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While he became famous for his engines and locomotives, Joseph Reid's life had a beginning typical of the time. He was born in Scotland in 1843 and until the age of 11 attended school when he was apprenticed to a woodworker. His own goal was to become an engineer, so in time, he began work as a machinist.
John D. Rockefeller had a goal to have a Standerd Oil Company in each state to standardize oil quality. However, this was seen as a monopoly and was forced to break up into smaller competing companies.
Before the railroads were sufficient to transport the massive amounts of oil that the Oil Region was producing, it was shipped by water. Captain Jacob Vandergrift shipped thousands of barrels of oil from the Oil Region to Pittsburgh. This possibly saved the oil industry in the 1860's.
Ida Tarbell wrote articles for many magazines including "McClure's Magazine", "The Chautauquan", and "The American Magazine". She used her writing to expose the illegal and unethical practices of the Standard Oil Company.
Gasoline, the precious liquid fuel of our American lifestyle, is the premier refined product of the American petroleum industry. This was not always the case, not at all. For more than fifty years after Drake Well, kerosene – not gasoline was the principal refined product of the petroleum industry. Throughout the nineteenth century, kerosene was king.
Harry Jennings Crawford was a very successful businessman. Most of his success came from the oil and gas industries. He gave back to his community by building the Crawford Memorial School and setting up funds to aid students in Grove City College.
With a new method of drilling, Herman Janes saved Tarr Farm from the aweful tragedy of water flooding the oil well. Soon many others adopted this way of drilling and Herman Janes was credited with being the man who showed them the way.
As a private in the Civil War, Gib Morgan told tall tales to keep the moral of his company up. After the war Gib became a driller and kept up with tall tale telling about the oil fields.
George Bissell noticed a bottle of Pennsylvania Rock Oil while visiting a friend in Dartmouth College. This lead to his hireing of Edwin Drake to drill for oil in northwestern Pennsylvania. Bissell became so wealthy after this that he helped Dartmouth build a new gymnasium by donating money to the college.
Edwin Drake may have struck oil in 1859, but life wasn't easy after that. He and his family went through some hard times until the kindness of the people of Titusville and the state of Pennsylvania granted Drake and his family a pension of $1500 a year.