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When Was The First Oil Well In The United States Drilled?


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The first oil well in the United States was the Drake well at Titusville, Pennsylvania. It was completed on August 28, 1859 (some sources list the date as August 27). The well was owned by Edwin L. Drake (1819-1880) and drilled by William "Uncle Billy" Smith to a depth of 69.5 feet (21 meters) underground. Within 15 years, Pennsylvania oil fields were yielding more than 10 million barrels of oil a year (a barrel holds 42 gallons).

Sources: Hyne, Norman J. Dictionary of Petroleum Exploration, Drilling and Production, p. 585; Kane, Joseph N. Famous First Facts, 4th ed., p. 439; McNeil, Ian. An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology, p. 211.