In 1847, a Pittsburgh man by the name of Samuel Keir discovered that petroleum could be distilled into a lamp fuel, which he named ‘carbon oil’; This led to the establishment of the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company, and eventually the first oil well was drilled in the same area in 1859. Oil as fuel for vehicles was first imagined for naval ships; several experiments were staged in the latter half of the nineteenth century, testing the ability of heated petroleum to sustain long enough to power a large vessel. The first petroleum-powered ships were introduced around the turn of the century.
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