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3 The Scottish Oilmania (c.1864-c.1870)
Entrepreneurs large and small waited impatiently for Young’s patent to expire so they might emulate his success. During the “oilmania” of 1866, over fifty oilworks were established throughout the Scottish coalfields intending to use various cannel coals to produce oil. None of these coals proved as oil-rich as the Boghead coal, and the vast majority of these works were closed and dismantled by 1870. The shale oil industry experienced rapid growth during this period and by 1969, approximately 30 shale oil works were in operation.