December 9, 1921 — Lead Gas Introduced To Reduce Knocking

(found here: http://my-moral-compass.com/leadedgasoline/#resources)

Gas with a tetraethyl lead additive, or ethyl as it was advertised, promised to reduce the amount of ‘knock,’ which was a problem with early automobiles.

 

Imagine worrying about your engine getting damaged every time you turned the key. That used to be the case with early automobiles. That is until 1921, when scientists working for General Motors discovered that adding tetraethyl lead to gasoline helps prevent this damage, also known as knocking.

Early automobiles frequently suffered from problems with mis-timed combustion in their cylinders. This would result in a jolt that reduced efficiency and power so much that it could damage the engine. Scientist Thomas Midgely Jr., working under Charles Kettering, tried several different chemical additives before finding a compound of lead that eliminated the knocking effect. This additive allowed the gas to compress further, preventing the early combustion.

Leaded gas was used for decades, but it was phased out in the late 70s. Lead poisoning had been shown to have a range of negative consequences, including physical, developmental, and cognitive defects. Since the ban, environmental lead levels have dropped greatly. Today, it is only used in a few places around the world.

 

 

December 10, 1844 – Future Big Spending Oil Heir Adopted

(found here: http://www.coaloiljohnny.com/gallery/)

After years spending through his inheritance, John Washington Steele became a recluse and worked as a railroad station agent.

 

When the McClintocks, a couple of Pennsylvania farmers, decided to adopt a baby boy in 1844, they had no idea that the former orphan would go on to be one of the most prolific spenders ever associated with the oil business.

The McClintocks owned the plot of land where Edwin Drake would discover oil in 1858–kicking off the first oil boom in the US. The McClintocks leased their land to drillers, making a fortune off their royalties. When the McClintocks passed away their adopted son, John Washington Steele, inherited their fortune.

Nicknamed ‘Coal Oil Johnny,’ he became known as one of the biggest spenders of his era. In a few years he had spent his way through his inherited fortune and fell into bankruptcy. He spent the majority of his later life trying to avoid the public eye.

 

 

December 10, 1955 – Dysart Uranium Well Appears In Life Magazine

(found here: http://projects.wsj.com/waste-lands/site/20-ambrosia-lake-mill-site/)

The Ambrosia Lake site produced over 100 acres of radioactive tailings in its nearly three decades of operation.

 

On December 10th, 1955, Life magazine did a feature on Stella Dysart and her uranium mine, which was one of the first features of its kind for a single wealthy woman. Mrs. Dysart made a fortune off the discovery after years of failed oil drilling.

Dysart spent decades drilling in McKinley County, New Mexico without striking oil. In 1955, a sample from one of the dry wells was tested and found to contain radioactive uranium. Dysart had discovered one of the richest uranium deposits of an unusually high-grade ore.

While she had been tens of thousands of dollars in debt just a few years earlier, when Dysart appeared in Life, she was wearing mink and standing in front of the uranium mine that made her rich.

 

 

December 10, 1967 — Nuclear Bomb Used for Fracking

(found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gasbuggy)

After the explosion a rubble filled chimney was left behind.

 

Fracking has long been a popular procedure in the oil industry, designed to fracture the seams underground, allowing petroleum to flow more freely. However, in 1967, Project Gasbuggy attempted to take a new approach to fracking that utilized a nuclear device.

While fracking had been used for nearly 40 years, previous methods had used high pressure fluids or explosives like dynamite.

The project was part of an effort to find peaceful uses for nuclear devices. A hole was drilled to a depth of 4,000 ft near a few low producing wells. A 29 kiloton bomb was lowered into the hole and exploded. A huge cavern underground was created and immediately collapsed. Though the project did produce nearly 300 million ft2 of natural gas, it was radioactive and couldn’t be used.

Geologists and nuclear experts from the government and a private company were part of the project. The effort to use nuclear explosives for fracking would be abandoned after the experiment.

 

 

December 11, 1950 — Federal Government Claims Jurisdiction Over Offshore Drilling

(found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Offshore_oil_and_gas_in_the_United_States)

The Outer Continental Shelf leasing program makes certain areas available for petroleum leases.

 

A 1947, the US Supreme Court decided to extend the area available for off-shore drilling from three nautical miles to 200 nautical miles. That decision gave the Federal government control over offshore drilling and the revenue from petroleum leases. In 1954, the first leases earned the US government over $100 million.

