E.W. Marland Estate and Mansion


In 1911, Ernest Whitworth "E.W." Marland struck oil in Oklahoma, and by 1922, he controlled 10% of the world's oil reserves. Seemingly, he found oil everywhere he looked - but the secret to his "Midas touch" was the seismograph he brought from Germany and used to locate oil-bearing formations. Now an essential tool for engineers in the petroleum industry, the seismograph originally was intended for use in locating enemy artillery during WW I by measuring the underground vibrations produced by their firing. With his oil profits, Marland built this "Palace on the Prairie," which boasts one of the first Otis elevators in operation in Oklahoma.

Activity Details

Activity Type:Trips and Destinations
Discipline:Industrial & Manufacturing, Mechanical
Topic(s):Energy
Grade:K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Time:Full day

Fun Fact:The Marland Mansion took 3 years to construct (1925-28) and contains 43,561 square feet distributed over four levels. There are 55 rooms, including 10 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, 7 fireplaces, and 3 kitchens. It takes 861 light bulbs to light the mansion. Mr. Marland's private bath includes a sauna, believed to be one of the first in the U.S.