Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name





Linseed oil


Linseed oil is the oil from the plant linum usitatissiumum. It is not a new oil, for we read that the Greeks and Romans used it, not as it is used today, but as a food, and it is still used for that purpose in some countries, especially in Russia, Poland, and Hungary. The oil was first introduced into the United States during the nineteenth century, and in 1810 there were two hundred eighty three linseed oil mills in only fourteen states. In those days the process of obtaining the oil from the seed was tedious, and the yield was poor, for the oil was extracted by means of the old-fashioned mill stones. After the demand for linseed oil increased, oil had to be imported from foreign fields. Up until 1861 the output was one million gallons per year. Prior to that time the largest portion of the seed was grown and used for the fiber, with the seed regarded as a by-product, but now the fiber itself is only a by-product, and the plant is grown for the seed. After 1865 the production of flax moved west from the middle states, where all of the yield of the United States had been grown. The demand increased greatly from year to year. In 1870 the industry received a great stimulus when the old mill stones used for pressing were replaced by rolls, and in ten years the yearly crop was quadrupled. All the seed is now grown west of the Alleghanies, and the states in the east still send to India and Russia for seed.