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  #1  
Old 04/19/11, 12:02 PM
 
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Salt in Kerosene?

So I'm reading Little House in the Big Woods out loud to my guys, and in chapter two Laura writes about putting salt in the kerosene lamp to keep the kerosene from exploding. Is this still necessary and how does it work? Is it just a few grains or is it the entire bowl of the lamp full with kerosene in the spaces between the salt?

Does anyone else read the Little House books as a how-to manual?

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Old 04/19/11, 12:48 PM
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Kerosene will support bacterial growth, maybe thats why they used salt? Hot kero vapour will explode the liquid won't. Since salt wouldn't be vapourized with the kerosene I don't see how its going to help. Hmm interesting.

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Old 04/19/11, 12:58 PM
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Location: Western NY State near the PA border
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Never heard of doing this. My grandfather used kerosene for heating (and lighting before electricity) most of his life, and I don't recall him using salt. Wish he was still around to ask him about this....and many more questions I have!!

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  #4  
Old 04/19/11, 01:05 PM
 
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I was thinking maybe something to do with water in the kerosene? (Can you tell who's been deep fat frying lately?) But I really don't know much of anything about kerosene.
Here's the quote, it's page 38 in my copy:
"Ma sat in her rocking chair, sewing by the light of the lamp on the table. The lamp was bright and shiny. There was salt in the bottom of its glass bowl with the kerosene, to keep the kerosene from exploding, and there were bits of red flannel among the salt to make it pretty. It was pretty."

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Old 04/19/11, 01:57 PM
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Impure kerosene with substances such as benzene can explode, but salt won't stop it from doing so. Here is a page of a google book that talks about it.
http://books.google.com/books?id=JLn...epage&q&f=true

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Old 04/19/11, 03:14 PM
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The fact that people do things for specified reasons doesn't always mean the reasons are correct.

They simply do it because they THINK it works

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Old 04/19/11, 04:25 PM
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http://www.newton-s.com/uses/drying-...et_language=en

Water can cause Kerosene to burn erratically. By the way, burn erratically is NOT the same as explosion.
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Last edited by seedspreader; 04/19/11 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 04/19/11, 04:30 PM
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http://books.google.com/books?id=JLn...page&q&f=false

Check this out.
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