The pioneering industry that shaped West Lothian, and changed the world.
James "Paraffin" Young's Bathgate works were perhaps the first in the world to produce refined mineral oils on a commercial scale. From this pioneering enterprise extended an oil industry centred on the Lothians shale-field that successfully competed against cheaper imported petroleum for almost a century. This fierce competition bred innovation, resilience, and a body of Scots know-how that contributed greatly towards the development of oil industries throughout the world.
This website is being developed to celebrate, exchange knowledge, and encourage research into this special heritage. Many of these on-line resources are associated with on our museum collection, which is recognised as being of national importance to Scotland.