Monday, April 13, 2020

When Galicia was a petroleum power

Few people know that barely one hundred years ago Galicia was a petroleum superpower.Who knew that this remote part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now a region in western Ukraine, was third in the rank of oil producers in the world by the turn of the century?
The blog "Forgotten Galicia" - worth reading - took this interesting article from the blog

"From the middle of the nineteenth century, the history of the Jews of the Drohobycz
Administrative District was closely connected with the history of the petroleum industry. As
the demand for naphtha lamp oil grew, the oil-rich areas on the northern slopes of the
Carpathian Mountains, including Drohobycz, Borysław, Tustanowice,Schodnica, and other
towns in the district became known as "Galician California." The discovery of black gold 
attracted hundreds of speculators and people seeking their fortunes. The Jews of the area
were directly involved in this business from its early beginnings. Hundreds found 
employment as labourers and later as skilled workers in the industry. Some made and 
some lost fortunes; most laboured under appalling conditions."

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