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Introduction to Oil History
The Drake Chapters
The Central Power
Knock Knock
Gathering Oil
Cable Tool Drilling
Steam Engines
Peruvian Anaconda
The Drill String
Portable Cable Tool Drilling Machines
Rig Tales
Oil Barrels
A Cooperage and the Heisman Trophy
Oilfield Engines Collectors – Restorers (Franklin Valveless)
The Diamond Drill
Whale Oil
Early Oil Pipelines, USA
Tank Cars
The Shot
Tank Wagons and Trucks
Dispensing Gasoline
The First Oil Barges
Andrew Carnegie and the Columbia Oil Farm
The Wild Side of Early Oil


Like the 1849 gold rush which saw multitudes of would-be miners arrive in the frontier regions of California, a similar phenomenon took place a decade later in 1859 in America's eastern wilderness, but that time the beacon was crude oil and the place was Oil Creek at Titusville in Northwest Pennsylvania. The allure of the fledgling oil industry, like that of gold, tapped one of mankind's greatest emotions, the thrill of discovery. For some, the quest for oil led to great riches. There were sudden jobs, excitement, new towns, new places, incredible inventions and ponderous machinery. At Oil Creek, the multitude of new oilmen had a whole valley to fill. Soon they spilled out of those rich confines and began to test the geography of the continental and global dispersion of oil. There were many successes along the way as well as dry holes and tragedies. All are components of a giant industry which continues unabated today. The same thrill is there and new territory and deeper pools await the drill.


© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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