Pennsylvania oil rush, 1859

Pennsylvania oil rush, 1859

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pennsylvania oil rush. 19th-century illustration of the discovery of oil near Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, USA, on 27 August 1859. This well was drilled by US oil pioneer Edwin Laurentine Drake (1810-1880). Here, the drill workers are being overwhelmed by the force of the fountain of oil, though other accounts of the initial discovery are less dramatic. The Pennsylvania oil rush occurred from 1859 to the early 1870s, peaking at 10 million barrels of oil. The Drake Well is now a tourist attraction. Artwork from 'Moteurs' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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