About Us

Petroleum history provides a context for understanding modern energy challenges.

The American Oil & Gas Historical Society (AOGHS) preserves U.S. petroleum history, which provides an important context for understanding the modern energy industry. This history, which began in August 1859 with the first commercial U.S. well in Pennsylvania, can help make informed decisions about meeting future energy needs. AOGHS offers education resources, including links to community oil and gas museums, county historical societies, libraries, and others dedicated to material preservation. Please join our effort.

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Articles & Updates

Remarkable Nellie Bly’s Oil Drum

Famous New York World reporter of 1880s would take charge of Iron Clad Manufacturing Company.   She was one of the most famous journalists of her day as a reporter for the New York World. Widely known as the remarkable Nellie Bly, Elizabeth J. Cochran Seaman, investigated...

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Exploiting North Texas Oil Fever

Widely publicized drilling booms attracted investors seeking "black gold" riches -- real or imagined.   Exaggerated, questionable, and sometimes fraudulent claims by shady business ventures seeking investors grew in the years following World War I. As the Great Depression...

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Wayne’s Self-Measuring Pump

From kerosene to gasoline, an 1892 Wayne Oil Tank & Pump Company dispenser preserves petroleum history.   Wayne Lease of White Salmon, Washington, owns a rare 1892 self-measuring pump originally designed to dispense kerosene. His pump is one of only 50 manufactured by...

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Education Centers & Resources

Research Forums

Atlantic Refining Company Publication 

A family has preserved its connection to U.S. refining history and is seeking a home for its 1921 company booklet. The grandfather, George Edward Cooper (pictured in the publication), worked for Atlantic Refining Company, which later became ARCO.


Question about Oilfield Storage Tanks

“My family has a farm in western Pennsylvania and once had a small oil pump on the land. I’m trying to learn how the oil was transported from the pump. I know a man came in a truck more than once each week…” — Lauren.

Family donates L.A. Photography

Photos of a father’s years as an employee of the Los Angeles Harbor authority, Valerie Raynor led to the American Oil & Gas Historical Society finding a home for them at a California museum.

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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