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The Drake Chapters
Introduction to the Drake Chapters
The Beginning of the Petroleum Industry
Oil Creek Before Drake's Well
Refining Seep Oil
Chemical Report of Seep Oil
Pinched Noses
Other Predicaments
Drake's First Visit to Titusville
Drake Commences Work at the Seep
Drake's Well
First Production
Petroleum Geology of the Drake Sand
Drake's Other Wells
Dismantling of the Derrick
The Deepening of the Drake Well
Among the First Players
Drake's Tomb

Drake's First Visit to Titusville

During the 1850's a few businessmen, bankers, lawyers, chemists, educators and others had collaborated one way or another to enough degree that an oil company (the first in the U.S.A.) was formed to seek the oil near Titusville. This was the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company of New York, later changed to Connecticut and finally to the Seneca Oil Company of Connecticut. Edwin L. Drake, who happened to be out of work and in the same hotel in New Haven, Connecticut, where the founders of the new Seneca Oil Company were staying, was hired to visit Titusville, handle some title work and give a report on the seep. In this capacity Drake reconnoitered the area of the seep in December, 1857. Talk about a frugal operation! Drake got the assignment because he had a free pass on the railway due to his former jobs as express agent and conductor.


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