Clipped From The Titusville Herald

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 - alo^g well together, but plenty of trouble lay...
alo^g well together, but plenty of trouble lay directly ahead Drove Pipe to Bed Rock At first they tried digging a common well hole before putting the steam engine to its task of driving the drilling tools into the earth. However, with Oil Creek only a short distance away and higher than the hole, water seeped in and caused one cave-in after another. At this point Drake's Yankee ingenuity came to the fore. He got two sections of cast-iron pipe, each 10 feet long, and with a white oak battering ram Drake and Smith drove the pipe to bed rock, shutting off the water. Inside the pipe they lowered the drilling tools and put the steam to work, making the hole deeper by three feet a day. While Drake was toiling away Titusville nearly forgot him. His plans was regarded as visionary. When Drake's close Titusville friend, the merchant R. D. Fletcher, visited New York, he called on an old acquaintance and told him what Drake was doing. The man burst out laughing. "You don't mean to tell me that Drake thinks he can get oil out of solid rock?" he roared. Work at the well stopped on the hot Saturday afternoon of August 27 just after the drill, 69 feet in the hole, slipped six inches into a crevice. The men pulled out the tools and quit for the day. The next afternoon Smith and his boy visited the well, not far from their house, and saw a dark fluid floating on the water near the top of the pipe. Quickly Smith plugged a piece of rain spouting, lowered it into the hole and brought up oiL "Uncle Billy" and his boy were the first persons in the world to go nearly crazy with excitement over finding oil. They thus became the leaders in a long

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

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