|Until Edwin Drake drilled his well, oil had been collected from whatever had seeped out of the ground. This oil was used for medicinal purposes.
Drake, who had been a railroad conductor, was convinced that large quantities of oil could be found by drilling. Just as his money dried up and investors called for an end to the drilling, Drake struck oil.
Before long, the area around Titusville was full of oil wells and the commercial use of oil began.