 

November 14, 1947 – First True Offshore Well Is Drilled

(found here: http://geol4331project.weebly.com/background.html)

The drilling platform called Kermac 16 would go on to produce oil for nearly forty years after it was first drilled.

 

This offshore drilling platform, known as the Kermac 16, was the first of its kind, located 10 miles from shore, out of sight of land, in the Gulf of Mexico. Built by Brown And Root Company, it rested on pilings sunk over 100 ft into the sea floor and stood in 20 ft of water. It was built to stand up to gale force winds and would be put to the test barely a week after it had begun operation, withstanding a Category 5 hurricane.

Daniel Kerr of Kerr-McGee was behind the construction, with financial backing from Stanolind and Phillips Petroleum. At the time this was a unique drilling platform and required specialized equipment for drilling offshore. Kerr also purchased a number of surplus military vessels and other supplies to provide crew quarters and equipment for the rig. It would cost nearly nearly half a million dollars to complete the experimental drill rig, but the investment would turn out to be well worth it.

The rig was able to produce nearly 1,000 barrels a day. Before it was decommissioned in 1984, the rig produce nearly 1.5 million barrels in total.

 

 

November 14, 1947 – Pipelines Built During WWII Sold To Private Company

(found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Inch)

The Big and Little Inch Pipelines were built during World War II as an emergency measure to bring oil from Texas to the East Coast.

 

The Big and Little Inch pipelines were built during World War II to protect oil produced in Texas as they were transported by tankers vulnerable to German submarines. After the end of the war, this pipeline was put up for sale to a private company. The private company that would take advantage of this offer was the Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation. It had been formed less than a year earlier with the specific purpose of buying the pipelines and would go on to pay over $140 million dollars for the two pipelines.

As part of the terms of the sale, both pipelines were converted to transporting natural gas. Ten years later, the smaller Little Big Inch would revert to transporting oil.

 

 

November 15, 1906 – The Federal Government Breaks Up The Standard Oil Monopoly

(found here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/john-d-rockefeller-richest-person-ever-live-period-180961705/)

This political cartoon shows Standard Oil as a giant octopus with its tentacles encircling major industries and political institutions across the United States.

 

Pushed by popular demand, Charles Bonaparte, the U.S. Attorney General, decided to break up the monopolistic Standard Oil. The company had actually been ordered to dismember a decade earlier, but a reorganization had allowed it to continue operating. The lower court would grant the Justice Department’s motion, but the case would go all the way to the Supreme Court before the company would be separated into 34 different companies in 1911.

 

November 15, 1952 — One Millionth Barrel of Oil is taken from the Williston Basin

(found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Williston_Basin)

This map shows the Williston Basin, which stretches across North and South Dakota, Montana, and southern Saskatchewan.

 

Oil in the northern US was first discovered in Montana thirty years earlier, but did not produce large amounts until further, richer oilfields were located in the 50s.

Oil in the northern US was first discovered in Montana in the 1920s; however, it did not produce significant amounts of oil; that is until new oilfields in the area were discovered in 1952.

Amerada Petroleum led the search, starting in 1946 but did not succeed with his efforts until 1951 when major fields were located in North Dakota. The largest were located in Mountrail, Williams, and McKenzie counties and were drawing from the WIlliston Basin formation. After these larger fields were located, they were producing around 350,000 barrels per month. A year later, in 1952, the fields produced its millionth barrel of oil.

 

 

November 17, 1949 — US Geological Survey Attempts To Locate Oil Reserves

(found here: www.usgs.gov)

The United States Geological Service is a government service which studies the landscape and natural resources of the country.

 

In 1949, the United States Geological Survey began a project that would investigate 22 states, as well as the then Alaska Territory, to locate prime locations for petroleum exploration. The effort involved 70 geologists and used some of the most advanced technology of its time. The USGS would continue to explore and locate oil reserves, as well as other natural resources.

 

 

November 19, 1927 — Iconic Phillips 66 is Unveiled

(found here: www.usgs.gov)

The United States Geological Service is a government service which studies the landscape and natural resources of the country.

