Pittsburgh's energy boom
Radium, by the way, was selling for $70,000 per gram at one time around then. That's nominal, so work it out. Some say radium was first produced commercially here in Pittsburgh. That $70K price dropped by $50K one day when someone found radium in the Belgian Congo. I think that would be considered a bad day on the market.
Back to the present, it's not too hard to find folks pitching Marcellus Shale for various forms of investment. Looks like ebay is a forum for the pitch. Nothing new in that ad, we've caught these before, but this one is a bit more interesting. If you read that ad, it clearly says "no surface rights" and the location is in New York state, though the seller is in Pennsylvania. The ad never mention that New York has a pretty complete moratorium on Marcellus Shale drilling. It does add the nice map of the Marcellus field though. As best I can tell, this property is near the edge of the field as marked on that map. I originally thought it was a joke since the ebay ad starts with "Gasland!", but I take they never saw the documentary.
I am sure someone knows better than me, but I am pretty sure there is leasing activity in New York State, but I bet a lot of the payments are contingent upon NY state changing the law to allow the development to proceed. So that ad I am guessing is someone trying to make money selling their rights and actually get cash now... Assuming someone realizes that, by definition a speculative play.