Abraham Gesner

Photo of Abraham Gesner
Abraham Pineo Gesner, born May 2, 1797 in Cornwallis Township, Nova Scotia, Canada died April 29, 1864 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was a physician and geologist who became the primary founder of the modern petroleum industry.

While a practising physician, Gesner pursued his passion for geology. In 1836, he published a study on the mineralogy of Nova Scotia, which included a detailed geological map providing information on the key deposits of iron ore and coal in Nova Scotia. In 1838, he was appointed Provincial Geologist for New Brunswick with the mission to undertake a similar geological survey. In the course of this survey, in 1839, Gesner discovered the bituminous asphalt substance albertite, which he named after Albert County, New Brunswick where it was found.