 

While Phillips Petroleum was founded in 1917 to discover and develop new oil fields, they didn’t begin operating refineries and retail gas stations until 1927. The company offered its own brand of gas, called Phillips 66, at its first station. The name was chosen after a vehicle fueled with the new gas, and carrying a collection of company executives, got up to the, then quite high, speed of 66 mph on the historic Route 66.

The highway would soon play host to many Phillips stations, and the company would add 50 stations every month for several years. By 1930, there were nearly 7,000 Phillips 66 stations across the country.

The gas had a mix of gasoline and naphtha at a higher gravity than had previously been used. This mixture made it easier for cars to start when the engine was cold, causing the gas to specifically be advertised for winter. However, that marketing strategy was dropped in favor of promoting it year-round.

 

 

November 20, 1930 — Conrad Hilton Adds A New Hotel To His Oil Fueled Business

(found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plaza_Hotel_(El_Paso,_Texas))

 

The Hilton Hotel was originally the site of the Sheldon Hotel, which was used as a headquarters for Mexican Revolutionaries.

In 1930, Conrad Hilton opened his first high rise hotel in El Paso, Texas. Construction began the previous year and continued despite economic upheaval caused by the Great Depression.

Hilton had bought his original hotel in Cisco, Texas a decade earlier. He had originally planned to buy a bank, but when that deal fell through he purchased a hotel instead. Roughnecks were flooding the area to work in the newly-discovered Ranger oilfield, which was fueling a boom in the area and the eventual boom for the Hilton brand of hotels.

 

September 25th, 1922 – First Commercial Oil Well Drilled in New Mexico

The Navajo Indian Reservation was the site of the first ever commercial well in New Mexico. The Midwest Refining Company finished the well and ultimately launched the oil industry in the state.

Close to Shiprock, the Hogback No. 1 produced 375 BOPD.  After that discovery, Midwest Refining finished 11 other oil wells in the Hogback Oilfield, which would establish the area as a major producer in the San Juan Basin. A pipeline was built two years later so that the oil could be refined in a facility located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

All this production led to more exploration. As a result, discoveries made in 1928 brought an economic boom to the town of Hobbs and the rest of Lea County.

 

 

September 26th, 1876 – California Oil

Charles Menty’s company, the California Star Oil Works had drilled three promising wells by 1876, however, their first gusher wasn’t discovered until September 26th of that year. It was named the Pico No. 4 and it was also the first commercial oil well in California. The well was drilled with a steam-powered, cable tool rig on land that was known for oil seeps. This discovery would later reveal this Pico Canyon oilfield near Los Angeles.

That Star Oil Works discovery led to California’s first oil refinery and pipeline being constructed. The well produced 25 BOPD at 370 feet. The refinery and pipeline were built so that axle grease, kerosene and other types of lubricants could be made. Stills on the foundations had the capacity to refine 150 BOPD.

The Standard Oil Company of California is now known as Chevron. Today, the establishment of the company is attributed to California Star Oil Works and the oil discovery in Pico Canyon.

 

 

September 26th, 1933 – Record Set by King Ranch Lease

Though W.S. Parrish, the president of Humble Oil and Refining Company, had reservations about leasing King Ranch, he eventually decided to put it up for rent. It was Wallace Pratt, a well-known geologist, that pushed for the company to lease the large, million-acre property in Texas. It was leased for close to $130,000 per year and a small royalty on any discovered oil.

The deal had the biggest negotiated contract in the United States. Early “dusters” on King Ranch were drilled by the Humble Oil and Refining of Houston, which was established several years earlier in 1917.

Other leases nearby granted Humble Oil and Refining millions of acres of mineral rights. These rights spanned between the Rio Grande River and Corpus Christi.  In 1947, Humble was running almost 400 productive wells on the lease from King Ranch. The company ExxonMobil has continued to extend the Humble natural gas and oil agreement since it went into effect in 1933.

 

 

September 26th, 1943 – First Oil Well Discovered in Florida

The Humble Oil Company finished Florida’s first commercial oil well in 1943. This well, known as the Sunnilan No. 1, was located along a railway near the Atlantic Coastline.

Humble Oil spent $1 million dollars and drilled to almost 12,000 feet to finish the well, which was located just 12 miles from Immokalee, near Naples and Big Cypress Reserve.

