Titusville, Pennsylvania, 1896


This panoramic map shows Titusville, Pennsylvania, as it appeared in 1896. Located in western Pennsylvania, Titusville is known as the place where the modern oil industry began. In 1859, the recently formed Seneca Oil Company hired retired railroad conductor Edwin L. Drake to investigate suspected oil deposits near Titusville. Drake used an old steam engine to drill a well that began the first large-scale commercial extraction of petroleum. By the early 1860s, western Pennsylvania had been transformed by the oil boom. The numbered index at the bottom of the map shows points of interest, including refineries and factories linked to the oil industry. Also shown are other industrial facilities, public schools, the city building, and the opera house. The letter key on the right lists houses of worship, which reflect the city’s religious, ethnic, and racial diversity. Indicated are Presbyterian, Baptist, and other major Protestant denominations, including an African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) church; two Catholic churches; and two synagogues. Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler (1842–1922) was one of the most prolific makers of panoramic maps. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, and fought in the American Civil War. After working for an uncle who was a photographer, in 1870 he established his own panoramic-map firm. Over the course of a long career, Fowler made panoramic maps of cities in 21 states and parts of Canada.

Last updated: May 24, 2017