Sitting On A Gusher

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

Perhaps the most bizarre of all the great mineral booms of the nineteenth century took place not in a remote western wilderness, but in the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, within easy reach of such well-established centers of population as New York and Pittsburgh. In this case the sought-after prize was not gold or silver but an infinitely more valuable substance, petroleum.