April 25, 1865
A patent was issued to Civil War veteran Col.Edwin Roberts for an explosive device used for fracturing oil bearing formations in wells to improve flow. In order to avoid his fees, some oilmen hired unlicensed practitioners who used their own devices, usually at night. This is how the term "moonlighting" came into the lexicon.
April 20, 1892
Los Angeles oil field discovered. A well drilled between two tar pits located near the current Dodger Stadium, yielded 25 barrels per day. By 1897 there were 500 wells pumping oil. By 1925, California was producing half of the worlds oil supply. Hard to imagine that today.
April 24, 1911
Magnolia Oil Company was founded in Texas. This is personally interesting because Magnolia became the Mobil Oil Corporation - my employer for almost 20 years. The company was headquartered in the Magnolia Building in Dallas in 1934. The building was topped with their iconic logo of a red Pegasus which became a local landmark and even was an aid to aviation.
April 20, 2010
Deepwater Horizon blowout. We all know what happened there.