The petroleum in Florida had been eluding wildcatters since the turn of the century. By 1939, close to 80 wells were drilled. In a desperate attempt to gain tax revenue from oil production, Florida state legislators offered 50,000 dollars for the first productive discovery. Shortly after, the Sunniland oilfield was uncovered, and drilling looked more promising. By 1954, this field was producing half a million oil barrels each year from eleven wells.

Humble Oil claimed the $50,000 prize that the Florida legislature offered and contributed an additional $10,000 to it. The prize was then split and donated to Florida State College for Women and the University of Florida. Humble is now known as ExxonMobil.

 

 

September 27th, 1915 – Oklahoma’s Deadly Gas Explosion

A train car holding casinghead gas blew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma on September 27th, 1915, injury many and killed 43 people. The train car arrived the previous day and was preparing to go to a refinery close by. Casinghead gasoline (or natural gas) was critical to Oklahoma’s petroleum development. The state had 40 processing plants operating at the time.

The explosion, that took place at 2:20 PM, and occurred as a result of rising temperatures. The heat triggered a valve which started releasing gas pressure. According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Ardmore Refining Company sent an employee to take the dome off the top of the car, which unfortunately filled the area with vapors and gas.

The explosion was set off by an unknown source and the explosion all but demolished the Ardmore. The Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway was held responsible and they paid just over $1 million resolving claims related to the incident. The society reported that as a result, companies changed their methods for extracting and transporting natural gas.

 

 

September 30th, 2006 – Roughnecks Tribute

The statue “Tribute to the Roughnecks” was placed near the Alamitos No. 1 Well, situated just 20 miles from Los Angeles. This well uncovered the Long Beach oilfield in 1921.

The Long Beach oilfield has produced over 1 million barrels of oil since it was discovered. A plaque notes that the monument is a tribute to petroleum pioneers and their success in the Signal Hill Oil Boom.

 

 

October 1st, 1908 – Ford’s Assembly Line Breakthrough With the Model T

In Ford’s Detroit plant, the Model T came off the assembly line for the first time, marking one of the biggest breakthroughs for the auto giant.

Ford had built around 15 million Model T cars from 1908 to 1927. The Model T Cars got their power from cheap gas. This was good for the oil industry because there was less demand for kerosene as electric lighting became popular.

More breakthroughs, including a find close to Beaumont, Texas, in 1901, would solve the industry’s problem. They would help meet the demand for what was previously a byproduct of refining: gasoline.

 

 

October 1st, 1942 – First Saltwater Injection Well Successfully Drilled

The first saltwater injection well was drilled by  East Texas Salt Water Disposal Company. The well was completed in the East Texas Oilfield, which at the time was only 12 years old.

About a decade earlier, the Federal Bureau of Mines found that injecting saltwater into formations would increase oil production and reservoir pressure. The Texas Railroad Commission saw how important this was as well pushing them to establish the company as a utility. It operated in the “Black Giant” field.

The company collected, handled, and re-injected around close to two million barrels of saltwater in just 13 years. As a result, the commission claimed that saltwater injection was one of the most significant oil conservation projects in history.

 

September 18th, 1948 – Utah Completes First Commercial Oil Well

In 1948, Utah’s first commercial oil well was completed in the Uinta Basin, by the leader of the Equity Oil Company, J.L. “Mike” Dougan. J.L’s small company did surprisingly well for its size, beating bigger, more advanced competitors like Union Oil, Standard Oil of California, Continental, and Pure Oil. J.L’s initial discovery is what started a deep-drilling oil boom.

J.L. drilled past the normal depth (1,000-2,000 feet), and his discovery was named Ashley Valley No 1. At 4,000 feet, it produced 300 BOPD. Soon, a big production boom hit this area and it is estimated that 1 million barrels of oil came from the field every year.

The success of the basin eventually encouraged other companies to start to drill even deeper wells to nearly 10,000 feet. Now, it’s said the Uinta Basin holds 10,000 cubic feet of gas, covering an area of over 15,000 square miles.

 

 

September 21st, 1901 – First Oil Well in Louisiana

The “Lucas Gusher” was found in January 1901, in Spindletop, Texas. Before the end of the year, another notable oilfield was discovered 90 miles east of the infamous site with the discovery of the Jules Clements No. 1 Well.

