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Archibald Geikie played a fundamental, but largely unrecognized, role in the establishment of the Scottish oil shale industry by providing James ‘Paraffin’ Young with the critical information about the location, thickness and probable geographical extent of organic-rich shales during their field visit in 1858. Young subsequently used the observations to determine where to buy leases for commercial oil shale extraction and production before any competitors emerged. Geikie acquired his critical knowledge of the area whilst preparing the first map and memoir of the Edinburgh area published in 1859 and 1861, respectively. In 1866, Young’s Paraffin Light and Mineral Oil...

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