It depends who "they" is.
Traditionally it was claimed that tramps drank it, but I've never
For household use:
- Cleaner for glass etc.
- Spirit burners in fondue sets
- Burners in model steam engines
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
I remember watching two wino's in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, being over the
moon when they scraped together enough money to buy a pint of milk to mix
with their small bottle of meths. Funnily enough both had perfect white
teeth and a full head of thick hair and I don't know if it was all down to
being pickled from the inside out, or if it was just because they were young
and looked a lot older. (?) Anyway.
Meths can be used as a very good cleaning solution on many things and is
great for getting particularly greasy marks off. I've also seen it used as
a thinner for thick metal paints and coatings, and also as a primer for old
paraffin fuelled blow lamps when a cloth was dipped in it and wrapped around
the burner tube to preheat it. Burned for quite a while if memory serves
T'is true though. In Glasgow, when I lived there, you used to have to sign
the poisons register to buy meths. Another tramp favourite was coal gas
bubbled through stolen milk. You used to look for lead gas pipes that had
been cut, then folded back on themselves, when checking derelict houses to
see whether they were being used by dossers.
Never tried it myself, but it is supposed to produce an inebriating drink,
possibly one that was more palatable than meths. I came across it when
helping out with a mass survey of the homeless in Glasgow. Hundreds of
people were enrolled to visit derelict buildings across the city and the
damaged gas pipe was one of the signs of habitation that we were told to
look out for and record. Nobody actually expected us to find any homeless
(we didn't) so their numbers had to be extrapolated from signs like that or
the more obvious tatty mattress in an empty house. The Social Worker who
briefed us said they were looking forward to the introduction of natural
gas, which would end the practice, so I assume something in the coal gas was
critical to the process.
Actually, I was just thinking about this (and recalling my A-level
chemistry N years ago...) wasn't coal gas methane (CH4)? And maybe
methane is partially soluble in water (H20) to produce methanol
(CH5OH), ie meths? Or did coal gas contain methanol vapour which
condensed in the milk?
I'm sure someone will have the definitive answer!
More importantly, how did a presumably uneducated, penniless, homeless,
alcoholic Glaswegian make this discovery. How many unpleasant gases did he
have to bubble through how many different stolen drinks before he finally
got to that Eureka moment?
No, coal gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. I'm bemused
by what, if any, intoxicant could be made by bubbling CO + H2 into milk.
It may be that the effect was simply that of a mild dose of CO poisoning
which may mimic the feeling of being drunk.
On Mon, 15 Sep 2003 00:29:11 GMT, "nightjar" <nightjar@ wrote
(Another known favourite was aftershave -- we used to see empty bottles
of Aqua Velva in the park next to where I took my grad degree in
Toronto. Is that ethanol-based as well, or something else entirely?)
The only time I've specifically needed meths for a diy project was for
melting down old 78 records in it to produce black shellac for
restoring some ebonised furniture.
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