Julius Pintsch

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For a company established by Julius Pintsch, see Julius Pintsch AG.
Julius Pintsch
Gas meter manufactured by Julius Pintsch company in the Gas Museum in Warsaw

Carl Friedrich Julius Pintsch (1815 in Berlin – 1884) was a German tinsmith, manufacturer and inventor who is primarily known for the invention of "Pintsch gas".

Pintsch achieved success in 1847 with the invention of a gas meter that would eventually be used worldwide. In 1851, he created a gas lamp that was suitable for use in railroad cars. These lamps were illuminated by Pintsch gas; a long-burning gas that would remain lit during the rough motion of train journeys. Pintsch gas was essentially purified, compressed naphtha that was regulated and reduced to 1/3 ounce per square inch of pressure to the burner. Pintsch gas was later replaced by an improved Blau gas or "blue gas" for railroad car usage.

Starting in 1863 he built a factory on Andreasstrasse in Berlin: this was followed by facilities in Dresden, Breslau, Frankfurt, Utrecht and Fürstenwalde. These plants designed and constructed a wide range of gas-related devices including gas meters, gas pressure regulators, and gas analyzers.

After his death in 1884, his sons Julius and Richard inherited the business and became successful in the manufacture of compressed Pintsch gas for use in beacons and unmanned lighthouses.

Pintsch gas[edit]

Pintsch gas was a compressed fuel gas derived from distilled naphtha used for illumination purposes during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

It was invented in 1851 by German inventor and manufacturer Julius Pintsch (1815-1884). Its primary use in the latter half of the 19th century was for illumination of railroad cars. In several railway accidents Pintsch gas lamps added fuel to any fire which started, for example, in the Thirsk rail crash (1892), Sunshine rail disaster (1908), Quintinshill rail disaster (1915), and the Dugald rail accident (1947). Lamps using Pintsch gas burned brighter and longer than the existing oil lamps they replaced. These lamps could also withstand vibration and rough usage without extinguishing the light. These features made Pintsch gas a popular solution for illumination of buoys, beacons and unmanned lighthouses, which allowed these devices to have the capability to remain lit for several months without servicing.

Electricity and other artificial means of lighting eventually replaced Pintsch illumination. However, it was still used in lighthouses and beacons long after it was replaced elsewhere.

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