PENNSYLVANIA OIL REGIONS
Philad'a & Elmira Rail Road Line! "Catawissa Route." To All Points West. Direct Route to the Oil Regions! of Pennsylvania ... and all Places in the West'n & North-Western States ... N. Van Horn, Ticket Agent
Philadelphia: [circa 1865]. Broadside, with a table of the rates of fare on verso. Woodcut illustration of a locomotive. Sheet size: 19 x 8 inches.
Extraordinary survival: a railroad broadside advertising a route to America's first oil boom.
The first oil well in the United States was drilled by E. L. Drake in Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, near Titusville, in 1859. On the 29th of August oil was struck and the first boom was on. Towns such as Oil City and Pithole sprang up. The Titusville population exploded from 250 residents to over 10,000 in little more than five years; Pithole expanded from four log-cabin farmhouses to a bustling city with over 50 hotels over the span of five months in 1865. At its peak, the Pennsylvania wells were producing one third of the world's oil. An ephemeral survival of America's first oil rush.