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Oil and Gas History - November 10, 1854

November 10, 1854 – Oil Seeps inspire First American Oil Well

George Bissell’s interest in oil seeps led to Edwin Drake drilling for the new resource for refining into kerosene for lamps.


America’s #petroleum industry began when a lumber company sold 105 acres along a Pennsylvania creek known for having #oil seeps. George Bissell of New Hampshire bought the land from the firm of Brewer, Watson & Company. He was interested in what was then known as “rock oil.” He suspected it could be distilled to make #kerosene for lamps


Bissell asked a friend at Yale to conduct experiments. Professor Benjamin Silliman Jr., a chemist and geologist, confirmed the illuminating potential of the refined oil. Bissell formed the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company – and hired Edwin L. Drake to drill for oil near the junction of the east and west branches of Oil Creek, southeast of Titusville, Pennsylvania. Learn more in George Bissell and Oil Seeps.


Source: https://aoghs.org/this-week/

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