Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Westminster in Carroll County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Wormseed Oil Distillation

 
 
Wormseed Oil Distillation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), December 17, 2021
1. Wormseed Oil Distillation Marker
Inscription.  
Distillation was found to be the best way to extract wormseed oil so numerous crude distillation units were built in Carroll County and the surrounding area. A vat, or kettle, was loaded with as much of the wormseed stalk as possible and stamped down by workers. The vat was sealed and live steam from the boiler was charged into the vat for approximately thirty minutes. The built up pressure was then then released through pipes into a condenser where the steam and oil condensed.

The steam and oily vapor were transported through steel or copper pipes which were bathed in troughs filled with cool spring water. The oil, being lighter, floated to the top and was then separated and stored in steel shipping containers. In many cases the yellowish liquid would be distilled a second time to improve purity. The still operator charged a flat figure per pound based on the specific gravity of the oil with an ideal range between 0.955 and 0.980. At the peak of oil manufacturing Maryland, stills often ran six days a week producing 2,000 pounds of oil every 24 hours.

A negative aspect to the distillation process was the odor. Alternative
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
names for wormseed were "stinking goosefoot" and "stinking motherwort." In numerous accounts, workers were said to be unable to wear their clothing for at least six months after processing the crop. Many local neighbors recounted smelling the rancid week cooking up to half a mile from the still site. The stench of wormseed was pungent but the profits were rewarding.
 
Erected by Carroll County Farm Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 39° 33.509′ N, 76° 59.598′ W. Marker is in Westminster, Maryland, in Carroll County. Marker can be reached from Farm Museum Road, 0.2 miles south of South Center Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 S Center St, Westminster MD 21157, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wormseed Oil History (a few steps from this marker); In Honor of the Day Family (a few steps from this marker); Edwin E. Magin (a few steps from this marker); 1930s Farm F12 Tractor (a few steps from this marker); Wormseed Oil Growing & Harvesting (a few steps from this marker); Carroll County Almshouse and Farm (about 400 feet
Wormseed Oil Distillation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), December 17, 2021
2. Wormseed Oil Distillation Marker
away, measured in a direct line); Basket Sleigh (about 600 feet away); The Carroll County Barn Quilt Trail (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Westminster.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 18, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 18, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 18, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=188468

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to Amazon.com. We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Apr. 15, 2024