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标题新东方35-1 分类12 查看3214 上传54

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Oil Refining

An important new industry, oil refining, grew after the Civil war. Crude oil, or petroleum – a dark, thick ooze from the earth – had been known for hundreds of years, but little use had ever been made of it. In the 1850’s Samuel M. Kier, a manufacturer in western Pennsylvania, began collecting the oil from local seepages and refining it into kerosene. Refining, like smelting, is a process of removing impurities from a raw material.

Kerosene was used to light lamps. It was a cheap substitute for whale oil, which was becoming harder to get. Soon there was a large demand for kerosene. People began to search for new supplies of petroleum.

The first oil well was drilled by E.L. Drake, a retired railroad conductor. In 1859 he began drilling in Titusville, Pennsylvania.

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