It's hard to believe, but the push for solar power pre-dates the oil industry by 20 years.

Back in 1839, 170 years ago, Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect while experimenting with an electrolyte cell. (France was an early leader in solar power. A year later, August Mouchet proposed the idea of solar-powered steam engines.) Granted, Bell Labs invented the first silicon PV cell in 1954, 55 years ago, and the idea of harnessing power from the sun dates back to the ancient world. But Becquerel's discovery really served as a foundation of the modern solar world.

Then, in 1859, 150 years ago, Gaston Plante invented the lead acid battery. He demonstrated it at the French Academy of Sciences a year later.

Then we stopped listening to France, and everything went to hell.

On August 27, 1859, 150 years ago, Edwin Drake sunk the first commercial oil well, according to this post in Wired.

Then on December 31, 1879, or about 130 years ago, Thomas Edison showed off what became the blueprint for the commercial incandescent bulb, one of the oldest, largest and last vestiges of vacuum tube technology. (Computers and even stereos shifted from vacuums years ago.) It was a great invention. Unfortunately, it is also somewhat inefficient.