The birth of oil in northwestern Pennsylvania can be traced all the way back to 1748 when the first map was published by Peter Kalm from Sweden, showing oil springs in Oil City, PA.
But it wasn’t until August 27, 1859 that petroleum was unearthed in Venango County and Titusville. Edwin L. Drake drilled 69 ½ feet in Titusville to create the world’s first commercially successful oil well. This event launched the modern petroleum industry and officially characterized northwestern Pennsylvania as the “Oil Region.” Since then, oil has become a billion dollar industry providing electricity, heat and gasoline all across the world. The oil industry has come a long way from oil houses on the shore banks of the Allegheny River to the multimillion-dollar refineries used worldwide today.
Click here for a list of Historical Oil and Natural Gas Museums & Estates.
Ballad of a Wildcatter
With the dawn of '75,
A new man came to town.
He had a goal and would survive.
No one could bring him down