Clipped From The Blizzard

parichter Member Photo

Clipped by parichter

 - lo in- dedi- on cere- the Week. table ago at...
lo in- dedi- on cere- the Week. table ago at adjoin- with an pre- family for oil Tarenlum with a wol! o: rail Haven Titus Oi throng arTilui ind. He said, "Well, we'll try It, nyhow. Maybe we'll make our ortuncs out there." It was agreed that his daugh- ·r, Margaret Smith, and her rolhor, 15-year-old Samuel, would ccompany their father; Margaret ould keep house until her moth- r and the rest ol the family and tie household goods :ould be moved lo Titusvlllc; Sam was lo clp his father with the drilling, nee Uncle Billy agreed lo "throw n" the boy's services free of harge. Drake and Smith discussed the ools needed for the drilling, ft was decided that Drake would lur- lish the materials and Smith would make the tools in his own ilackEmith shop before setting Hit (or Tilusville. Smith .Makes 0»n Tools Smith set lo'work lo pound out .he tools. They consisted of a drilling stem-- a solid cylinder o slcel about lour feet long, lo which was screwed a drilling bit shaped like a large chisel. Thcr. was also a set of sinker bars am isrs, made so that they could transmit a "jar" to loosen th tools in the hole; a reamer to re move any hole obstructions lei by the drilling bit, and an ey socket by which the siring o tools was suspended from a cab) in a. dcrick. By this cable tool or percussio in as agent and leased on springs lo way lo quan- wells Drake summer ol nic-lh He ha "bor were failed lo la Titus the: agreed I way o ridden th an drilling melhod, the principles which continue in use loda'y, th illing bit alternately was raise nd dropped to crush the subte anean rock structure. Power ws urnished by a steam engine co eclcd lo a heavy timber, called alking beam. The walking bca as fastened in such a way as How it to pump tip and down. Tl able was connected to the wa] ng beam. Hooked to the cab vcre the drilling tools. sprin, "Uncl to per job of sink th wcl! the sa drilling th use thai migl Drikf. Smith, »yeinl«l«r, told i reporter he had advocated II om the starl. The drilling meth- s they were using undoubtedly d originated generations before China; the same mclhods had en employed in the early 1800's Ihe West Virginia sail wells. Bul re wai a distinctly new conlri- utlon. The idea. ILke most great es, was simple: Why not sink an on pipe lo the rock, thus making e hole impervious lo encroaching aler and eave-iru? The drill could pcrate inside the drive pipe! Pipe Driven (o Bedroll Drake hastily set about procur J the pipe, lie obtained cas 1 on pipe in sections .10 feet long om trie. Wilh a white oak bat ring ram and a hand-powcre indlass they drove the pipe 32 eet to bedrock. Then, drilling ith steam power commenced in jrneit, By t h a t lime the ad worn into A u g u s t . L'ader Uncle Billy's sensitive uidance, the drill gouged deeper Ihe rate of about three feet a K'oodcn rs hem »ho he reting brine wells. One while Billy ness v.ith go svas nature the flames He An entry made by Uncle Billy in mcmorandurn book on May 14, ay. Meanwhile, Colonel Drake was i.countering difficulties in the ad- minislxative end ol the enterprise cd. le had been in Tilusville more ban a year and still had nothing ubslantial to show his company's tockholdcrs back in New Haven. Drake finally, lo case his own fi- lanclal situation, had to borrow had 1500 from a Meadville bank on a lole endorsed by two of the few n Titusvillc who still had faith in him, 1'cler Wilson, Ihe drug- gist, and Heuel D. Fletcher, the general store owner. From New Haven, James M. Towmcnd, the banker who was the key person- ality among the istockholdcrs, ,had mailed Drake a letter, enclosing a check, ordering him to pay all company bills, and return home. The letter apparently did not arrive until just aflcr Uncle Billy one Saturday late in August had :ruck the bonanza that was to streak :lmc in" a from news air. 650, shows that the full sel of drilling tools cost Drake 546. Smilb also made two extra boxes at {2.50, wo extra pins al 51 and 16 sucker rods al 51.50 each. The whole drill, ili o u t f i t , therefore, cost $76.50. Total weight of the tools was a illle more than 100 pounds. They are now displayed in Ihe Drake Well .Memorial Museum al Titus- fille. Today, Uncle Billy probably ivoukl he amazed to sec where his ivork led. 'Many oil well drilling IvOls now w e i g h thousands Q! ?ounds and full drilling rigs have cosl as much as a million dollars each. Early in May 1850, Uncle Bill} had (he 'tools ready and senl wore lo Drake. After the long trek lo Tilusvillc by wagon. Uncle Billy and Sam went the ncxl morning to the oi spring on Watson's Flals, near the Upper Mill on Oil Creek, The mil was owned by Brewer, Watson anc Company which hadMeascd Ihe oi Offer place Co'un- 1812, had At 10 he blacksmith spring site lo the Seneca Oil Com pany. Work on Well Started ank in importance far above Ihe alifornia gold rush of the same xriod. Sources differ on t h e date, but - best informed opinion says it ·as late Saturday afternoon, Au- ust 27. Uncle Billy and his sons ad reached a depth of 69 feet nd expected lo have to drill scv- ral hundred feel more. ' A s nished (he week's work, the tools lipped inlo a six-inch crevice. They thought nothing of it, re- moved the tools, wcnl lo Ihe small lome nearby which Uncle Billy lad converled from an old engine house, and prepared for Sunday and a c 1 '? of rcsl. Oil Strike Is .Made Idling about late Sunday after-] noon, Uncle Billy chanced to look nto the hole. He saw a yellowish liquid foaming a few feet below [he derrick floor. Excitedly, he to fc A ate of have and in had plugged a sborl section Uncle Billy, delighted at tie sight ol the trickle of oil from the spring, sel lo work. The date, he said long alterward?. was Way 20, 1853. Colonel Drake during the prcccd- rsin spouting, lowered it inlo the pipe and drew il up full of what he saw was oil. He elaledly called the lamily and rushed one of his sons lo tusville to tell Colonel Drake Vhcn Drake, who'was dining at he American Hole), heard the lews, he smiled and rcmarkci ollly, "Well, they won't think te're crazy now, will they?" him he er n tin

Clipped from
  1. The Blizzard,
  2. 15 Oct 1952, Wed,
  3. Page 20

parichter Member Photo

Want to comment on this Clipping? Sign up for a free account, or sign in