October 3, 1930 – Giant Oilfield discovered on Daisy Bradford’s Farm

The East Texas oilfield remains one of the largest in the continental United States. It was first tapped by Columbus Joiner in 1930 at the Daisy Bradford #3 Well.

On October 3rd, 1930, a crowd of more than 4,000 spectators gathered at Daisy Bradford’s farm, around Well No.3, waiting with bated breath to see what was lying beneath its surface.

The potential Texas oil mine represented the chance of a new beginning following the Great Depression. And when a nitroglycerin charge was set off, oil erupted and the landowners, stockholders, creditors and leaseholders in attendance saw just how much promise it held.

The event was spearheaded by a man named Columbus ‘Dad’ Joiner.

After several failed attempts to find oil in the area, Joiner successfully opened the first well in the East Texas Oilfield. Though many suspected that oil was to be found in the area near Kilgore, Texas where Bradford’s farm was located, few could have guessed just how large this oilfield would be.

Geologists would later determine that Joiner’s well tapped into the Woodbine formation, a field of oil that stretched north from Kilgore and across more than 140,000 acres. Even at the time, the crowd had little idea of how big this discovery was as this formation is still producing today and has yielded over 5 billion barrels of oil.

This discovery on October 3rd also spearhead the creation of one of the biggest pipelines constructed at the time. Known as “The Big Inch” this 1,400 mile pipeline was built to transport the formation’s production to refineries in Philadelphia.

October 3, 1980 – Opening of East Texas Oil Museum

The East Texas Oil Museum was founded in 1980 to commemorate the men and women who labored to tap and exploit the oilfield.

With funding provided by the Hunt Oil Company, the East Texas Oil Museum opened its doors on October 3rd, 1980—50 years to the day after Joiner tapped into the Woodbine formation. The museum is located on the campus of Kilgore College, not far from the No. 3 Well. Inside its doors, the museum details the history of the area and tells the stories of the many people who have worked the oilfields there.

While there is a great deal to see at the museum, major highlights include authentic recreations of the oil-boom towns that quickly populated the area at the time. Visitors can even take an elevator ride down a simulated trip deep underground to explore what life was like working 3,800 feet below ground.

October 5, 1915 – Geology Becomes An Important Part of the Oil & Gas Industry

Above is the Stapleton No. 1 Well. To its left is a marker which describes the discovery in October 1915 of the El Dorado Oilfield in Kansas. At the time the oilfield was one of the largest in the world.

October 5th, 1915 was one of the most notable moments of the early days of the Kansas Oil Boom, thanks to the discovery of the El Dorado Oilfield. Located just outside of Wichita, this was part of a series of similar discoveries that led to the identification of the Mid-Continent Oilfield.

This sprawling area was one of the largest known oil reserves until oil was discovered in the Middle East.

The Stapleton No. 1 well that was opened on October 5th is notable in that it was one of the first times a geologist was consulted before drilling. The Kansas geologist was retained by prominent citizens of El Dorado to study the area after oil and gas were discovered in nearby communities.

At the time, the field of geology was just developing methods for this type of study. By using these tactical approaches, the state geologist was able to identify an anticline in the area. Known as the El Dorado Anticline, the discovery encouraged other well-known oil businessmen, such as John Vickers and William Skelly, to open their own wells in the area—forever shaping the Mid-Continent industry.

Historic drilling equipment can be found at the Kansas Oil Museum, where details of the modern petroleum industry and demonstrations can also be found.

The Stapleton No. 1 well went down over 2,000 feet and produced over 100 barrels a day. Using the science of geology to identify areas likely to produce large amounts of petroleum would become standard practice in the oil and gas industry.

October 5, 1958 – Water Park opens for a Day in Former Oil Tank

Originally built to store oil from the west Texas Permian Basin.

On October 5th, 1958, Melody Park opened in a huge concrete tank, originally built to hold oil, for its first and only day of operation. Filled with water, the tank was used for swimming, angling, and more until leaks forced it to closed.

The tank was originally built by Shell Oil to hold oil coming from the Permian Basin reservoir, as there was no pipeline to transport it to refineries. It had been built thirty years before Melody park opened, in 1928, but was quickly taken out of use as the weight of the oil it held cracked the concrete allowing oil to seep into the ground.

Located in The Monahans, Texas, it is now the location of the Million Barrel Museum.

October 7, 1859 – The First Oil Well Is Set On Fire

The site of the first oil well built for commercial purposes in the U.S. was also the site of what could have been the first oil well fire. The well was located in the area of Titusville, Pennsylvania and had been drilled in August of 1858 by Edwin Drake. It was only about 70 ft deep and had been drilled using the technology of the time: steam powered cable-tools.

Drake’s driller, William Smith was inspecting the collection vat that night. His experience was in drilling wells for salt water brine and may not have been familiar with the behavior of oil, as he used an open lamp to make his inspection. The flame lit the gases coming off the oil. The fire burned the oil and the wooden derrick, as well as Smith’s home.

October 7, 1929 – Secretary Albert Fall Is Convicted of Accepting Bribes in the Teapot Dome Scandal

Several thousand acres near the Teapot Dome in Wyoming were set aside in the early 1900’s to provide the Navy’s ships with oil for fuel. Up until 1921, those reserves were controlled directly by the Navy. However, President Warren G Harding transferred control of the reserves to the Department of the Interior.

In return for a $385,000 bribe, disguised as a loan, Interior Secretary Albert Fall was persuaded to lease the oil fields to two men, Harry Sinclair and Edward Doheny. Soon after, a complaint from rival oil field operators led to a Senate investigation. Secretary Fall was convicted of taking bribes and served one year in jail. Strangely, both Sinclair and Doheny were acquitted of bribery charges.

October 8, 1923 – The International Petroleum Exposition and Congress is Held in Tulsa, OK

While the Golden Driller remains popular destination for tourists, it did not arrive until after the first International Petroleum Exposition.

Despite inclement weather looming in the background, on October 8, 1923, thousands of people attended the first day of the International Petroleum Exposition in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The success of the inaugural event spearheaded the Exposition to return regularly for the next 56 years.

At the height of its popularity, over 100,000 visitors attended the event. One of the Exposition’s chief attractions, the Golden Driller, was introduced in 1953 by the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth. However, the oil embargo of the 70s led to problems across the industry. As a result, the Exposition was held for the last time in 1979.

October 9, 1999 – Offshore Oil Platform Put To New Use: Launching Rockets

On October 9th, 1999, offshore oil platforms reached new heights when the Ocean Odyssey was used to launch a Russian rocket for the first time. The platform, which was once used solely for oil drilling, was repurposed as an offshore rocket launchpad by Sea Launch. The consortium was led by Boeing, but included other companies from the U.S. as well as Russia, Norway, and the Ukraine.

