Domestic markets and marketing channels
While the export trade continued to absorb a major portion of the output of American refineries between 1874 and 1884, this decade marked the beginning of a trend that would eventually reverse the relative positions of the foreign and domestic markets. With total refinery output expanding sharply, this trend was reflected in an impressive growth in the volume of domestic sales during the decade.
Specifically, the shift in the proportion of illuminating oil retained for the home market, from about one quarter to just under a third, resulted in an increase in domestic consumption from about 1.6 million barrels to nearly 4.7 million barrels. In the mid-1870's, some 69 per cent of the total output of naphtha-benzine-gasoline--approximately 600,000 barrels-- was consumed domestically. A decade later 85 per cent, or over two million barrels, was retained for the home trade. And even though the propor