On the Jules Clements farm in Louisiana, W. Scott Heywood completed a well that produced 7,000 BOPD. The exact location was about six miles from Jennings. Heywood first became successful after drilling wells at Spindletop Hill. However, when the Jules Clements No. 1, became the first commercial well in Louisiana, he found a new level of financial prosperity he couldn’t ever have imagined. 

The Jennings Daily News reported that this well destroyed crops on the farm. It flowed oil and sand onto the land for several hours, creating a pool of the substances over the area.

However, the discovery of the well would later open Jennings Field. Heywood secured leases and used storage tanks and pipelines to develop the field. During peak production in 1906, the Jennings oilfield produced more than 9 million barrels of oil. Louisiana’s petroleum industry expanded even more when oil discoveries were made in the northern part of the state.

 

 

September 23rd, 1918 – Wood River Refinery Opens Its Doors

The Roxana Petroleum Company began refining oil at their Wood River facility in  September of 1918. During its first year in operation, the facility processed over 2 million barrels of oil from fields in Oklahoma.

In 1912, the Roxana Petroleum Company was established by the Royal Dutch/Shell group, the organization also responsible for establishing the American Gasoline Company.

While the purpose of that company was to distribute gas to the West Coast, Roxana Petroleum was initially founded to produce the high-quality oil coming from across Oklahoma. This oil would later be refined at Wood River. 

Today, Wood River is the biggest refinery owned by Phillips 66, processing over 300,000 BOPD.

 

 

September 23rd, 1933 – California Geologists and Saudi Arabia

Standard Oil Company of California geologists were invited to the Port of Jubail by King Abdel Aziz. He was the king of Saudi Arabia. While the geologists searched for “kindred bituminous matter” and petroleum, they uncovered a huge oilfield. This discovery would lead to a partnership between Standard Oil and Saudi Arabia known as Aramco, or the Arabian American Oil Company. American companies like Texaco also joined Aramco later on.

 

 

September 23rd, 1947 –“Horton spheres” Get Their Patent

A spherical storage vessel was first invented by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company’s (CB&I) founder in the 1920s. In 1947, the company received a patent for improvements on this invention. The purpose of the vessel was to hold and store propane, natural gas, other petroleum products. This sphere was considered one of the most efficient and innovative technologies used on the oil patch.

CB&I created the “Hortonspheres” in 1923. The invention was named for the company’s founder, Horace E. Horton.  In 1889, he started the company to build bridges over the Mississippi River. In 1892, Chicago Bridge and Iron finished their first elevated water tank in Fort Dodge, Iowa. According to CB&I history, that steel plate tank was one of the company’s first innovations. It was also the first elevated water tank built with a hemispherical bottom.

However, the innovation didn’t end there. Soon after, Chicago Bridge and Iron built the first field-erected spherical pressure vessel in Port Arthur, Texas. Today, CB&I has built over 50 percent of the planet’s field-erected spheres.

 

 

September 24th, 1951 – Bazooka Technology Developed After Oil Technology

Name it a “downhole bazooka.”

In 1951, war veteran Henry Mohaupt, signed up to license his “Shaped Gun and Charge Assembly” which would eventually become the bazooka. He did this based off technology the oil industry used during WWII.

Mohaupt took the lead in an army program looking to create an anti-tank weapon. The idea to use a hollowed out explosive to guide and focus the energy from detonation led to the creation of the rocket grenade that would be used inside the bazooka.

The Well Explosives Company noticed the potential in the downhole grenades. This Texas-based company saw how the grenades could help oil flow from oil-bearing formations. Well Explosives would later employ Mohaupt where he helped develop technologies that would safely pierce pipe and cement casings.

 

September 11th, 1866 – Ewing’s Method Officially Patented, Leading to Mobil Oil

In 1866, a carpenter named Matthew Ewing patented his method for distilling kerosene. Ewing’s method involved kerosene being distilled in a vacuum in a process that ultimately produced lubricants. The result of this post-Civil War innovation was the establishment of Mobil Oil.

Matthew Ewing and Hiram Everest founded the Vacuum Oil Company in New York. This happened just three weeks after the patent was issued and “Ewing’s Patent Vacuum Oil” was the company’s first product. It was a leather conditioner. Eventually, Ewing ended his partnership with Everest and found greater success with Vacuum Harness Oil. He used containers that were normally used for canning oysters to distribute lubricant.

