The Abraham Pineo Gesner reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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Abraham Pineo Gesner

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Abraham Pineo Gesner (1797-1864) was a physician and geologist in Nova Scotia, Canada who in 1854 invented a process for distilling kerosene from coal. This product, also called paraffin, was cheaper than whale oil, and therefore resulted in a reduction in whale hunting.