Pennsylvania oil rush, 1860s

Pennsylvania oil rush, 1860s

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pennsylvania oil rush. 19th-century illustration of oil wells and workers producing barrels of oil in Oil Creek Valley, Pennsylvania, USA. Oil was first drilled here in 1859 by US oil pioneer Edwin Drake. Hundreds of oil wells were drilled in the area, some yielding thousands of barrels of oil every day. The Pennsylvania oil rush occurred from 1859 to the early 1870s, peaking at 10 million barrels of oil, around a third of the world's oil production at that time. Thousands of oil workers swelled the population. 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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