The October 9th launch put a satellite for DirecTV in to orbit and was the first of 36 similar launches. Unfortunately, the consortium was brought to an end by the outbreak of a civil war in Ukraine. Its last launch was in May of 2014.

July 25th, 1543 – Oil Discovery

Oil was first discovered in the New World was made by Spanish explorers, hundreds of years before the oil well was struck in the United States. This unexpected discovery happened when a storm forced the explorers to land at a location near a river.

Don Luis de Moscoso guided the journey after he succeeded Hernando de Soto. Soto died from a fever two years earlier after he crossed the river in Mississippi. Until 1903, oil seeps continued in the region.

July 27th, 1918 – First Tanker Launched in Flushing Bay, New York

America’s first solid vessel built to transport natural gas launched in 1918 at Flushing Bay in New York. The freight ship was almost 100 feet long and had a beam that was over 30 feet in size. It was built for Standard Oil Company and could hold nearly 400 tons of cargo.

Cement and Engineering News detailed that bulk oil was put in the wings and center. Each compartment has eight iron pipes that lead to them, and the pumps were located on a room near the back of the tanker.

Zachary Liollio explains that enthusiasm for building solid tankers had gone down by 1930. That was when inventive electric welding innovations helped develop an oil items tanker. These innovations started with Texaco.

July 28th, 1924 – National Oil Scouts Association Forms in Texas

The National Oil Scouts Association established its place in Texas. By 1940, their charter had many landmen causing the organization to change their name to the National Oil Scouts and Landman’s Association. Later, in 1955, landmen created an association of their own.

Scouts worked to gather insight on drilling activities dating back to when U.S. oil manufacturing first began in the late 1800s. They kept track of insights about the area, rent and well depth. They also kept logs, details on formations and extra information that could be useful later on in the growth and development of this industry.

Author James Tennent claimed that  the lookouts “spared the general exchange millions by keeping market controllers under tight restraints.”

July 29th, 1918 – The World’s Wonder Oilfield Found in Texas

A well struck oil on Fowler’s ranch close to a little North Texas town in July of 1918. By the summer of 1919, there were more than 850 wells producing oil here.  This area would later be labeled as a “wonder oil field.”

The Texas oil boom put Burkburnett Field in the spotlight 20 years before “Boom Town,” the movie that would tell the story about this event.

The well was finished on the edge of Burkburnett. Established in 1907, the town was named after President Theodore Roosevelt after the president hunting on the nearby river with farmer Samuel Burk Burnett.

The well itself, nicknamed Fowler’s Folly, brought a natural gas craze to Wichita in 1918. A line of derricks welcomed tourists visiting Burkburnett. When combined with earlier revelations in Electra and Ranger, oil from Northern Texas helped stop oil shortages. This allowed allies to ride a wave of oil to victory in World War I.

Around the time of the natural gas craze of 1918, Clark Gable worked in oilfields in Oklahoma. He would later star in the “Boom Town” film in 1940.

July 29th, 1957 – Eisenhower Restricts Imports to Lessen Dependence on Foreign Oil

As America’s dependence on foreign oil increased, President Eisenhower established his own natural gas company. There were quotas for each region. He needed to ensure that residential oil supplies were accessible in case of a national crisis.

After two years, Eisenhower ended up replacing this voluntary program with a required one which continued until 1973 when it was canceled by President Nixon. This was when U.S. oil production began to climb and the Arabic natural gas embargo started.

July 30th, 1942 – WWII Submarine Accident Garners Attention From Oil Company

On July 30th, 1942, the U-Boat 166 became the only submarine to sink during WWII. Though it was charged by a Navy escort, the submarine was thought to have gotten away.

It wasn’t until an oil company was conducting surveys in the area, when they discovered the submarine actually hadn’t.

In 1986, a survey of Gulf’s Mississippi Canyon Zone had observed two wrecks. The Robert E. Lee was recognized, but the U-Boat 166 wasn’t identified. That was until enhanced surveying technology became available in 2001. The discovery came about because of a survey before a petroleum gas pipeline was developed by BP.

An autonomous underwater vehicle uncovered the U-Boat 166 when it separated the submarine from the Robert E Lee. BP later needed to adjust their pipeline to save the site.

Several other vessels from WII  have been found through these natural gas surveys. The industry stays on the cutting-edge of seafloor mapping an underwater technology.


July 19th, 1957 – Alaskan Oil Industry Hits Major Milestone

While oil production was already happening in the area when the first commercial oilfield in Alaska was discovered in July of 1957. This occurred two years before the territory officially became a state.

This discovery well was called Swanson River Unit No. 1 and was completed by Richfield Oil. The well, which was located near the Cook Inlet Basin produced 900 BOPD at just over 11,200 feet. The company had leased over 70,000 acres on the Kenai National Moose Range in an area that is no part of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

Additional discoveries followed the founding of Swanson River Unit No 1, and by 1962, over 50 wells were producing upwards of 20,000 BOPD.

July 20th, 1920 – Permian Basin Potential Realized for the First Time

While the Permian Basin would go down in history as one of the biggest oil fields in history, its full potential wasn’t realized until 1920. In July of this year, oil was found at about 2,800 feet in a West Texas Well named The W.H. Abrams No. The well was named for William Abrams who owned the land and leased rights to Texaco, then known as the Texas Company.

The well was “shot” with nitroglycerin and drillers not only found oil but the actual Permian Basin, which ended up being 300 miles long and 250 miles wide. Production depth ranged from a couple hundred feet up to 5 miles.

According to historians, a crowd close to 2,000 watched the eruption. Smoke, water, gas and oil shot from the well and close to the end of the derrick.

In 1840, two decades before the discovery, this land sold for 10 cents per acre. In 1888, it was five dollars an acre. In 1940, it would bring in close to $100,000 an acre. This influx of money not only marked the beginning of an oil rush in the area, but created better social conditions in the surrounding communities.

In 1923, another discovery took place in West Texas close to Big Lake. The result was an even bigger oil boom that funded the establishment of the University of Texas.

According to information from Energy Information Administration, in Fall 2016, the oil produced from five 5 Permian Basin counties averaged 882,000 BOPD. This accounted for upwards of 40% of basin oil production averaging around 2.1 million BOPD.

July 21st, 1935 –  “King of the Wildcatters” Finds Oil

In 1935, Glenn H. McCarthy found oil 50 miles from Houston in a discovery that officially extended the successful Anahuac Field. But it didn’t stop there for this independent producer. Ten years later, McCarthy built Houston’s famous Shamrock Hotel, with its famous Emerald Room, which would host celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Dorthoy Lamour.

