According to Harry Lemen, this coal oil wagon was fifty-three years old in 1927 and the owner, Paul Meyers, was its twenty-third owner. In the late 1800s and early 1900s coal oil, or kerosene, was much in demand. Its primary use was for lamps and heating. One notable obscure use was as a deterrent to chiggers while blackberry picking. A rag with a few drops of kerosene tied around the wrists and ankles was the early version of "Off." It was also used for everything from a cleaning fluid to a weed killer. The demand was great enough that wagons plied the streets, much as the old ice wagons, delivering coal oil to the customer's doorstep.
Harry Lemen, photographer
River to Rail and Lemen Collection
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