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

Nylon, a Petroleum Polymer

The world’s first synthetic fiber was the petroleum product "Nylon 6," discovered in 1935 by a DuPont chemist who produced the polymer from chemicals found in oil. DuPont Corporation foresaw the future artificial fibers "strong as steel." The chemical conglomerate had been...

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THUMS – California’s Hidden Oil Islands

Reversing an earlier ban, in 1962 voters in Long Beach, California, approved petroleum exploration in their harbor. Five oil companies formed a company called THUMS and built four artificial islands to produce the oil. California's headline-making 1921 oil discovery at...

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Pawnee Bill Oil Company

As World War I neared its end, Maj. Gordon William Lillie entered the petroleum business in Yale, Oklahoma.   Although not as famous as his friend Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody of Wyoming, Maj. Gordon W. "Pawnee Bill" Lillie was “widely known as a showman, a teacher...

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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."