The West Lothian Oil Rush

If you look down the somnolent mainstreet of post-industrial Pumpherston, it’s difficult to believe that West Lothian was the centre of the world’s first oil boom, but it was. James “Paraffin” Young didn’t discover paraffin in 1851, but he was the first to exploit it under the protection of patents. James Young became very rich, and transformed the way houses throughout Britain and further afield were lit after dark. He also changed the economy of West Lothian.

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