Everest sold 75% of Vacuum Oil to Standard Oil Company in 1880. Vacuum Oil became Socony Mobil more than fifty years later. Then, the company became Mobil Oil and finally ExxonMobil as the result of a merger in 1999.

 

 

September 12th, 1866 – First Texas Oil Discovery

Lyne Taliaferro Barret and the Melrose Petroleum Oil Company finished a well east of Nacogdoches in 1866. This well turned out to be the first commercial well in the Lone Star state.

The No. 1 Isaac C. Skillern Well was drilled in Oil Springs. Oil was found at just over 100 feet. However, production was somewhat minimal and the well only produced 10 BOPD. This combined with limited market access led to the failure of Barret’s company. The field was dormant for almost 20 years until other companies found oil nearby.

Some of the wells in Nacogdoches field produced oil until the 1950s, making it one of the oldest producing fields in Texas for many years.

 

 

September 13th, 1957 – Hawaii’s First Refinery Opens

Standard Oil of California announced plans to build the first refinery in Hawaii in 1957. The location was 8 miles from Pearl Harbor on the Island of Oahu. In 1959, Popular Mechanics reported that Standard Oil originally planned to import oil using a submarine cable.

 

 

September 13th, 1975 – Permian Basin Petroleum Museum Opens

Over 400 guests attended the opening ceremony of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Library and Hall of Fame. President Gerald R. Ford even traveled to Midland, Texas to speak at the event.

Ford also toured the museum and was presented with a sculpture by Lester Fox called “Dressing the Bit.” Chairman Emil Rassman was in charge of presenting the piece.

More than 500 community leaders contributed to the completion of the museum. That effort was lead by George Abell. Today, visitors can see a number of cultural, geological and technical exhibits along with a collection of rare Chaparral race cars are also on display.

 

 

September 14, 1871 – Grant’s Tour Unveils Future Oil Sites

President Ulysses S. Grant went on a tour of northwestern Pennsylvania. This tour included sites that contributed to a major oil boom such as Oil City, Petroleum Center and Titusville. All of these locations played a role in a commercial oil discovery that would change the world forever. In 1875, Grant ordered Pennsylvania Avenue to be paved with asphalt–a product that came as a byproduct of the oil production in these areas.

 

 

September 14th, 1929 – Yates Well Breaks Records

When a Texas well struck oil at about 1,000 feet and produced an over 200,000 BOPD, it became the most productive well in the world at the time. The Yates 30-A Well was producing close to 9,000 barrels of oil every hour, setting a new production record.

This well was in Pecos County, close to the Yates field. A year later, the Ira G. Yates 1-A. was discovered, eventually unveiling the true size of the Permian Basin.

The newest well is operated by Transcontinental Oil and the Mid-Kansas Oil and Gas Company, now Marathon. This well ultimately lead to prosperity in Odessa, Midland, and Iraan. The Yates Field hit a historic milestone in 1985 when it produced its billionth oil barrel.

 

 

September 14th, 1960 – Baghdad Conference and OPEC Established

The OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was established by Venezuela, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq at the Baghdad Conference. Nine other members would also join the organization. Its headquarters were in Geneva, Switzerland, until September 1965. Today, the location of their headquarters is Vienna, Austria.

The objective of the OPEC is to unify and coordinate and unify petroleum policies in member countries. They strive to establish stable and fair prices for producers and to provide an economic, efficient and regular petroleum supply to consuming nation. The organization also places great focus on getting fair returns on capital for industry investors.

 

 

September 15th, 1886 – Eaton Mining and Gas Company Ushers In Indiana Boom

The Eaton Mining and Gas Company was founded by investors in 1886 after Ohio natural gas discoveries excited speculation in Indiana. On September 15th, the company’s first well was completed at 920 feet. When natural gas was found, it’s said that the resulting flame could be seen in Muncie, which was 10 miles away.

At that time, The Trenton Field was the largest gas field in the world, spreading over 17 counties in the state of Indiana and launching a natural gas boom in the state. Over the next 36 months, more than 200 companies were drilling, selling and exploring natural gas. Andrew Carnegie, a well-known industrialist claimed that natural gas replaced ten thousand tons of coal for steelmaking each day.

