The first oil export of US crude oil utilizing the Elisabeth Watts cargo ship got here quickly after Edwin L. Drake drilled the primary American oil properly alongside Oil Creek in northwestern Pennsylvaniai, in Venango and Crawford counties. After his historic discovery close to Titusville, Drake purchased up all of the 40-gallon whiskey barrels he may discover to move his oil on barges down the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh refineries.
In the yr 1861, Peter Wright & Sons, exporters from Philadelphia have been answerable for making the primary export of crude oil to London in a 224-tonne capability typical cargo ship, the Elisabeth Watts. Launched in 1847 by the shipbuilding agency of J. & C.C. Morton of Thomaston, Maine, the Elizabeth Watts was about 96 ft lengthy with a draft of 11 ft. . “She was a two masted, square-rigged ship properly suited to the Atlantic cargo commerce of the day,” famous J. & C.C. Morton, the Maine shipbuilding agency that constructed the 224-ton brig in 1847.
To attain Philadelphia docks, the oil must journey overland throughout Pennsylvania. The nearest railroad to Oil Creek’s prolific fields was a grueling trek on muddy roads clogged with teamsters’ wagons. The most popular railhead, owing to primitive highway circumstances, was the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad station at Miles Mills (now Union City), 20 miles north of Titusville.
From Miles, railroad flatcars laboriously stacked with barrels and pulled by a steam locomotive may make their method eastward to Philadelphia. Along the route, saltwater residue would eat on the barrels’ glue and trigger leakage. The threat of fireside or explosion can be fixed.
Despite the hazards and issue, 901 barrels of Pennsylvania crude and 428 barrels of refined kerosene made the journey. Each 40-gallon barrel weighed over 60 kilos empty and 360 kilos to 400 kilos when full.
On November 18, 1861, the 901 barrels of Pennsylvania oil and 428 barrels of refined kerosene have been loaded on the Elisabeth Watts. Forty-five days later, on January 9, 1862, the U.S. brig sails down the Thames River to reach at London’s Victoria Dock. It will take 12 days to unload the 1,329 barrels. Not rather more is understood concerning the Elizabeth Watts. She carried the world’s first actually substantial cargo of oil and arrived safely in England. The three British consignees awaiting the cargo have been G. Crowshaw & Company, Coates & Company, and Herzog & Company. Beyond that the data are blank-except to notice that the ship’s grasp had appreciable issue in recruiting a crew. However, the next yr, reviews says that Philadelphia exported 239,000 barrels of oil. (Source and picture: AOGHS)
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