BRADFORD, Pa .– As the 150th anniversary of the Bradford field oil discovery and the 50th anniversary of the Penn Brad Oil Museum approached, two local artists found the perfect time to bring history to life in art form at the museum.
Isabelle Champlin and Samila Sosic worked together to create a triangular-shaped mural made up of three panels, together measuring 28 feet wide. The fresco spans an upper wall of the museum’s gift shop.
“It’s a composite panorama, illustrating the growth of the petroleum industry in the Bradford field, from the Job Moses well of 1865 to the water flood innovations of the 1920s and 1930s,” said Champlin.
She explained that the process started in December 2020, when Champlin and Sosic first met to start brainstorming and putting together ideas to include in the mural. The majority of their inspiration came from old photographs.
Old photographs were the inspiration for most of the images, which include images of a gushing well, Job Moses well, derricks and oil storage tanks, a burning oil tank, rail cars – barrels, nitroglycerin strollers, pipe cars and the Mather photographic buggy. The BB&K Railway (Bradford, Bordell and Kinzua), the village of Tarport from Mount Bolivar, the town of Bradford from Mount Raub and the Kendall Refining Company are also among the images the two artists came together to use for the painting. mural.
Some of the named buildings, oil tanks, etc. in the mural include:
1. Livery stables: Beamer Livery
2. Producer # 1: L. Emery & East Foster Farm 1862 (on a storage tank),
3. Producer # 2: Job Moses # 1 on a derrick
4. Engine builder # 1: Bovaird & Seyfang (sign on a roof)
5. Manufacturer # 2: Locke Machine Works on the roof, with pumps, motors, and brasswork on the side.
6. Explosives Factory: Roberts Nitroglycerin Factory (sign on side of building)
7. Pipe Company: Boston Tubing and Steam Pipe (on a roof panel).
8. Equipment Company: Oil Well Supply Co. (on the roof).
9. “A free and easy”: Hogan’s (sign on a building in Tarport)
10. Local offices: Hillside Oil and Minard Run Oil Co. (also with the Music Mountain brand 1937)
11. Hotel: Bradford House (rooftop, 1877)
12. Railroad: BB&K engine (Bradford, Bordell and Kinzua) but the lettering is not visible
13. Photographer: Mather Photography, Titusville, PA (on a buggy)
14. Refinery: Kendall Refining Co. (sign on top of a building -1881)
The unveiling of the new mural will take place at the Penn Brad Oil Museum at 11 a.m. on Saturday.