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August 27, 1859

Oil struck in Titusville, PA

Edwin Drake struck oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania, becoming the first American to successfully drill a commercial oil well. Amidst onlookers and hecklers calling the effort “Drake’s Folly,” Drake’s crew drilled to a depth of 69.5 feet before reaching a crevice. The following day, oil was found rising through the well, and reportedly, this black gold was initially collected in a bathtub. Within 10 years more than 5,500 wells had been drilled, and 1,200 were producing oil.

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Woodford and Phillips wells, Tarr Farm, 1861 

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