Because nitroglycerine is so hazardous to transport, portable nitroglycerine plants were popular in the 19th century. These were small nitrating and washing facilities that produced the "soup" close to where it was used, in mines, construction projects, oil wells and so forth. The raw materials were anhydrous glycerol, fuming sulphuric acid, and 100% nitric acid. One model was produced by a telegraphic equipment manufacturer, one of the few "science-based" industries of the time, which also supplied electrical detonating apparatus.


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