From fossils to fill ‘er up, the California Oil Museum tells the story of the black bonanza that created wealth, work, and prosperity for generations of Californians. The Museum highlights the inner workings of the state’s black gold industry through interactive displays, videos, working models, games, photographs, restored gas station memorabilia, and an authentic turn-of-the-century cable-tool drilling rig. Visitors can exercise their wits and luck as California wildcatters, see how the Native Americans used natural oil seeps, watch a miniature drilling rig bore into the earth, and explore the memorable brands of gas bought by early California car drivers. Housed in the original Union Oil Company building the Museum offers docent-led tours of the upstairs where restored offices from the 1890’s provide visitors with a personal, hands-on experience of the early California oil business. As well as impressive permanent petroleum exhibits, the Museum presents new exhibits of science, transportation and history throughout the year. Our open and inviting Lundgren Courtyard is located on the Museum grounds and is available for picnics.
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