chapter  21
27 Pages

Historical oil shocks

ByJames D. Hamilton

From the beginning, this was recognized as an extremely valuable commodity, as Derrick’s Hand-Book of Petroleum (1898: 706) described:

Petroleum was in fair demand at the time of Colonel Drake and his associates … for practical experiments had proved that it made a better illuminant than could be manufactured from cannel coal by the Gessner and Downer processes. All that could be obtained from the surface springs along Oil creek and the salt wells of the Allegheny valley found a ready market at prices ranging from 75 cents to $1.50 and even $2.00 per gallon.