Oil History Timeline

Standard Oil Company organized as corporation in OH

Samuel Downer & Joshua Merrill mastered multiple distillations, chemical treatments, and cracking of crude coal oil (applied to crude oil 3 years later)

Standard Oil controlled 90% of nations refining capacity

Bissell & Eveleth organized Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company incorporated in NY – first U. S. oil company – and leased Hibbard Farm

Jacob Vandergrift and Daniel Bushnell shipped crude from Oil City to Pittsburgh by bulk barge tows, more than 20 Allegheny River shipping companies in Oil City.

OIL 150 is administered by theOil Region Alliance.

well house rebuilt and oil equipment replaced

Charles A. Lindberg made first successful trans-Atlantic flight

First American car built by Duryea brothers

First reported U. S. automobile accident occurred in New York City – Henry Wells collided with bicycle rider Evylyn Thomas, breaking her leg. Wells went to jail

First steel derrick, 72 feet in height, constructed and made available through catalog

Pennsylvania Rock Oil Co. of CT leased the Hibbard Farm to Edwin Bowditch & Edwin Drake of New Haven

November – First shipload of petroleum to cross the Atlantic shipped from Philadelphia to London

Samuel Kier marketed carbon oil for use in lamps

Seneca Oil Company of New Haven Connecticut formed, purchased Bowditch & Drake lease, and sent Edwin Drake to drill

April – Steamboat Venango carried first load of petroleum to Pittsburgh

14,800 automobiles registered in the

Peter Kalm of Sweden published map showing oil springs of Oil Creek, PA

First plant for extracting natural gasoline (Casinghead gasoline) from natural gas by the compression method built by Andrew Fasenmeyer near Drake Well at Titusville,

Pennsylvania legislature passed first anti-pollution bill preventing running of tar and distillery refuse into certain creeks

November 8 – Edwin Drake died in Bethlehem,

Samuel Kier marketed rock oil from his fathers salt well as medicine

Sir William Johnson of New York recorded Native American practice of skimming oil

First commercial natural gasoline plant built at Sistersville,

Newton Gas Well, Titusville, produced gas for 250 customers.

Standard Oil Trust passed formal resolution to dissolve

Crawford Well in Emlenton, PA produced 35 barrels of oil per day

Dr. Francis Brewer purchased first oil lease on land owned by

Standard Oil of NJ found guilty of Sherman Act violations, company dissolved into 37 independent organizations in 1911

Gasoline replaced kerosene as product leader of the American petroleum industry

David & Joseph Ruffner drilled first salt well using spring pole, drive pipe, casing & tubing near Kanawha River in western Virginia, well produced oil instead of salt water

Compiled for Drake Well Museum with research by Neil McElwee, Susan Beates, and David Weber.

John Benninghoff robbery near Petroleum Centre netted robbers half million dollars

Col.E.A.L.Roberts used explosives to increase Ladies Well flow near Titusville, PA

October – Phillips Well 2 on Tarr Farm came in at 4000 barrels a day

Prof. Benjamin Silliman Sr. experimentally distilled crude petroleum

Tidewater Pipeline completed from Bradford to Williamsport – 100 miles

April 9 – Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse ended the Civil War.

owned by Brewer, Watson & Co. to collect surface oil

December 17 – Kittyhawk, North Carolina, Wright Brothers made their first heavier than air powered flight – flight lasted 59 seconds

Ida Tarbell began publishing Standard Oil series in McClures Magazine.

Oil exploration moved south to Armstrong, Clarion, and Butler Counties, PA

California produced 1.2 million barrels of crude oil

Joseph Scott, first U. S. gazetteer, reported about Oil Creek and Seneca Oil

Abraham Gesners North American Kerosene Gas Light Co. sold kerosene in New York lamp oil market

Humboldt Refinery established near Plumer, by John Burns & the Ludovici brothers.

First U. S. automobile road race won by Duryea motor wagon

Crude oil quoted at $16.00 per gallon

Roberts – 2000 lawsuits filed involving patent, but it was said Roberts never lost a suit

Moravian missionaries reported oil wells, with the products of which the Seneca Indians carry on trade with Niagara in Western New York

August 30 – John Grandin & H. H. Dennis drilled in Tionesta,PA – first dry hole

Nikolaus Otto invented early internal combustion engine

Yale chemist Benjamin Silliman, Jr., filed favorable report on petroleum sample from Hibbard Farm

Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act

General William Irvine reported Oil Creek,

Abraham Gesner produced illuminating oil from Nova Scotia coal, distilling a product he named Kerosene

German engineer Karl Benz built first internal combustion engine vehicle

George Bissell & Jonathan Eveleth paid $5000 for 105 acres of land (Hibbard Farm) in Venango County,

Standard Oil reorganized as holding company in NJ

Standard Oil organized the National Transit Company

Oil Creek Railroad reached Titusville from Corry, first railroad into PA Oil Region.

Pennsylvania map showed stream named OYL

April 14 – President Abraham Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. Six weeks later, well on Pithole Creek, in which Booth had a share, struck oil.

October 1 – First Model T Ford built

8000 automobiles owned in the United States, half sold this year

8,500,000 automobiles & trucks registered in the

Roberts licensed by Alfred Nobel to use dynamite in shooting wells.

Patent for exploding torpedoes in wells granted to

Nitroglycerine, invented by Italian chemist Ascanio Sobrero, used by Swedish engineer Alfred Nobel

Edwin L. Drake granted a $1500 annual pension by Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Thomas Alva Edison invented incandescent lamp

667,000 automobiles registered in the United States

First recorded use of natural gas for manufacturing, used in brine evaporation at Centerville, PA

Samuel Kier devised a process to distill crude oil, producing carbon oil

Mr. F. Cuming described collecting oil by blanket dipping in Sketches of a Tour of the Western Country

Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism • 217 Elm Street, Oil City, PA •

Roberts exploded a torpedo in dry hole establishing oil flow in a non-producing well

October 7 – Drakes well ignited by gas and destroyed – first oil well fire on record,

and delivered it to customers by horseback

Rockefeller, Andrews, and Flagler firm operated in Oil City, Cleveland, and New York

Bissell & Eveleth reorganized PA Rock Oil Co. as a corporation in CT

has taken its name from an oil or bituminous matter floating on its surface

May 23-August 1 – First transcontinental automobile trip, San Francisco to New York

Oil from spring in Oil Creek on the Hamilton McClintock farm sold for $1 – 2/gallon

Coal Oil Johnny Steele began spending spree

content management, website design, e-commerce and web development services in Erie, Pennsylvania

May – A. B. Funks Fountain Well reached 460 feet & flowed 300 barrels per day Annual U. S. crude oil production increased from .5 million barrels in 1860 to 2.1 million barrels in 1861

August 27 -Edwin L. Drakes well, drilled 69 ½ feet, struck oil near Titusville PA (first well deliberately drilled for oil) and launched the modern petroleum industry

Nathaniel Carey skimmed oil from springs near Titusville,

Van Syckle oil pipeline connected Miller Farm on the Oil Creek Railroad to the U. S. Well, a distance of approximately 6 miles.

Thomas Edison introduced motion pictures

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