In ancient times meteors were supposed to be generated in the air by inflammable gases.
Its vapour is spontaneously inflammable when exposed to air.
This is at first colourless carbon dioxide, but later on inflammable gases come out of the mass, which at this stage has turned into a thicker, pasty condition, showing that the end of the reaction is near.
East of the town, is the now disused temple of the Parsee fire-worshippers, who were attracted thither by the natural fountains of inflammable gas.
Prior to 1691, however, Dr John Clayton, dean of Kildare, filled bladders with inflammable gas obtained by the distillation of coal, and showed that on pricking the bladders and applying a light to the escaping gas it burnt with a luminous flame, and in 1726 Stephen Hales published the fact that by the distillation of 158 grains of Newcastle coal, 180 cub.