Tag Archives: quiet village

This Day in the Yesteryear: Edwin Drake Strikes Oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania (1859)

Edwin Drake Strikes Oil in Titusville, Pennsylvania (1859)

In the late 1850s, Drake hired a salt well driller to start digging on a piece of land near Titusville, Pennsylvania. Though oil was known to exist nearby, there was no practical way to extract it, and its primary use was in medicine. In August 1859, Drake struck oil at a depth of 69 feet (21 m), an event that marked the birth of the oil industry. Once a quiet village, Titusville became a bustling town as prospectors flocked to the area. What disaster struck the town more than once? More… Discuss