A Brief History of Pipelines

Most people do not consider what it takes to put together a piping system that delivers gas and other fuels to millions of people across the United States. It is a tough job to design a piping system that can stand the test of time and provide highly functional service. Have you ever wondered how piping systems got their start? This brief history will give you all the basics.

Pipelines Are Older Than You Think

How long do you think pipelines have been around? While most people will say around a hundred years, the facts are actually quite mind-blowing. The very first pipelines recorded in history were constructed of bamboo. These hydrocarbon piping systems date back to 500 BC and were located in China. Of course, things have changed significantly over the years, but pipelines got their start over 2500 years ago.

Modern Pipelines

Bamboo pipelines aside, the actual history of pipelines as we know them starts in about 1815. Steel welded pipes were first used in piping systems in the early 1800s. A gentleman named William Murdock created the first pipeline by welding together the barrels of muskets to create a pipeline to bring coal gas from his well to his home.

This rough representation of what a pipeline could do evidently caught on rather quickly. William started a great interest in how metal pipes could be formed and used to carry gas. By 1853, the Canadians got on board and constructed one of the first commercial pipelines. Pipelines also started to become more complex by adding things such as screwed fittings and pipe flanges.

The fast-paced evolution of pipelines required some fast-paced legislation. By 1906, new laws were enacted in the United States that regulated pipelines. There have been many improvements since the first pipeline was designed, and there have been many new laws to accompany those improvements.

Pipelines Today

There are over 1.4 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. today that carry trillions of gallons of fuel and gas across the nation. The United States is the world leader in petroleum pipelines. There are more petroleum pipelines in the United States than in any other country in the world. There are primarily three different pipelines used in the production of gas and oil. Each type has a different function, is a different size, and can even use different materials.

Pipelines have come a long way and have become a very important part of every person’s life. Although there is a lot more history behind them, they have improved greatly since 500 BC.

For more on how your needs can be met in the pipeline industry, please call us at Lynco Flange & Fitting and one of our knowledgeable staff members will be happy to provide you with the best products and expertise!

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