 

September 4th, 1841 – Percussion Drilling Technology Patented

The “Rock Drill Jar” was patented by William Morris on September 4th, 1841 with a discovery that would forever change the drilling industry as it further supported further development in early drilling technology. Morris experimented with his device while he drilled brine wells.

Historian Samuel Pees explained that the success of mechanical cable tool drilling had relied on jars. He added that William drilled salt wells with jars in the 1830s. However, there wasn’t much else known about Morris beyond his address, listed in Kanawha County, and his invention. Later, when used in combination with jars, cable tool systems were able to meet drilling demands.

William Morris patented the device, using his knowledge as a driller, simply naming it No. 2243. The purpose of this device was to link sinkers and augers together to bore artesian wells.

The upper part of the jars operated with a sinker bar. This section would perform a critical function. It caused the lower part to strike the underlying auger stem with strong force. The force could free a bit if it was stuck in a formation.

Percussion drilling efficiency increased because of the telescoping link apparatus. In the years that followed, other drillers continued to improve the jars. As a result, cable-tool drilling technology quickly began to advance.

 

 

September 5th, 1927 – Electric Logging Tool Tested by the Schlumberger Brothers

In Pechelbronn, France brothers Marcel and Conrad Schlumberger used a new surface system for the first time. This new electric well-logging tool worked vertically inside a well instead of horizontally.

In 1912, Conrad had developed a plan for using electrical measurements that could map out rock formations. After the brothers developed a four-probe surface approach for mineral exploration, they created their well log.

They put the tool to use shortly after and recorded a single lateral-resistivity curve at points in a wells’ borehole. Then, they graphically organized the results against the well’s depth. This created a log of geologic structures. Differences in underground resistance readings revealed variations and prolific areas.

This ground-breaking technology made Schlumberger the first well logging company in the world.

 

 

September 5th, 1885 – The First “Filling Station” Pump Created

When Sylvanus F. Bowser created the design for the modern gas-pump in 1885, he had no idea how widely used his invention would be. He sold the first pump Fort Wayne, Indiana to an owner of a grocery store.

The gas-pump held 42 gallons and was made so that petroleum products burning fluid could be safely distributed. Bowser’s gas-pump featured an upright faucet, marble valves and a wooden plunger.

After Sylvanus sold his first pump, it gained popularity fast. In 1887, Sylvanus patented his creation and established the S.F. Bowser Company. In the next decade, vehicles became more popular making the company was extremely successful. The Self-Measuring Gasoline Storage Pump was a well known filling station for drivers by 1905. People claim the first gas station was built in St. Louis during the same year.

 

 

September 7th, 1917 –  Hogg’s Oil Legacy

Fifty miles south of Houston, The Tyndall-Wyoming Oil Company finished the No 1. Hogg well after the company drilled 20 dry holes in a row. Another well they found a few months later went on to produce over six hundred BOPD. These two wells ended the cycle of dry holes that dated back to 1901.

During that year, Texas Governor Jim Hogg paid close to $30,000 to lease the land. Oil discoveries on that land that revealed West Columbia Oilfield. Hogg died eleven years before these discoveries. However, he specified in his will that the mineral rights shouldn’t be sold for 15 years after he passed. This turned out to be highly beneficial for his family, as by 1918 the field produced over 100,000 barrels of oil.

 

 

September 7th, 1923 – Discovery at Dominguez Hills

In 1923 Major Frederick Russell Burnham found oil in Dominguez Hills. This location was an unincorporated section of Los Angeles Country. The well produced more than 1,000 BOPD at a depth of four thousand feet. Before his discovery, Frederick was a soldier for British and U.S armies and was known as “King of the Scouts.”

 The Dominguez Hills oilfield was opened by two companies: the Union Oil Company of California and the Burnham Exploration Company. The oilfield was two miles wide and deep and contained eight productive zones.

This oil field was named after a Spanish soldier who obtained grant for the land in 1784. The area turned out to be extremely prolific. According to California State University, Dominguez Hills, family fortunes skyrocketed in the Torrance area and Dominguez Hill area in the 1920s. Union Oil and Burnham Exploration paid more than $10 million to stockholders by 1933.

 

 

September 9th, 1928 – Oil Production Regulated in Oklahoma

In 1928, the state regulatory body enforced an order on oil production across the entire state of Oklahoma. The goal was to control overproduction in new oil fields, including fields from the Seminole oil boom.

