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Oil City Industrial Park (Oil Well Supply Plant, Imperial Works)

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Oil Well Supply Plant, Imperial Works
1900–1902. 669–671 Colbert Ave.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

This is one of the last remaining complexes that illustrate the enormous size of the industries supporting oil drilling and exploration in northwestern Pennsylvania. In 1900, the Oil Well Supply Company, founded in Pittsburgh in 1867 by John Eaton, started building this plant on forty-four acres of the Allegheny River floodplain in the Siverly neighborhood of Oil City. Around 800 men worked in the foundries and blacksmith shops making drilling equipment and boilers. The surviving buildings are red brick and rectangular, with tall clerestories and an occasional wheel window in a gable end. Ornament is limited to brick corbeling, but it is rhythmically consistent among the large number of extant buildings. Workers' houses on Colbert Avenue also were built by the company.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Oil City Industrial Park (Oil Well Supply Plant, Imperial Works)", [Oil City, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 532-532.

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