McCarthy went on to discover 11 oilfields in Texas by 1945. He was nicknamed “Diamond Glenn” and “King of the Wildcatters.” By 1950, it was estimated that he was worth $200 million dollars.

McCarthy would become involved in many other ventures beyond the McCarthy Oil and Gas Company; he went on to own newspapers, two banks, a radio station, a chemical company and the Shell Building.

He invested over $20 million dollars when building the Shamrock Hotel alone. The 1949 opening day event, cost $1 million dollars, in what the media later named as the biggest party in Houston.

July 22nd, 1933 – Phillips Sponsors First Global Solo Flight

An achievement by Oklahoma’s Wiley Post made aviation history in 1933 when the pilot landed a Lockheed Vega named “Winnie May” in front of an audience of 50,000 people in New York City. He was the first man to complete a flight around the world alone.

Post first worked in the Walters, Oklahoma oilfields. In 1919, he took his first plane ride and by the 1920s, he took a break from the oil industry to be a parachute jumper in “Burrell Tibbs Flying Circus.” Later, a circus pilot gave Post flying lessons.

He returned to the oilfields in 1926. On his first day back he was working on a site close to Seminole and suffered an injury, losing sight in his left eye. Using the compensation he received for the damage to his eye, he bought an airplane, launching his career in aviation.

Post formed a friendship with Frank Phillips of Phillips Petroleum Company. Phillips acted as a sponsor for Post’s experimental flights. The company actually produced aviation fuel prior to producing gas.

July 23rd, 1951 – The Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs Formed

In 1951, The Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs of North America (ADDC) was formed. The purpose was to promote oil industry education throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The presidents of four chapters founded prior to this signed articles of association for this new club. These presidents represented the Jackson, Houston, New Orleans and Los Angeles clubs. There were close to 800 women in these clubs combined, most working as secretaries for natural gas companies. The association promoted two missions: to support professional development for people involved in the petroleum industry and to educate the public.

In 1952, the ADDC published their first newsletter, The Oil and Gas Journal. In 1987, the name was changed to The Desk and Derrick Journal. Today, there are 51 clubs and upwards of 2,500 total members in the ADDC.

July 11th, 2008 – Oil Prices Reach a Historic High

Oil prices reached a high in July 2008 when they skyrocketed to $147.27 per barrel. New York Mercantile Exchange prices also peaked at $145.29 per barrel about a week earlier.

The prices quickly fell again when supply fears faded away. In January 2009, prices dropped to less than $37 per barrel. According to a 2016 study, price fluctuations were a result of changes in crude oil demands. These fluctuations date back to 1973.

The EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration) has projected that U.S. production of oil and other fuels will continue to rise.

July 11th, 2013 – Physicists Complete Historic Pitch Drop Experiment

On July 11th, 2013, physicists completed one of the longest laboratory investigations in history at Trinity College when they photographed one of science’s most anticipated drips.

This experiment was set up 69 years earlier in 1944 and it demonstrated that a hydrocarbon (asphalt) flows slowly while at room temperature, even though it seems to be solid.

According to an article in Nature, the team at Trinity College estimated the pitch’s viscosity after monitoring the one drip. It was measured to be significantly more viscous than water; 20 billion times more to be exact.

July 12th, 1934 – Launching of Clark Oil and Refining Corporation

Emory Clark started what would be the Clark Oil and Refining Corporation in 1934. This was only a couple of years after he purchased a small, closed gas station in Milwaukee for $14.

Clark originally wanted to establish a chain of filling stations that sold premium gasoline. He named the product “Super 100 Premium Gasoline.”He didn’t offer other services commonly seen at filling stations like tire changing and maintenance. In 1949, sales reached over 21 million dollars.

The company was operating over 150 stations by 1953. Their brand name was “Clark Super 100.” Clark bought a refinery in Wood River, Illinois in 1967. He was able to sell gas from more than 1,500 stations three years later. The Clarks’ chose to sell off their holdings for $483 million to Apex Oil in 1981.

July 14th, 1863 – Rodolphe Leschot Give Patent for Boring Rock Tool

When Rodolphe Leschot was granted a patent for his “Tool for Boring Rock” in 1863, it would go on to forever revolutionize the oil drilling industry. The tool invented by this tunnel engineer was made of industrial-grade diamonds. It was attached to the tip of a drill rod and made to cut a tubular core. Water cooled the bit and washed cuttings away by pumping through the rod.

This system was successfully used to drill blast holes used for tunneling at Mount Cenis, an area located on the border of Italy and France. The use of diamonds for drilling oil wells was first seen in Pennsylvania in 1965.

According to historian Samuel Pees, it isn’t known if there was a connection between Leschot’s system and diamond core drilling in the U.S.

July 14th, 1891 – Rockefeller’s Empire Takes Shape

In 1891, John D. Rockefeller established Union Tank Line Company. He had thousands of tank cars transferred to Standard Oil Trust. Rockefeller obtained control of 3,000 oil tank cars in the United States. The fleet grew to 10,000 by 1904.

Until 1911, the Union Tank Line Company only shipped products by Standard Oil. Then, the Supreme Court ordered the dissolution of Rockefeller’s trust. Once becoming independent, the new name of the company was Union Tank Car Company. Still, the stock reporting mark kept the name UTLX.

The biggest tank car involved with rail service was introduced in 1963. The car had a maximum capacity of 50,000 gallons, which was entirely unprecedented for the time.

July 16th, 1926 – Seminole County Boom Comes to Oklahoma

A gusher erupted close to Seminole County, Oklahoma, 36 months after a successful well was discovered in nearby Bowlegs. Both of these events revealed potential for the industry in Seminole County, ultimately bringing about the Seminole book of the area. The Fixico No. 1 Well was just over 4,000 feet deep and located on the Wilcox Sands formation.

Independent Oil Company and R.F. Garland drilled the well. It became one of over 50 reservoirs discovered in the area. Six of these produced upwards of one million oil barrels each.

By 1935, Oklahoma became the world’s largest oil supplier.

July 16th, 1969 – Petroleum Products Make Moon Landings a Reality

The moon landing in 1969 was made possible by a petroleum product invented in the 19th century. Kerosene powered the engines of Saturn V on July 16th when the Apollo 11 was launched.  A few days later, Neil Armstrong declared, “The Eagle has landed.”

Approximately 2,230 gallons of “Rocket Grade Kerosene Propellant” were burned each second in the first stage of the launch. This generated millions of pounds of thrust.

This rocket fuel was highly-refined kerosene, Rocket Propellant-1. Roots can be traced back to coal oil used for lamps in the 1840s. In 1846, Abraham Gesner, a Canadian geologist started refining this fuel, he was also responsible for coining the word “kerosene.” The term comes from keros, a Greek word meaning wax. Today, RP-1 fuels boosters for SpaceX and Atlas rockets.

June 28th, 1967 – Smithsonian Museum and The Hall of Petroleum

In 1967, a new attraction opened at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of History and Technology. The Hall of Petroleum originally included pumping units, rotary and cable tool rigs, and other industry technology. These exhibits are no longer on display today.

Instead of the original exhibits, the new addition greeted visitors with a massive mural that was 13 by 56 feet in size. It was painted by an artist from Tulsa named Delbert Jackson.

It took two years for Jackson to finish the mural, which includes scenes of oil exploration, transportation and production. The project, titled “Panorama of Petroleum” was a map of the hall’s exhibits, eventually the museum would be renamed the National Museum of American History.

According to museum curator, Philip W. Bishop, the main exhibits showcased the best technical advice and gave the public information about the process of locating oil and producing it.

Bishop added that the goal was to increase knowledge on the technical skills required of those in the oil and gas industry. When the hall closed, the painting was placed in storage. It stayed there until it went on display three decades later in Tulsa International Airport.

June 29th, 1956 – National Interstate and Defense Highways Act


In 1956, the Federal-Aid Highway Act was passed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower who spent a great deal of time pushing for the act to be a success. The act provided 90 percent of funding for defense and interstate highways.

The act was stated, in part, to help develop roads and highways that provided the potential need to escape cities during nuclear attacks. This act authorized a budget of $25 billion to be spent on these interstate systems.

Historians would go on to state that this was Eisenhower’s favorite domestic program from his presidency.

June 30th, 1864 – Oil Taxes Provide Funding for Civil War

In 1864, for the first time in history, America’s federal government began taxing oil at a rate of one dollar per barrel on oil produced in Pennsylvania oilfields.

A couple of years before this, Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase pushed for taxes on oil raising prices to $10.50 a barrel for refined oil products and $6.30 per barrel for crude oil. This revenue was needed to provide financial support for the Civil War.

Oil producers protested this tax so much that they sent representatives to Washington and ultimately negotiated the tax to be only one dollar per barrel.

July 1st, 1919 – Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association Opens Kansas-Oklahoma Division

The Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association founded their Kansas-Oklahoma Division in 1919. It’s now known as the U.S. Oil and Gas Association and some of the most successful independent producers in the country are currently members.

Early members included E.W. Maryland of Conoco, Frank Phillips, founder of Phillips Petroleum and Alf Landon. Landon later became governor in Kansas and a presidential candidate.

The co-founder of Kerr-McGee Oil Company, Robert S. Kerr was another notable member. He served as president of this division between 1935 and 1941. He would become Oklahoma’s governor and later, a senator.

July 1st, 1922 – Massive Wildcat Well Brings More Oil to Arkansas

In 1844, fur trappers from France established the small town of Smackover, Arkansas. By 1922, the population was only 90 people until one wildcat well in the community started producing oil.

This well was discovered by sawmill owner Sidney Umsted who drilled down nearly 2,000 feet before hitting oil. The well ultimately unveiled a 25,000-acre oil field. In the next six months, over 1,000 thousand wells would be drilled in the area.

However, what was most impressive is that these wells had an unprecedented 92% success rate. The town gained national attention and the population flourished to reach over 25,000 residents.

The first well to produce commercial amounts of oil in Arkansas was found 18 months before this wildcat well. Busey-Armstrong No. 1 lead to the discovery of El Dorado oilfield, ultimately launching H.L. Hunt’s career.

Today, a full overview of the state’s detailed oil history is on display at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources.

July 1st, 1938 – Commercial Amounts of Oil Discovered in Marion County, Illinois

Texaco, then known as The Texas Company located commercial amounts of oil close to Salem, Illinois within Marion County, in an area that was originally suspected to be dry. By 1939, this field ranked 7th in the United States for daily oil production.

In just 12 months, this field produced over 20 million barrels of oil and eventually leading to the production of natural gas in the state in 1953. “Drift gas” or marsh was eventually found in water wells close to Champagne, Illinois.

July 2nd, 1910 – President Taft Establishes Naval Petroleum Reserves

In 1910, President William Howard Taft set up Naval Petroleum Reserves to help meet the growing oil demands from the Navy.

In a note to Congress, Taft addressed his action. The government was concerned of raising oil needs and was interested in promoting logical development and ensuring the longest life for oil supplies.

In 1912, the last American battleship with coal-fired boilers was launched and named U.S.S. Texas. In 1926, the ship went under a major renovation to include oil-fired boilers.

July 2nd, 1913 – G.E. Innovations Mark the Last Ride For Steam Trains

In 1913, General Electric had a breakthrough when they created the first commercial internal combustion gasoline engine train in America. The major innovation would ultimately bring about the end of steam-powered locomotives.

Two G.E. 175-horsepower gas engines drove two current generators with 600 volts. Combined, this sent the massive fifty-seven-ton train to a maximum speed of more than 50 MPH. The locomotive was purchased for almost $35,000 by The Electric Line of Minnesota Company.

The hybrid would be named Dan Patch to honor the “World’s Champion Harness Horse.” In 1918, the gas-electric system was taken out, and the train became a streetcar. In 1930, the 600 horsepower engines combined with generators from G.E. launched modern travel with the introduction of “streamliners.”

June 20th, 1977 –  Trans-Alaska Pipeline is Finally Complete

Following three years of construction, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline started carrying oil on June 20th, 1977. The pipeline serviced nearly 800 miles between Port of Valdez at Prince William Sound and Prudhoe Bay. It took 38 days for oil to move through the pipeline. This successful project was the largest construction effort to be privately funded.

The pipeline cost $8 billion and had a diameter of 48 inches. It included both pump and terminal stations. The annual oil flow made up almost 20 percent of America’s oil production, allowing Alaska’s tax revenues to rise to $50 billion by 2002.

The above-ground components of this pipeline were constructed in a unique zigzag configuration. This allowed for contraction or expansion due to weather changes. In permafrost areas, support included two-inch thick heat pipes.

June 21st, 1893 –  Oil Pump Inventor, Armais Arutunoff is Born

Armais Arutunoff was known for his contributions to the oil and drilling industry thanks to his invention of an electric submersible pump. Arutunoff was born in Russia although his parents were of Armenian descent.  In 1916, he created the first electric centrifugal submersible pump. After he emigrated to the United States in 1923, he was unable to secure finances for his technology.

In 1928, Artuffoff relocated and started a manufacturing company while in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. This was thanks to his friend and President of Phillips Petroleum, Frank Phillips. REDA Pump Company produced motor and pump devices and employed hundreds of people throughout the Great Depression.

In 1936, an article in Tulsa World covered the new technology. It described the invention as an electric motor with “slim proportions,” which included a post-like structure stood close to the bottom of wells and pushed oil towards the surface.

REDA (short for Russian Electrical Dynamo of Arutunoff) was the company’s telegraphic address. Arutunoff first established it in Germany. Now, REDA submersible pumping systems are part of Schlumberger.

June 23rd, 1921 – California’s Oil Boom Gets Off to a Big Start

A well-known oil discovery at Signal Hill started a Southern California boom that would forever change the state’s future in the oil and gas industry.

The Alamitos No. 1 Well first produced oil in June 1921 and ultimately uncovered one of the most productive oil fields in California. The pressure caused a gusher to rise more than 100 feet in the air, which was unlike anything the state had seen at the time. This well produced close to 600 BOPD and was finished a couple of days later.

The field uncovered by this well, named “Porcupine Hill,” was located just 20 miles from Los Angeles. It produced 260,000 BOPD by 1923. At this time, 25% of the oil in the world was produced in Southern California. This oil field and a discovery in Huntington Beach were major sites of production.

Now, Signal Hill’s Discovery Well Park has a community center featuring photographs and information and a landmark that pays tribute to oil pioneers.

June 23rd, 1947 – A New California Shelf Ruling Instated

In 1947, the Supreme Court decided that California couldn’t claim rights beyond three miles of the continental shelf.

At the time, California and many other seaside states became involved in legal cases, due in great part to the 1945 Continental Shelf Proclamation enacted by Harry Truman. It allowed control by the country’s federal government.

This Supreme Court ruling supported federal jurisdiction and covered natural resources of the subsoil and seabed of the continental shelf. In 1950, similar rulings impacting Texas and Louisiana were made.

June 24th, 1937 – First Signs of Oil Discovered in Minnesota

Oil was first found in Western Minnesota near Traverse County in the year 1937. The well delivered three BOPD at a depth of 864 feet. The discovery lead to more leases but no commercial amounts of oil were ever discovered in the area. This confirmed that the sate did not have conditions for productive oil deposits.

According to the book Minnesota’s Geology, there wasn’t much gas or oil in the Precambrian rocks. According to one geologist, oil and gas forms from animal and plant decay but animals and plants were close to nonexistent in the Precambrian time. Today, Minnesota ranks fourth in ethanol production capacity, yet its oil production never peaked past this initial discovery in 1937.

June 25th, 1889 – Oil Tanker Catches Fire in Ventura, California

An oil tanker caught fire on June 25th, 1889 at a Ventura, California wharf, marking one of the biggest accidents of its kind.

The W.L Hardison, a unique steam schooner created by the Hardison and Stewart Oil Company was the victim of the fire. The vessel served as an alternative to purchasing railroad tank cars, charging one dollar per barrel to reach San Francisco.

The W.L. Hardison was able to ship nearly 7,000 barrels of oil underneath its decks in steel tanks, remarkably these steel tanks were recovered following the fire and put to use at the organization’s refinery in Santa Paula.

June 25th, 1901 – Another Tulsa Discovery Reveals Early Promise for Oklahoma Region

In 1901, the future territory of Oklahoma was the site of yet another oil discovery, proving this region would someday be one of the highest-producing in the nation. The Nellie Johnstone No, 1 Well was located close to Bartlesville and was the primary well on the surrounding Indian Territory.

Six years before Oklahoma became a state, two drillers from Pennsylvania uncovered more oil near the Creek Indian Nation.

Jesse Heydrick and John Wick drilled the Sue A. Insipid No. 1 Well close to Tulsa, in  Red Fork, located just over the Arkansas River. The name Sue Bland was inspired by the spouse of the area’s homestead owner. The well ended up producing 10 BOPD from 550 feet and kickstarted Tulsa’s path to being named the Oil Capital of the World.

June 12th, 1879 – The Father of Allegany Oil Drills First New York Well

In 1879, Orville P. Taylor set out on a mission to prove that there was oil beneath the surface of Allegany County, New York. Though many doubted his efforts, Taylor found oil in what would go on to be one of the highest-producing sections in New York State.

The Triangle No. 1 was the first oil well to be used in commercial production in New York and it still is producing today. As for Taylor, he went on to earn a prominent place in the oil industry’s history and the nickname of “the Father of Allegany Oil.”

June 13th, 1917 –  The Establishment of Phillips Company

The globally recognized name Phillips Petroleum got its start over a century ago when Lee Eldas (L.E.) and Frank Phillips founded the original Phillips Company. America was just entering into WWI and the price of oil had just climbed to over a dollar per barrel.

This is when Phillips and L.E. decided to combine their individual companies and started operations in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. They began with leases in Kansas and Oklahoma. At the time, their assets totaled 3 million dollars. By 1924, their assets reached over 100 million dollars.

In 1927, the Phillips Petroleum company started selling gas in Kansas. The Wichita service station was the first of 10,000 to open across America.

The company made more significant advancements in petrochemicals as the years passed. Chemists that worked for Phillips were granted thousands of patents. One of the most notable was for a high-density polyethylene, Markex, in 1954.

The first company to buy this new plastic was the Wham-O toy company. Phillips’ aviation fuel also held a critical role in WWII and during this time the Phillips’ 66 gasoline brand became wildly popular across the United States.

In 2002, Conoco and Phillips Petroleum merged. The name of the new company became ConocoPhillips. In 2007, the Phillips Petroleum Company Museum official opened its doors in Bartlesville, paying homage to all of the great accomplishments of the company over the decades.

June 13, 1928 – Hobbs Oilfield Launches New Mexico Petroleum Industry

In late 1927, the Midwest Refining Company found oil in New Mexico for the very first time and uncovered the extremely rich Hobbs Oil Field. Using a cable-tool rig, they began drilling the Midwest State No. 1. The New Mexico Bureau of Mines & Mineral Resources called the well the most important discovery of oil in the history of New Mexico.

The drilling of this well took much longer than expected, due in part  to a disaster at 1,500 feet when a wooden derrick was destroyed by an engine house fire. Despite this, drillers did not give up on their efforts to find oil.

The Hobbs Oilfield and its impressive productivity garnered attention from investors from all over the country. This transformed Hobbs from a quiet community into one of the fastest growing towns in America.

June 14th, 1865 – First Printing Of Oil Region’s Daily Newspaper

The first daily newspaper for the oil region in Pennsylvania hit the press on June 14th, 1865, when Henry and William Bloss created the very first issue. At the time, the paper was a four-page broadsheet called the Titusville Morning Herald and it circulated 300 copies per day in its infancy.

A story in the first issue included a report about John Wilkes Booth, detailing information about the territory that he purchased in 1864. The lead story reported that the Homestead Well which Booth was interested in was destroyed by a fire the day he assassinated President Lincoln. The Titusville Herald is still in publication now, with a total circulation of over 4,000 copies daily.

June 15th, 1954 – First Mobile Rig Sets Sail

In 1954, Mr. Charlie, an offshore drilling platform left the shipyard for the very first time and was put to work by Shell in a new East Bay oilfield near the Mississippi River.

This submersible, movable drilling barge was the first of its kind. It was proposed by Alden LaBorde, a marine superintendent working for Kerr-McGee in the city of Morgan City, Louisiana.

Kerr-McGee was a leader in offshore technology after WWII. While they were responsible for drilling the first well not in sight of land, they didn’t take on LaBorde’s idea. Luckily, Laborde got support from Charles Murphy Jr., a veteran oilman who backed the project and named it after his father, Charles Murphy, Sr.

LaBored would go on to form the Ocean Drilling & Exploration Company, partnering with the J. Ray McDermott Company to construct Mr. Charlie. Upon completion, the barge was 14 feet deep, 85 feet wide and 220 feet long to support the platform. The platform stood 60 over the barge.

As the first, the MODU (Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit) Mr. Charlie launched many new offshore technologies. It was described to be an independent island, close to self-sufficient with a crew of almost 60. Hundreds of oil wells were drilled by Mr. Charlie in the Gulf of Mexico over the next three decades, until it was retired in 1986. Now, Mr. Charlie can be found in Morgan City, Louisiana at the International Petroleum Museum and Exposition.

June 18th, 1889 – Indiana Subsidiary Becomes Standard Oil Company of New Jersey

In 1889, a subsidiary in Indiana was incorporated into Standard Oil Company of New Jersey launching a new era of oil processing in the region. Located close to Chicago, in Whiting, Indiana, Standard Oil of Indiana opened Whiting refinery, which quickly grew into the largest in the country in just five years.

The refinery first produced kerosene for lighting, wax for candles and axle grease used on industrial machinery.  In 1911, after John D. Rockefeller was ordered to break up oil holdings, Standard Oil of Indiana became an independent company. In the 1950s, they started opening Amoco service stations. In 1998, BP and Amoco merged. It was the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a foreign company at the time.

June 18th, 1946  – Creation of the National Petroleum Council

In 1946, President Harry Truman created the National Petroleum Council, a committee was designed to advise Truman specifically about natural gas and oil issues.

Truman was impressed by the contributions made by industry and government cooperation and by the success of WWII’s petroleum program–and wanted to make sure he had an informed governing body on decisions related to the industry.

Today, the Secretary of Energy appoints 200 members to the council. Members of the council are not paid and serve as representatives of the industry, not their companies.

June 6th, 1932 – Gasoline Sales Taxed for the First Time

In 1932, the Revenue Act marked the first time gasoline sales were taxed in the United States. In 1919, Oregon became the first state to tax gasoline at 1 cent per gallon. And while New Mexico, Colorado and other states began taxing gasoline soon after, this was the first time the federal government taxed gas.

At first the tax was just 1 cent per gallon, but by 1993, it had risen to 18.4 cents per gallon of gas. Fortunately for today’s consumers, that tax is still the same today and is one of the few taxes that isn’t indexed to inflation (which has grown nearly 70% since 1993).

These taxes are put to good use in the country, with about 60 percent of federal gas tax used for highway and bridge construction around the country.

June 6th, 1944 – WWII Secret Operation PLUTO Launches

One June 6th, 1995 along 50 miles of French coastline, the D-Day invasion of Normandy Beach began. While the day would go down in infamy for the numerous casualties associate with the battle, D-Day also played host to two secret engineering operations.

In order to supply the beaches, artificial harbors had to be constructed and pipelines were laid over the English Channel. These harbors were codenamed “Mulberrys,” and they were design after similar offshore rigs seen today. Barges with retractable pylons were used to provide platforms and support the causeways.

The mission, known as Operation PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) was executed to fuel advancement into Nazi Germany. Pipelines were wound to large floating “conundrums” and would reel off as they were towed.

This was a significant challenge in engineering, according to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. In terms of difficulty, it was almost as challenging as building the Mulberry Harbors, but it opened up gateways for new advancements in pipeline construction to come.

June 6th, 1967 – Attempted Oil Embargo Falls Short

An oil embargo started just one day after the start of a six-day war in the Middle East, marking one of the first attempted embargos of its kind.

Libya, Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia agreed to stop supplying oil to any country allied with Israel, including West Germany, Great Britain, and the United States. However, this embargo wasn’t successful and was relatively short-lived. It ended just two months later as a result of increased oil production in the U.S. and an overall lack of enforcement.

In 1973, a similar embargo was attempted and unfortunately for all involved, it proved to be far more disruptive than its predecessor.

June 6th, 1976 – Death of  J. Paul Getty

J. Paul Getty, famed oil tycoon, passed away on June 6th, 1976 at his estate near London. He was worth an estimated four billion dollars at the time.

Getty made his first million in the oil industry by 23 years old. This came after he inherited his father’s wealth from Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Oil Company. Getty explained to the New York Times that he started in the industry in 1914. He began buying leases in the“red-beds” area of Oklahoma, in a move that would bring unprecedented new industry to the area.

It was thought to be impossible to find oil in this red dirt area. That misconception allowed Getty and his father to get many leases for a small amount of money. These leases went on to be extremely profitable for both men.

After World War II ended, Getty purchased oil rights in Saudi Arabia, despite being advised not to. This choice made him the wealthiest man in the world. The J. Paul Getty Museum was later established in Los Angeles to celebrate his different milestones in the industry.

Getty left more than $660 million to the museum when he died.

June 9th, 1894 – Oil Industry Launched in Texas

When a  contractor was hired by the city of Corsicana, Texas to drill a water well in 1894, he had no idea what was really hidden beneath the surface. When he stuck oil on 12th Street, this unsuspecting contractor uncovered one of the first significant oil fields in Texas.

Even though the well attracted thousands of people and brought great wealth, the contractor was only paid half of his $1,000 rate. This was because he was hired to drill a water well. The oil well, drilled using cable tools, produced only 2.5 BOPD at 1,035 feet.

While the contractor may not have walked away with a great deal of money, his accidental discover still launched a very profitable oil industry in Texas and marked the first boom for the Lone Star State.

June 11th, 1816 – Gas Lights Up Holliday Street Museum

Rembrandt Peale impressed civic leaders in Baltimore in 1816 when he successfully illuminated a room in the Holliday Street Museum with manufactured gas. This gas was distilled from wood, coal or tar. Peale’s display amazed patrons of the museum by immersing them in ‘gems of light’.

Soon after, Baltimore’s city council approved a plan to light the main streets. To support this, Peal and other investors established the Gas Light Company of Baltimore. One historian proclaimed that it was the leading gas company in the new world.

The museum was the first public building in the United States to utilize gas lighting. In 1855, the Gas Light Company of Baltimore opened a manufacturing plant to refine gas from coal.

June 11th, 1929 – Establishment of the Organization for Independent Producers

The first ever Oil Conservation Conference took place in 1929 in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Broadmoor Hotel bringing together some of the brightest minds in this industry.

Wirt Franklin represented independent producers at the conference and spent his time disputing the creation of a commission that would allow for an increase of imported foreign oil. He claimed that if the condition became reality, it would lead to destruction for small producers.

Franklin later established an organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His goal was to protect the interests of American independent producers. This organization, the Independent Petroleum Association of America still exists. Today, it represents companies that produce 90 percent of domestic oil.

May 29th, 1940 – Nebraska Finally Strikes Oil

After 50 years of unsuccessful efforts, the earliest commercial oil well in Nebraska was completed in 1940. It was located in the southeastern portion of the state, near Falls City.

To really heat up the efforts to get Nebraska on the map, there was a $15,000 dollar bonus on the table for the first well to produce 50 BOPD for two months straight. The prize money went to Bucholz No. 1, a well discovered by Pawnee Royalty Company that was producing around 170 BOPD for 60 days. This well was just 5 miles from a vein of petroleum that geologists first found in 1883 and proved to be a steady source of oil for the region.

Today, most of Nebraska’s oil production in more centralized, with nearly all oil production taking place in the panhandle area of the state.

May 30th, 1911 – The First Ever Indy 500

On May 30th, 1911, 40 cars raced in the first Indianapolis 500, kicking off what would come to be over a century of racing tradition. The winner had an average speed of about 75 MPH.

The winning car,  No. 32 Marmon Wasp, was the only automobile that didn’t have two seats. Many drivers raced with a riding mechanic to pump oil for them, but the driver, Ray Harroun, developed a kerosene carburetor that allowed him to drive solo. He declared that soon, he would have a vehicle that would burn anything the “fuel people” send.

Gasoline powered fewer than 1,000 of all American cars 10 years before the Indy 500. Since gasoline was such a new marvel in the automotive world, this new sport of auto racing really emphasized endurance, as race itself that lasted nearly seven hours.

May 30th, 1987 – Opening of the West Texas Million Barrel Museum Museum

In 1987,  the Million Barrel Museum was established in Monahans, Texas as an homage to the bustling oil industry of the area. The main draw of the museum was an elliptical storage tank constructed in 1928 to store oil from the Permian Basin.

This massive concrete tank measures in at 525 feet by 422 feet. It had the capacity to hold one million oil barrels. While the West Texas region was productive, it lacked oil pipelines and relied on tanks like this for storage while transportation could be arranged.

This tank’s 30 foot walls were sloped at an angle of 45 degrees and coated with concrete, while the roof was created using California Redwood. Despite that, oil continuously leaked from the seams. Shell later abandoned the structure and it became a waterpark in the 1950s. The waterpark later closed when it began leaking once again.

June 1st, 1860 – Printing of The Wonder of the Nineteenth Century

In 1860, Thomas Gale published the earliest book about American petroleum. The 80-page pamphlet was titled The Wonder of the Nineteenth Century in Pennsylvania and Elsewhere. It was published within a year of  Edwin Drake discovering oil in Titusville,  Pennsylvania, and described, in great detail, this new source of fuel for illumination.

In his book Gale declared that the light produced was close to clear and strong daylight. He described it as “bright and still cheap, a light for royalty and civilians alike.”

June 1st, 1940 – “Art in Action” Exhibition

The now infamous Oil Field Girls painting by Jerry Bywaters debuted in 1940. The unveiling took place at San Francisco’s Golden Gate International Exposition in the Fine Arts Palace. This painting featured two young women in a booming oil patch in West Texas and quickly became one of Bywaters’ most popular works.

Nearly 70 artists including the notable Diego Rivera took part in the ‘Art in Action’ exhibition. Next, the ‘Oil Field Girls’ painting was moved to the Dallas Museum of Art before it was added to the collection at University of Texas in the Blanton Museum of Art.

Later that year, Bywater finished a companion piece called Oil Rig Workers (Roughnecks).

June 2nd, 1908 – Discovery Along Goose Creek

In the middle of Galveston Bay, some 21 miles east of Houston, Texas, Goose Creek Production Company successfully completed the first offshore drilling venture near Texas. Two years before this a landowner in the area noticed bubbling in the water where the bay met Goose Creek.

Curious to learn more about the commotion, he lit a match and discovered the bubbles were actually natural gas.

The oil in the marsh was located nearly 2,000 feet below ground. Days after the discovery, the Goose Creek Production Company sold to Texaco. (Known as Texas Company at the time).

During this ground-breaking drilling venture, Howard  Hughes Sr. also tested his dual-cone bit for the first time. The bit would go on to make inaccessible oil reserves accessible; forever changing the landscape of the oil industry.

June 3rd, 1979 – The Campeche Spill

On June 3rd, 1979, the world saw what would be one of the biggest oil spills in history, when the Sedco 135, a semi-submersible rig, suffered a major blowout. The rig was rilling in 150 feet of water, just 50 miles from the Gulf Coast of Mexico.

State-owned Pemex was able to reduce the oil flow to around 20,000 BOPD. However, they couldn’t completely stop the rupture and oil continued to spill. The total reached more than 3 million barrels before it was controlled with relief wells nine months later.

The impact of the spill on the environment was limited when considering its size. This was detailed in a report published by the Coordinated Program of Ecological Studies in the Bay of Campeche. The report states that nature attacked the slicks as they crossed the gulf. Ultraviolet light, microorganisms and hot temperatures all contributed to the process, while category four hurricane Frederic helped to dispersed the oil.

June 4th, 1892 – Fires and Floods

A dam along Oil Creek ruptured following weeks of rain in Pennsylvania leading to one of the most deadly disasters of its kind. The floods killed upwards of 100 people while leveling businesses and homes in Oil City and Titusville. Unfortunately, the disaster only continued when fires emerged.

According to the New York Times, the city faced the most dangerous fire and floods ever recorded. The studio of  John Mather, an oilfield photographer was destroyed along with 16,000 of his negatives. In 1915, Mather died and the Drake Well Memorial Association acquired the remaining negatives. This museum still preserves them today.

