As Americans celebrated Memorial Day yesterday, another milestone day passed mostly unnoticed -- the 100th anniversary of the discovery of oil in the Middle East.
Autoblog explains, "For seven years, William D'Arcy drilled well after well in Persia, now known as Iran, looking for oil. With his funding running low, and his employers getting quite impatient, D'Arcy drilled one last well and hit a gusher on May 26, 1908. The rest is history."
Wired reports that, when D'Arcy received news by telegram that his crews had struck oil with the last well they had the funds to drill, he replied, ""If this is true, all our troubles are over."
We'll leave editorial comment out on that one. We'll just point out that, as bad as things are now, some analysts see $7 gas coming.
We will point out that the price of oil that day was $12.71 per gallon (according to Landsmith Petroleum Resources). This morning, Marketwatch pegs it at $132.19. The most popular car in the world was Ford's Model T, and according to the U.K.'s Guardian, it managed about 25 mpg. One hundred years later, the fastest-selling car in the U.S. is the Toyota Camry, which gets about 21 in the city and 31 on the highway. Of course, the Camry is lightyears ahead of the Model T in every technology, so the comparison isn't fair. But it might be instructive.