Drake Oil Well Museum
Drilled by Edwin Drake in 1859, along the banks of Oil Creek, it is the first commercial oil well in the United States. DRAKE WELL HOURS OF OPERATION - April through December Tuesday-Saturday - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday - noon to 5 p.m. Closed Mondays except Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day and Veteran's Day Engine Start-up Day - May 4th
Backstory and Context
The Drake well is often referred to as the "first" commercial oil well, although that title is also claimed for wells in Azerbaijan, Ontario, West Virginia, and Poland, among others. However, before the Drake well, oil-producing wells in the United States were wells that were drilled for salt brine, and produced oil and gas only as accidental byproducts. An intended drinking water well at Oil Springs, Ontario found oil in 1858, a year before the Drake well, but it had not been drilled for oil. Historians have noted that the importance of the Drake well was not in being the first well to produce oil, but in attracting the first great wave of investment in oil drilling, refining, and marketing.