Gas Bag on Roof Holds Bus Fuel (Apr, 1940)

Gas Bag on Roof Holds Bus Fuel
Mounted on the roof tops of English busses, balloonlike fabric bags are serving as reservoirs for coal gas, a fuel now in general use as a substitute for gasoline. In the photograph reproduced above, coal gas is being piped into the roof-top balloon reservoir of a bus before the vehicle starts off on a scheduled run.

  1. Stannous says: October 13, 20075:58 pm

    Oh yeah, sign me up. I can’t wait to be riding around UNDERNEATH the combustible fuel during the Blitz 5 months later…

  2. Thundercat says: October 13, 20077:33 pm

    This type of thinking worked out well for the Hindenberg.

  3. jayessell says: October 14, 20079:13 am

    Lighter than air.
    The flames would go up, away from the bus.

    I wonder if they set fire to one of the fuel bladders as a test.

  4. mrchurchill109 says: October 15, 20079:24 am

    Not methane – if I remember correctly this was manufactured fuel gas from coal gasification – much carboï monoxide and some hydrogen. This stuff was nasty and rough on the engines it was used in – lots of corrosion from the acids created as combustion by-products.

    CO is marginally lighter than air and hydrogen is much lighter. The boom would tend to go up, though I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near it.


  5. Orv says: October 16, 20076:21 pm

    “Producer gas,” I think, is the term. It was used for lighting and cooking in cities for a long time, before natural gas pipelines became common. I’d worry more about a leak into the passenger cabin than an explosion — people used to commit suicide by sticking their head in the oven, because they’d be overcome fairly quickly by the carbon monoxide.

  6. Henry Gibson says: May 6, 20089:23 pm

    Probably filled with coal gas; that is what you get when you heat
    up coal and filter out all of the tars and solids from the off gases.

    The GrafZepplin was a hydrogen filled dirigible that spent ten years
    cross the oceans and round the world. If you want to be afraid of a gas
    container, the most dangerous one is a tanker of chlorine or propane….

  7. Bill Raisn says: September 22, 20084:15 am

    It certainly was ‘town gas’, manufactured from coal. Private cars and lorries also used this system. Some busses, esspecially double-deckers, towed a small trailer.

  8. ffxiv gil says: May 3, 201012:49 am

    Such a usefule blog wow !!!!

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