Dr. William Brice, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown professor emeritus in geology and planetary science, will read from his newly published book, Myth, Legend, Reality-Edwin L. Drake and the Early Oil Industry, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, December 20 at the Bottle Works, 411 Third Avenue, Cambria City.
In 2007, Dr. Brice was commissioned by the Oil Region Alliance in Oil City to write a new biography of Edwin L. Drake. In his book Dr. Brice writes, “August 27, 1859, is one of those dates on which the world changed. On that day a drill bit broke into a thin sandstone layer sixty-nine and a half feet below the surface and a mixture of oil and water rose to the surface. Edwin Drake's quest to find oil by drilling was a success, and the modern oil and gas industry took a giant leap forward. Even though the use of petroleum dates back to the first human civilizations, the events of that Saturday afternoon along the banks of Oil Creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania, provided the spark that propelled the petroleum industry toward the future.”
A Johnstown resident, Dr. Brice was on the Ptt-Johnstown faculty from 1971 through 2005 and was a visiting professor in earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University from 1976 to 2002. Dr. Brice also served as a visiting lecturer and researcher at the University of Tasmania (Australia) in 1978 and at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1992 and 2001. He has been an active member of the Geological Society of America for more than 20 years. In 2008, Dr. Brice received the Distinguished Service Award from the History of Geology Division of the Geological Society of America. He currently is editor of the Petroleum History Institute’s journal Oil-Industry History. In addition to many articles about the history of geology and the oil industry, he previously authored A Life with Fossils, regarding G.D. Harris, a Cornell University professor, who founded the Paleontological Research Institution at Ithaca, N.Y. (published 1996), and Cornell Geology Through the Years, a history of the Cornell University geology department from 1868 to 1985 (published in 1989).
The reading is free and open to the public. A book signing will be held at the event.
For additional information, contact the Bottle Works at 536-5399.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010), and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.”