About Us

U.S. petroleum history provides

a context for understanding the

modern energy business.

The American Oil & Gas Historical Society (AOGHS) is dedicated to preserving U.S. petroleum history, which provides a context for understanding the modern energy business. This history, which began in August 1859 with the first commercial U.S. well in Pennsylvania, has often been neglected in discussions about meeting America’s future energy needs. AOGHS offers energy education resources, including links to community oil and gas museums, county historical societies, libraries, and others dedicated to material preservation. 

Latest Popular

Articles & Updates

This Week in Petroleum History, January 13 to January 19

In 1954, a Shell Oil Company wildcat well in Harding County, South Dakota, began producing oil from about 9,300 feet deep, revealing South Dakota’s first oilfield. This single well drilled in what proved to be the Buffalo field produced more than 341,000 barrels of oil for the next five decades.

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Oil Riches of Merriman Baptist Church

A small church in Texas was once declared the richest in America. In the fall of 1917, the Eastland County cotton-farming town of Merriman was inhabited by “ranchers, farmers, and businessmen struggling to survive an economic slump brought on by severe drought and boll...

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Seuss I am, an Oilman

About 30 years before the Grinch stole Christmas, Dr. Seuss’s strange critters worked for Standard Oil of New Jersey. Ted Geisel will later say his experience working for Standard Oil “taught me conciseness and how to marry pictures with words.”

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Education Centers & Resources

Research Forums

Road Trip to Texas oil patch

August 7, 2019: Hi, next year we are planning a road trip in the United States that starts in Dallas, Texas, heading to Amarillo and then on to New Mexico and beyond. We will be following the U.S. 287 most of the way to Amarillo and would like to know of any oil fields we could visit or simply photograph on the way. From Amarillo we plan to take the U.S. 87. We realise this is quite a trivial request but you help would be appreciated. — Kristin A.

 

First LNG ship booklet, circa 1959

My father spent his working life with Lone Star Gas, he is gone many years now I am getting on.Going through a few of his things. A little book made up that he received when he & my mother attended the commissioning of the “Natalie O Warren” Propane Tanker. I am wondering if it is of any value to anyone. Or any museum? — Bill B.

Live elephant advertising, Skelly Oil

My grandfather owned a Skelly service station in Sidney, Iowa in the 1930s and 1940s. I have a photo of him with an elephant in front of the station. I recall reading somewhere that Skelly had this elephant touring from station to station as an advertising stunt. Does anyone have any more history on the live elephant tour for Skelly Oil? I’d love to find out more. — Thanks, Jeff B.

History articles & Helpful links

Category Topics

Petroleum Artifacts & Memorabilia

Pages for posting questions, comments, and advice and for researchers, preservationists, and collectors seeking information about the history of artifacts relating to exploration and production technologies, petroleum products, transportation, storage, retail sales, and MORE.

Oil & Gas Families: Personal Stories

Have a family heirloom or other artifacts relating to petroleum history? Many community oil and gas museums can help preserve personal and professional stories…MORE.

 

Photography & Video Collections

The history of American radio, TV, and film offers portrayals of the U.S. petroleum exploration, production and transportation industries. Many public domain archives provide free access…MORE.

Preserving Old Photographs

The care, handling, and storage of photographs: How to preserve your photographic prints from all eras of photography (and negatives)..MORE.

"Is My Old Oil Stock worth Anything?"

A Q&A forum for sharing details about old and often obscure petroleum stock certificates, many from the early 1900s. Before posting, review our updated business histories of hundreds of old oil and natural gas companies..MORE.

Preserving Audio/Visual Recordings

The Library of Congress offers tips for preserving optical discs, magnetic tape, and other materials with inherent chemical instabilities. Good storage is especially critical to the preservation of these materials….MORE.

History of oil and Gas

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Stay up to date with the latest news about the history of the oil and natural gas industry and modern energy education programs with our weekly newsletter, "This Week in Petroleum History."