Petroleum, or crude oil, is one of the earth's most useful substance. It can be as a lubricant, a high energy fuel like gasoline, diesel oil, jet fuel, and other more uses. The word "petroleum" comes from the Latin Petra ("rock") and oleum ("oil")." (The New Book of Knowledge). 1993 ed. Today petroleum is called by many names: "Black Gold," "Liquid Sunlight," "Crude," and "Texas Tea"
Oil is a fossil fuel and scientists believed that petroleum could have been formed from the remains of ancient living things. Natural gas and coal are other fossil fuels. In some place petroleum seeps to the surfaces of the earth through cracks. These seepages, called oil spring, are easy to find. Yet still, most of the richest oil deposits lie deep underground, and there are no surface clues to their existence.


Before oil welling ever became part of the industrial revolution, oil was primarily used for healing everything from headaches to deafness. It was also used in war. The Natives were the first to make oil a use. Some gathered the oil by soaking it up in blankets and other dug pits in which the oil would get in.
The reason the birth of the industry started is because people were looking for a better way to light up the night. Candles were getting too old fashioned and the only burning fuel they had was whale oil. The whale oil was becoming ever more expensive during the years. The whale population was going down. What was needed was a reliable, inexpensive light source. People were also looking for a good lubricant for the machinery of the Industrial Revolution that was growing.
In the primitive beginnings the lamp started a limited and very primitive oil "industry"in Eastern Europe that produced only an estimated thirty-six thousand barrels of crude oil for kerosene production. Its growth hampered by a drilling techno consisting of peasants digging shafts to crude oil deposits. When the kerosene manufacturing technology and its lamp immigrated to the United States, the pieces were in place for the birth of the Oil Industry. (


Edwin Lauretine Drake (1819-1880). Born in Greenville New York, Drake is considered the petroleum entrepreneur of the Oil Industry. ( A retired railroad conductor, he believed that drill would be the best way to obtain petroleum from the earth and he put his success on that.
Drake had spent the first years of his life on farms in New York and Vermont He got a common-school education, and when he was nineteen he left home and went to the west to Buffalo. He had a job as a night clerk on a ship. A few years later he held quite a few jobs by himself. He was a hotel clerk in Michigan, a clerk in dry goods stores in New Haven, and New York, and an express agent for the Boston and Albany Railroad. In 1849 he became a conductor on the New York and New Haven Railroad and moved to New Haven. In 1857 in the summer, he fell ill and was forced to give up his position with the railroad. While living at the Tontine Hotel in New Haven, he got to know Townsend. He talked with him about oil, and finally Drake purchased a small amount of stock in the Titusville venture. He just passed his thirty-ninth birthday when the Seneca Oil Company was formed.
Drake became the first President and a stock holder of the Seneca Oil Company. He organized rock oil companies in New York and Connecticut. On August 27, 1859, he struck oil at a depth of 69 feet. This oil well was a drilled near Titusville, Pennsylvania. The well was drilled by Drake.
Drake used an old steam engine to power the drill. The steam engine had six horsepowers. He bought the engine from Liddel and Hershey in Erie, Pennsylvania. ‘Using steam, the driller, Billy Smith, Drilled through the bedrock (mostly shale) at about three/days (0.91 M.). There still problems, even the shale caved in occasionally. The engine caught on fire but was saved and put back in service'. (
After his well began to pump oil, other people started drilling wells nearby. Still, the world's first oil well was in operation. People knew Drake