Early oil refinery, Oil City, PA, circa 1880.
flipFlip to Oil barrels loaded for shipping down Oil Creek to Pittsburgh, Crawford County, PA, May, 1864.
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An image of a refinery with several large oil tanks, smokestacks, and railroad tracks in the foreground.

Credit: The Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views (NYPG91-F314 097z)Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Oil production in Pennsylvania was a major polluter of water and air.  In the early days of the industry, much of the oil drilled in in Titusville area was transported by flatboats down Oil Creek. The amount of oil lost to the river due to leaky barrels and boating accidents before reaching refineries in Pittsburgh has been estimated at more than 50 percent.

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