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Indiana communities took pride in what they thought to be an unlimited supply of natural gas. Indiana lawmakers banned these “flambeaux” lights in 1891 – becoming one of the earliest states to legislate conservation.

The late 1880s discoveries of natural gas in Eaton and Portland ignited Indiana’s historic gas boom, which would dramatically change the state’s economy.

The “Trenton Field” as it would become known, spread over 17 Indiana counties and 5,120 square miles. It was the largest natural gas field known in the world. Within three years, more than 200 companies were drilling, distributing, and selling natural gas.

In 1859, the same year that “Colonel” Edwin L. Drake drilled the country’s first commercial oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania, there were already 297 “manufactured gas” (known as coal gas) companies in the 33 United States. Read the rest of this entry »


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September 9, 1855 – Birthday of Man who discovered Spindletop

Born Anton Lucic in Split, Croatia, Anthony Francis Lucas in 1875 receives an engineering degree at the Polytechnic Institute in Graz, Austria. He then reaches the rank of captain in the Austrian navy before coming to America, where he becomes a citizen in 1885. He changes his name to Lucas and works in Washington, D.C., as a mining engineer and geologist. Read the rest of this entry »