George Bissell

No one knew that oil could come from the ground until a bankrupt group of speculators hit pay dirt in northwestern Pennsylvania

By August 1859,   “Colonel” E. L. Drake and his small crew were disheartened. Few if any of the locals believed that oil—liquid called rock oil—could come out of the ground. In fact, they thought Drake was crazy. Read more >>

The problem is as old as the industry itself

How gullible Edwin L. Drake, an ailing ex-railroad conductor, brought about America’s first and gaudiest oil boom