On this day in science history: 27 May

From the days of ancient technology to modern science - find out what happened on this day in the history of science.

27th May 2017
An American worker inspects a rope during the construction of an oil well in Hardstoft, England © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

An American worker inspects a rope during the construction of an oil well in Hardstoft, England © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

1919 – Oil well found on the British mainland

Oil is struck in Hardstoft, Derbyshire, at England’s first inland oil well.

The well opened as a result of the government seeking to reduce Britain’s dependence on oil imports. The bore was 935m deep when oil was struck, and the well produced an average of six barrels a day. It was deepened in 1938 to prolong supply, but the well was eventually closed in 1945.

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1931 – Man’s first trip to the stratosphere

Auguste Antoine Piccard with his assistant Paul Kipfer (left) through the porthole of their aluminium air-ship/ balloon that successfully entered the stratosphere © Culture Club/Getty Images

Professor Auguste Piccard reaches an altitude of 15.8km in a balloon, successfully entering the stratosphere.

The goal of the trip was to study cosmic rays at close quarters. A balloon was chosen to allow the use of delicate instruments that would not give reliable readings in an aeroplane. Piccard, Professor of Physics at the University of Brussels, ascended in a pressurised cabin and returned to the ground 12 hours later.

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