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Views: Portraying Place and Space 2nd Exhibit from the David Rumsey Map Center, January 22 - August 31, 2017


The first oil boom in the United States happened between 1859 and the early 1870’s in northwestern Pennsylvania. Clarion County was at the heart of this oil rush. In the year of 1891, Pennsylvania was supplying 58% of the nation’s oil. This 1877 view of the “oil farm” of A.R. Black shows a bucolic prosperous scene with clear skies and beautiful landscape amidst the picturesque oil wells. Highly romanticized, this prosperity was not destined to last. By 1907, Pennsylvania provided less than 10% of the nation’s oil as discoveries in Ohio, Texas, California, and Oklahoma quickly dominated the market.
Joseph A. Caldwell
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Residence & view of oil farm of A.R. Black situated in Beaver Twp near Elk City on the Emlenton & Shippenville R.R, Joseph A. Caldwell, 1877
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