Petroleum Museum to host virtual chat with US counterparts

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The Canadian Petroleum Museum will host a virtual presentation hosted by its American counterparts at the Drake Well Museum on August 18, exploring the fascinating history of Titusville, the birthplace of the American oil industry.

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Drake Well Museum educational coordinator Sarah Goodison will use Zoom to talk about the mid-19e Oil boom of the century that took place in Titusville, located in the northwestern part of Pennsylvania.

As well as providing a wealth of information, photos and illustrations of the Drake Well site, as well as interesting anecdotes from that time, Goodison will also talk about the impact of the experience of discovering oil at Titusville on the global oil industry. It will also explore how the discovery of oil in America was both comparable to but completely different from the discovery of oil in Canada, which took place at Oil Springs in 1858 (oil was discovered at Titusville in 1859).

The free virtual lecture begins at 7 p.m., and the Canada Petroleum Museum’s Education Program Director, Christina Sydorko, said she was delighted that Goodison and the Drake Well Museum had agreed to participate in this virtual event.

It is the culmination of a growing and positive relationship that has developed between the museums over the past two years, she said.

“We struck up a friendship during the pandemic,” Sydorko said. “We did a conference for them about a year ago on the Canadian oil industry. They had always heard of us and we had heard of it, but there was a bit of an antagonistic relationship between the two museums because we were two oil museums, each claiming to be the first (to discover oil).
“But recently, we have formed a great friendship between the two sites,” she continued. “Sarah is the education coordinator there and I’m the education coordinator here, and we started sharing stories and I asked her if she would be interested in talking about the Drake Well, because a lot of people have heard of it but really not much is known we don’t know the history we don’t know who Edwin Drake was and how important the Drake well was and how did this industry come about at this historic site.

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Goodison will delve into many fascinating facets of the Drake Well site’s history and attempt to separate fact from fiction, Sydorko said.

“I think she’s going to try to figure out some of the mythology that’s been built up over the years,” Sydorko said. “It was pretty close (when Canada and America discovered oil)…but one of the things that our American counterparts seem to do very well is advertising and marketing and creating their own mythology.

“Sarah will focus on the American experience, which should be really interesting for a Canadian audience. We’ve heard about the mythology, but it’ll be really interesting to learn more about the reality,” she added. “We know Canada was first, but being first isn’t (the most important thing) – learning the nuances of history is what we do. And I think it will be interesting to hear another point of view.

The discovery of oil at Titusville and Oil Springs in the late 1850s and the consequences of those discoveries were hugely significant to both countries, but while there were many parallels, there were also many differences between the two. experiences, Sydorko said.
“The Canadian industry got wet very early. It all started here, and Canadian industry has developed a different technology – Canadian technology is very much wood-based, whereas our American counterparts use chains,” she said.

“Using the environment and the resources around them has really affected the way industry has operated and grown in America and Canada. And even though the two industries of Titusville and Oil Springs were lightning bolts in the pans, the industry in the United States held on a little longer as the people of Oil Springs began to venture into the foreign and that’s where we get the international drillers, whereas in America they’re more rooted in one place.
“The way the industry has operated in the two countries has led to different industry outcomes, so in Titusville you have the Rockefellers, whereas here we have the Imperial.”

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Sydorko said she hopes residents will register for the Zoom session, as they will be allowed to ask questions after Goodison’s presentation.

“We’ll be recording it to share on YouTube at a later date, but we’d like to have a large audience as we welcome questions,” she said. “And we have Sarah – an incredibly friendly and easy-to-listen to expert – sharing some of her vast knowledge on the subject.”

The one-hour virtual conference is free and pre-registration is required at https://forms.lambtonmuseums.ca/Oil-Museum-of-Canada/Virtual-Talks-2022/Drake-Well-Museum-and-Park.

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