Wyoming’s history would not be complete without considering the refineries that turned the state’s oil production into a variety of useful products sold locally and worldwide. The early “tea kettle” refineries used concepts similar to 19th century whale-oil refining and coal-oil plants, however with the onset of the automobile in the early 1900s, demand soon grew for gasoline, and the process of “cracking” was developed to increase gasoline yields. Kettles and Crackers begins with the first oil refinery built in Casper in 1895, continues through the peak years of the 1920s and 1930s when over 50 plants were reported in operation, and concludes with the present state of the industry. The book focuses on when, where, and why over 70 refineries were constructed in Wyoming, and why most of them ceased to operate.
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