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If the uses to which oil might be put and the methods for manufacturing it had not been well understood when the Drake well was struck, there would have been no such imperious demand as came for the immediate opening of new territory and developing methods of handling and carrying it on a large scale. But men already knew what the oil was good for, and, in a crude way, how to distil it. The process of distillation also was free to all. The essential apparatus was very simple -a cast-iron still, usually surrounded by brick-work, a copper worm, and two tin or zinc lined tanks. The still was filled with crude oil, which was subjected to a high enough heat to vapourise it. The vapour passed through a cast iron goose-neck fitted to the top of the still into the copper worm, which was immersed in water. Here the vapour was condensed and passed into the zinc-lined tank. This product, called a distillate, was treated with chemicals, washed with water, and run off into the tin-lined tank, where it was allowed to settle. Anybody who could get the apparatus could "make oil," and many men did - badly, of course, to begin with, and with an alarming proportion of waste and explosions and fires, but with experience they learned, and some of the great refineries of the country grew out of these rude beginnings.