Oil furnaces were first invented in 1903 in the form of an oil burner by M.A. Fessler, who created it in order to use the crude oil that was seeping out of the ground in California. The burner was commercialized through the founding of the Fess System Co.
The oil burner was not mass produced until 1920, by which point Fessler had already made improvements upon the design and signed multiple contracts to purchase high volumes of fuel oil. The Fess System Co. later changed its name to Petro and opened a manufacturing factory in Stamford, Connecticut. M.A. Fessler managed the plant from 1920 to 1927, after which he retired.