Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Visit to the Birthplace of the Oil Industry

A few weeks ago I traveled out to Lewiston, New York to participate in the Battle of Queenston Heights. On the way back I was able to visit Titusville, PA, birthplace of the petroleum industry and site of the first commercial oil well--drilled in a log cabin in 1859 (except for a Canadian oil well earlier in the '50s, maybe). Colonel Edwin Drake used up his life savings of 200 dollars from conducting trains to build this well. In those days, before the internal combustion engine, crude oil was refined for use in lighting (kerosene, a cheaper alternative to whale oil). Here are some pictures from the Drake Well Museum outside of Titusville: