Business & Finance: The First Oil Man

Recent exercises in Titusville, Pa., commemorated the discovery of petroleum by drilling there in 1859, by Edward L. Drake, "Founder of the American Petroleum Industry." Mr. Drake did not live long enough to realize the momentous consequences of his achievement, or its far reaching effects on industry. Indeed, it was a serious question with him whether the contents of his first " 20-barrel well" were not too large to ever be sold. Until the popular adoption of the automobile, petroleum was desired chiefly for its derivative, kerosene— such was the situation in 1906,...

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