June 4th, 1872 – The Invention of Petroleum Jelly

In 1872, new product derived from petroleum was patented by Robert A. Chesebrough  and would go on to be one of the most widely used commercial products of its type. Created from petroleum distillation and designed to work as a lubricant, Chesebrough would go on to name this new product ‘vaseline’.

The young chemist first visited Pennsylvania oil fields in 1865 when he noticed that drilling was confounded by a waxy substance that would clog the wellhead. The rod wax was used as first aid to treat burns, abrasions and other common wounds that crew faced in the field.

Later, Chesebrough went back to New York and started working to purify this wax. He called the wax petroleum jelly. Chesebrough then decided wanted to test the product on himself. To do so, he inflicted minor burns and cuts on his skin and then applied the product to test its healing prowess.

Female customers quickly discovered that mixing Vaseline and lamp black could create mascara. When Miss Mabel Williams started using this concoction as part of her own beauty routine, she quickly developed the idea to start a massive company that would go on to be the beauty enterprise Maybelline.

May 23th, 1937 – Rockefeller Dies After Decades of Contribution to Oil Industry

Oil tycoon and the founder of Standard Oil Company, John D. Rockefeller passed away on May 23rd, 1937.  His demise came four decades following his withdrawal from official duties at Standard Oil.

Rockefeller was born in 1839 on July 8th in Richford, New York. He went on to establish his personal enterprise in 1859, the same date that the first oil well was pioneered in America.

Rockefeller took a bigger position in the industry when he became the sole proprietor of a refinery seven years later. This refinery soon became one of the three largest in the world.  Rockefeller was generous with his money as he became wealthy. In 1912, it was estimated he was worth more than 900 million dollars at the time, the modern-day equivalent of 21 billion dollars.

May 24th, 1902 –  Pioneering Oil In Print With the Oil Investors’ Journal

Oil made its way to the print world when Holland Reavis established the Oil Investors’ Journal. Originally published out of Beaumont, Texas the early articles in this publication concentrated on money-related issues. More specifically, the publication looked into the financial woes facing stakeholders of the flourishing “Lucas Gusher” that was founded just one year earlier at Spindletop.

The Oil Investors’ Journal was subsequently taken over by Patrick Boyle. Boyle formally acted as an oilfield scout for Rockefeller and acted as an editor for the publication, even changing the name of the magazine to the Oil and Gas Journal.

Boyle quickly changed the magazine to weekly publications and extended the scope to include a wider spectrum of oil industry activities, which embraced both surveying and production.

In 1962, as the magazine continued to grow in popularity, Norman Rockwell designed a commercial for the journal, only increasing its widespread notability. The publication is still in publication today, and is distributed by the Tulsa-based PennWell company.

May 24th, 1920  – Oil Makes its L.A. Debut

Standard Oil found success in California when they uncovered Huntington Beach oilfield, marking the first time oil was ever discovered in the Los Angeles area. The beach town quickly saw a huge population boom, as over 3,500 people moved to the city just 30 days after drilling started.

Less than a year later, there were more than 59 active wells in the area, reaching a peak production of over 16,000 barrels each day. The growth of production began to attract attention from the nation and resulted in an industry boom.

According to an account from the State Mining Bureau, public support dwindled for wildcat drilling. And, the promotion of investments enterprises without working capital also worried the public.

The Huntington Beach area generated over 16 million bbls in 1964, as indicated by the Orange County register. However, as oil production grew, the sudden climb in population started pushing wells away from the location as Huntington Beach became more of a residential community.

May 26th, 1891 – Crayola Crayons

We can all thank the oil industry for everyone’s favorite coloring tool, Crayola crayons. C. Harold Smith and Edwin Binney were granted a patent for the crayon in 1891, although at the time, it was known as the “Apparatus for the Manufacture of Carbon Black.”

At the time, the refining procedure utilized oil to create a smooth and shadowy material. This was a superior colorant compared to what was available at the time, and people started taking note.

At this time, the Pennsylvania oil sector was flourishing and Easton-based Binney and Smith Company had an abundance of material to work with. They began experimenting with their new creation and mixing the carbon black with oilfield paraffin to present a dark colored pencil. The product was advertised to the public as having the capacity to “remain on all” which earned it the name “Staonal.”

The name was eventually changed to Crayola, Binney and Smith created its pioneering box of eight colors in 1903. The colors were black, red, blue, orange, brown, yellow, violet, blue, and green. Of course, Crayola crayons are still around today, with some boxes offering well over 100 different color options.

May 26th, 1934 – Electric Diesel Hybrid Sets Train Speed Records

A ‘streamliner’, Burlington Zephyr, pulled into the Century of Progress exhibition in Chicago in 1934, setting an unprecedented train speed record. The electric and diesel train had just made a 13-hour journey from Denver, which was half the time it would take other locomotives at the time.

The Burlington Zephyr ran on one eight-cylinder engine that was diesel fueled. The train traveled over 1,000 miles on this record-shattering trip. The Zephyr only burned $16.72 in fuel, while the same trip for a coal train would’ve cost over $250.

It had only been 60 years since steam trains and the railroad made transportation coast to coast possible and this new development would forever change the accessibility of cross-country trips.

May 27th, 1933 – Unveiling of the Sinclair Dinosaur

Sinclair Oil’s Brontosaurus (currently referred to as Apatosaurus) initially showed up at Chicago’s Century of Progress.  The “Dino” and other ancient dinosaurs proved popular, pulling in swarms of visitors not only at the Chicago event but again at the 1936 Texas Centennial Expo and the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

After a brief hiatus, the restored “Dino” made an appearance for the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Established in 1916, Sinclair Oil is among the most respected names in the American oil industry and their Dino marketing efforts proved to be one of the most popular in the brand’s history.

May 28th, 1923 – Oil Well of the Century Uncovered in Texas

After 646 days of complicated drilling, American oil history was made in Texas in 1923 when the “Oil Well of the Century” was unearthed.

Close to Big Lake, on bone-dry land previously deemed useless, Santa Rita No. 1 produced oil, leading to the discovery of the Permian Basin. This was major news for the industry, as specialists had deemed all of West Texas virtually void of all oil.

After almost two years of drilling at under five feet per day, something unexpected happened. The Santa Rita – named for its nearly impossible production level was discovered and produced oil for nearly 70 years.

Three years after the Texon Oil and Land Company made this discovery, they gave the University of Texas a royalties check worth $4 million, proving just how beneficial this oil field would be for the area.  In 1999, Santa Rita No. 1 was honored as the “Oil Well of the Century” in Texas Monthly.

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