The 1920s saw increased production of LP gas, with the first year of recorded production totaling 223,000 gallons in 1922. In 1927, annual marketed LP gas production reached one million gallons, and by 1935, the annual sales of LP gas had reached 56 million gallons. Major industry developments in the 1930s included the introduction of railroad tank car transport, gas odorization and the construction of local bottle-filling plants. The year 1945 marked the first year that annual LP gas sales reached a billion gallons. By 1947, 62% of all U.S. homes had been equipped with either natural gas or propane for cooking.
In 1950, 1,000 propane-fueled buses were ordered by the Chicago Transit Authority, and by 1958, sales in the U.S. had reached 7 billion gallons annually. In 2004 it was reported to be a growing $8-billion to $10-billion industry with over 15 billion gallons of propane being used annually in the U.S.
The "prop-" root found in "propane" and names of other compounds with three-carbon chains was derived from "propionic acid".