Clipped From The Titusville Herald

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 - was Eveleth, Silliman's replacement, and since...
was Eveleth, Silliman's replacement, and since it was growing late in the season he suspended his plans for drilling until the winter had passed. In the spring of 1859 Drake secured the services of "Uncle Billy," William A. Smith of Salina, Pennsylvania, who had worked on the salt wells at Tarentum. Smith thereby became the often forgotten forgotten hero of the "discovery of oil." Smith made the drilling tools —the kind commonly used in drilling salt wells—for Drake at Tarentum. There was some difficulty difficulty in starting the well because ground water continually caused the hole to collapse, Drake solved this problem by obtaining several ten-foot sections of cast-iron pipe from Erie, driving the pipe,thirty- two feet down to bedrock with an oak battering ram lifted by a | windlass. This too was a new ap- jproach. With this done, drilling ! was begun at that depth about ; the middle of August, 1859. ! 'Black Gold 1 Spurti Up | On Saturday afternoon, August | 27, as Smith and his helpers were nearly finished for the day, the drill dropped into a crevice at a depth of sixty-nine feet from the surface and slipped downward six inches. The men pulled the tools out of the hole and then went home with no thought of having struck oil. Late Sunday afternoon "Uncle Billy" visited the well, peered into the pipe, and saw a dark fluid floating on top of the water within a few feet of the derrick floor. Ladling up a sample, he found that it was oil. Greatly excited, he sent his boy running to the Upper Mill crying, "They've struck oil." Black gold began to spurt from the soil of northwestern northwestern Pennsylvania and it was soon achievement. Later that meaning became much clearer. What done? Drake had become* founder of the modern industry by providing the essential factor which had been lacking—he demonstrated that a dependable supply of great natural resource could obtained by drilling. His contributions to this included a dogged which refused to be by continued disappointments the vision to apply salt well drilling techniques to tap the reservoirs of petroleum beneath surface. This is one great in the Drake Well story. His also disclosed the existence vast oil fields of Pennsylvania. It thereby provide in a few years a of petroleum which would displace coal as the source safe, cheap burning fluids. would also furnish superior lubricants so essential to a industrial civilization. The of other sources for light lubricants was met as miracle through the discovery a practical way to get from the earth. Annual Pension $1,500 Drake himself never from his remarkable and died a virtually penniless invalid. In recognition of the important contribution he had to the economic development the Commonwealth, the in 1873 voted him an annual income of S1.500. After his in 1880, the pension was transferred to his wife. Drake living in Bethlehem at the of his death and was buried but in 1901 his body was to Titusville where a

Clipped from
  1. The Titusville Herald,
  2. 24 Aug 1959, Mon,
  3. Page 203

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