Home Drake Well Foundation About OilHistory.com The Author Contact
Cable Tool Drilling
Man-Power and Horse-Power
Kicking It Down
Treadles and Teeter-Totters
Walking Beam

Man-Power and Horse-Power

Before Drake's well, cable-tool drilling for brine had already been carried out in the eastern salt regions of Salina (Syracuse), New York; Tarentum, Pennsylvania; Kanawha, West Virginia; Duck Creek, Ohio and elsewhere.  The basic methodology of cable-tool drilling wasn't new by the time of the oil boom along Oil Creek.  Although improvements were yet to come, some had already been perceived to some extent in the salt days.  Others were invented and carried out right at the first oil well drill sites.

For many of the first oilmen, the matter of drilling on their newly acquired leases depended on money (few had it) and the delivery of a boiler and other apparatus to their remote locations.  Under those circumstances it became almost customary to start a well by the driller's leg, or, if fortune had smiled a little, by the use of a horse and treadle. 

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
all rights reserved