From The New-York Times October 27, 1867:
Petroleum for Fuel.
There have been many objections urged to the use of petroleum as fuel on sea-going vessels, most of which, we believe, will be successfully set aside. But none of them would seem to apply to the employment of this clean and concentrated fuel in those of our City steam fire engines that burn coal. At a late fire in Boston petroleum was thus used in one of the engines … [with much better steam and water pressure than the other engines] … by reason of never choking the exhaust, and, finally, by the complete combustion of the fuel, throwing off almost no smoke at all, while the other engines filled the streets with the same murky cloud that we know so well in New-York. All this was done with crude apparatus. Why could not this experiment be tried here by our Commissioners, and, if successful, adapted to the use of all our engines?