Boingboing makes noise about a transparent propane container, made out of fibreglass, which allows you to see how much gas is left for your barbeque.
Well, puh-leeze, the Norwegian oil/gas/hotdog company Statoil has sold a propane container with this feature for at least 10 years (that is, it was available here in Norway when I moved back in 1996.)
That being said, my view is that the main benefit is not being able to see how much propane is left, but the fact that the fibreglass container weighs much less than the traditional steel one. I have a bad back, and really appreciate this feature.
The funny thing is, no other company than Statoil sells this version – since propane gas containers have a return deposit – meaning that you have to shell out serious money to get a new one – it is very hard to break into the market with new technology. Hopefully this is not a problem in the US, though that remains to be seen.
UPDATE 7/30: This is indeed a Norwegian invention, it seems, from a company called RAGASCO.
I bought a Weber grill a few weeks ago, and on wy way home I went to Statoil on Forus for the gass container (the station just outside their “World Headquarter” in Stavanger). Since they were sold out on this fiberglass container, I went to the next station a mere 300 meters away and found that they sell just the same container in two sizes. Being there i asked if it was possible to switch containers say at another station (like Statoil) since they are closer to where I live, and you gessed it right. For a fee of approx. NOK 200,- they would trade this in she said showing me the price list. Since I bought the small container this fee would also include an upgrade to a the large size. So there 😉
Hi, I’m writting from France. I’m working for a patent attorney and we have found your website aznd we are very interested by your article concerning the transparent propane container. We have a docket concerning such a gas container. You said that it is available since at least 1996 in your country and we are looking for a proove of that date. Do you have the proove that this container was already known in Norway in 1996 or could you find such a proove for us (like an advertizing for example)? Please could you contact me on my e-mail address and we will give you all details that you may need. Very truly yours.