Oil was even used as a medication, mainly because of the sulfur that
is found in many crude oils. In the early colonial Americas, oil was
peddled as a cure for all ailments from warts to rheumatism.
Unfortunately, their claims were not true.
Light oils and kerosene were needed to light homes. Prior to the mid
1800's the one major source of oil for home needs, was the sperm whale.
The whaling industry’s main product was oil. Unfortunately the need
for oil, was greater than all the sperm whales in the oceans. Whalers
almost hunted sperm whales to their extinction.
The demand for oil increased in 1800's as the Industrial Revolution
was reaching its peak. The invention of the gasoline engine and its use
to fuel the new machinery increased demand on oil and natural gas. Large
quantities of energy were now required to operate equipment in industry
but also homes required heat and light.