The first people in North America to dig for oil were probably Native Americans in Pennsylvania, who used it for medicinal purposes. European settlers had later skimmed the oil that came out of seeps and used it as lamp oil and lubrication. It wasn’t until the 1850s when it was discovered that when distilled, oil would produce a very high quality illuminant. The first sucessful commercial well was drilled by Edwin Drake in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania. This was the start of the oil industry
There isn’t a name that can be attached to that question. It is believed that before 1400 AD, Paleo-Indians collected oil religious for rituals, medicinal practice, and skin coloring.
Something interesting is that a young entrepeneur named Samuel Kier made a connection between an oil prescribed to his ill wife and crude oil that floated in a Pennsylvania creek, in 1849. Kier then bottled and sold the oil as a mysterious cure-all remedy.
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