December 20, 2020

Ignacy Lukasiewicz was born in 1822 near Mielec in the Austrian empire. He became a pharmacist in the Ukrainian city of Lviv and the first to distill the seep oil, inventing the modern kerosene lamp in 1853. The Carpathian Mountains in Poland abound in oil seeps, and Carpathian oil, hand dipped from pits dug in front of the seeps, was burned in street lamps, as early as the 1500s. In 1854 Lukasiewicz drilled the first oil wells, 30-50 meters deep in Bobrka, near Krosno in Poland. Later, wells as deep as 150 meters were drilled. In 1856 he built in Ulaszowice, near Jaslo, the first oil refinery in the world. As the demand for kerosene was still low, the plant initially produced mostly artificial asphalt, machine oil and lubricants. He became a wealthy man opening several oil refineries and giving his name to several oil-mining enterprises. Ignacy Lukasiewicz died in Chorkowka on January 7, 1882, of pneumonia. He was buried at the small cemetery of Zrecin, next to the Gothic Revival church he had financed. Oil wells in Bobrka, Poland, in 1872.
(Ignacy Lukasiewicz and oil wells in Bobrka)