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 Indians 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 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. The Lundgren and Bennett Collections of gas station memorabilia are one of the largest displays of vintage gas pumps in California. In addition to the permanent petroleum exhibits, the Museum presents new exhibits of science, transportation and history throughout the year. Lundgren Park and Courtyard is located on the Museum grounds and is available for picnics.
The California Oil Museum annually hosts 12,000 visitors, including over 5,000 students taking tours and participating in our hands-on Earth Science workshops through our established Education Programs. For more information on our very popular Education Program see the Education Program page.
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