Lot 61 of 235:
Silliman pamphlet on Cal. oil fields with map 1865  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$1,440
$1,000 - $1,500

A Description of the Recently Discovered Petroleum Region in California. With a Report on the Same by Professor Silliman

Silliman, Benjamin

New York

Francis & Loutrel

February, 1865


[2], iii, 24, [1] pp. Folding map, and a folding section diagram. (8vo) tan wrappers printed in black.

This rare little prospectus discusses all aspects of extracting petroleum, a recent source of wealth in the Santa Barbara area. Includes a paragraph on labor (discussing Chinamen who were industrious but faced a backlash), plus discussions on the market for oil and much on geology, and of course the proposed earnings for those investing in the company. The folding map is "Map Representing Locality of the Ojai Ranch in Santa Barbara County, California, belonging to the California Petroleum Company" (58x39 cm). The map shows the coast from Pt. Concepcion to San Pedro Bay at a scale of 6 miles to an inch. Ranchos are shown. It has an inset of the Ojai Basin. The folding diagram shows an "Ideal Section from Buenaventura to Mupu Arroyo."  Warren Heckrotte comments that "This the second pamphlet and the second by Silliman dealing with oil in California; and the map is regarded as the first to show oil deposits in California. (However, Doolittle's map of Humboldt County, 1865 also shows gas and oil deposits.) The text states that the map was prepared by Thomas Sprague, Surveyor of Santa Barbara County. The text states that the  oil outcrops are numbered on the map, but this is not the case."

Provenance: Bauman, 3/91

References: Streeter 2903. Sabin 81051. White, G.T., Scientists in Conflict, which also reproduces inset map of Ojai Basin. White's book relates the history of these early days of the industry and the conflict between Silliman and J.D. Whitney that arose in part on the issue of whether there was oil in California. White, G. T., Baptism in Oil.

Lot Amendments

Front wrapper detached; large map neatly split in two along a vertical fold, with a few other short splits, no loss; very good.

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