peninsula, somewhat nearer the western than the eastern hills. The bore passed through 54 feet of sand, and then through more than 40 feet of stiff blue clay, when yesterday afternoon the man in charge of the work was surprised by a sudden rush of gas up the pipe, preceded by the ejection of some water. The gas continues to rise in great force, it burns with a yellowish-red flame by daylight, white at night; there is no smell of sulphur, and it is reported as being a pure illuminating gas. There is nothing as yet discovered to show from what rocks the gas is derived, or under what conditions it is formed.

[Since the above meeting, Mr. McKay, of the Geological Department, has collected samples of the gas for test in the laboratory, and Mr. Skey found it to be marsh gas, or light carburetted hydrogen, which might answer for heating purposes, but not for illuminating. It is probably derived from the decomposition of swamp matter buried at a great depth from the surface; and this view has been confirmed by the cessation of the gas-escape after about seven days’ duration.—J. Hector.]