Silliman's Second Report on Oil in California

    Professor [Benjamin] Silliman [Jr.]. A Description of the Recently Discovered Petroleum Region in California. With a Report on the Same by Professor Silliman. New York: Francis & Loutrel, February, 1865.

    First edition of Silliman's second report on California oil (the first report did not include the large map included here). Octavo, sewn wrappers. 24 pages. With fold-out chart and folding map of "the Ojai Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, belonging to the California Petroleum Company, 1865" with an inset map of the Ojai Basin, the whole measuring 16.5 x 23 inches.

    Original printed buff wrappers. Printing error to front wrapper resulting in slightly askew double-printed title. Short tear to map's anchor strip, not affecting map itself. Shallow vertical bend down the center of the pamphlet. A fine copy.

    Silliman was a Yale chemist and petroleum visionary who concluded that petroleum was the fuel of the future. His initial studies led directly to the discovery of oil in Pennsylvania. This report on oil in the Santa Barbara area ultimately led to charges of fraud and conspiracy when it was discovered that well-compensated oil company consultant Silliman had tested samples of California crude that somehow contained Pennsylvania kerosene. Nevertheless, the work of an oil pioneer with a large-scale early map of "what has become one of the most prosperous regions of California" (Streeter). Scarce.

    Eberstadt 133:801. Sabin 81051. Streeter 2903.

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    October, 2010
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