These limitations were as set by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Oil production was limited to 700,000 BOPD. Wildcat wells had a limit of one hundred BOPD. The commission allocated just over 400,000 BOPD for newer oil fields like Seminole and about 300,000 BOPD for older oil fields.

 

 

September 10th, 1879 –  Chevron Established

In 1879, the now world-famous Chevron Corporation started after Pacific Coast Oil acquired California Star Oil Works. California Star Oil Works was the first company to uncover large amounts of oil in California.

As the company grew, its retail outlets added many service station logos to help build the brand identity it is known for today. Some of the logos added were Texaco red star, the Unocal “76” logo, Standard Oil Company of California’s chevron and the orange disc of Gulf Oil.

A company historian claimed that an oil discovery in Pico Canyon led to the start of the Pacific Coast Oil Company. He went on to state that Alex Mentry struck oil in Pico Number 4. He was up against underbrush, rattlesnakes, mud and wasps at the time, but still made the discovery, officially putting California on the map as an oil-producing state.

The largest refinery in California was built by Pacific Coast Oil in 1880. The refinery had a capacity of 600 BOPD.

Pacific Coast Oil merged with Standard Oil from 1906 to 1911. In 1926, Standard Oil became Socal. In 1984, Gulf Oil was acquired by Chevron U.S.A. Later, in 2001, it merged with Texaco. Unocal was also acquired by Chevron in 2005, ultimately building the Chevron brand that we all know today.

 

 

September 10th, 1969 – Second Nuclear Test Takes Place in Colorado

On September 10th, 1969, residents near Garfield County Colorado heard a major explosion when a 40-kiloton nuclear device exploded. The device was detonated eight miles southeast of Parachute, CO, as part of the government-sponsored Operation Plowshare.

The purpose of the program was to study explosions from nuclear devices for nonviolent purposes. This was the second test of its kind, with the first nuclear test taking place in New Mexico in 1967.

Four years later in Rio Blanco County, Colorado a third test, named Rio Blanco took place. Three 33 kiloton devices detonated underground all at the same time. Their depths ranged between 5,000 and 7,000 feet, but unfortunately, the natural gas that came out of these tests was radioactive and unusable.

 

August 30th, 1919 – Snake Hollow Gas Boom Brings Industry to Pittsburgh

The August 30th the discovery of the Snake Hollow Gusher in McKeesport, Pennsylvania spearheaded a Pittsburgh oil boom, eventually bringing 300 companies to the area in a matter of months.

The well was located near Monongahela River and produced over 60 million feet of gas per day. This discovery caused an exploration frenzy and more than $30 million dollars of investment in the area.

A  local newspaper reported that many citizens agreed to allow drilling on their property. Additionally, gas company stocks were sold on street corners and brokerage houses appeared where barbershops used to be.

Despite all of this, the frenzy ended quickly, only seven  months after the discovery of the well. Production quickly declined in nearly 200 wells. Additionally, 440 exploratory wells ended up being dry holes. During the boom, millions of dollars were invested but only $3 million in profits were made back. This field was later called the scene of the largest boom and loudest crash in Pittsburgh.

 

 

August 30th, 2002 – Birth of ConocoPhillips

Frank and L.E. Phillips finished their first well almost 100 years after the Snake Hollow Gusher and almost 130 years after Continental Oil used a horse drawn carriage to deliver its very first can of kerosene. Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum combined to establish ConocoPhillips in 2002.

Other business ventures also contributed to the success of ConocoPhillips. Some of the earlier companies were Marland Oil, Transcontinental Oil and Transportation, Continental Oil and Refining, and 101 Ranch Oil. ConocoPhillips separated its marketing and refining businesses ten years later. After the separation in May 2012, Phillips 66 debuted as an independent energy company.

 

 

August 31st, 1850 – San Francisco Utility Inc. Established

In 1850, The San Francisco Gas Company was established to distribute and produce manufactured gas under the leadership of James and Peter Donahue and Joseph Eastland. These Irish immigrants built a coal gasification plant. Their plant distilled coal and made gas to power lights. In 1952, the power for the first gas street lamps came from The San Francisco Gas Company. Over the next five decades, The San Francisco Gas Company merged with other companies ultimately resulting in the formation of the Pacific Gas and Electric in 1905.

There were around 8,500 lamps on the street in San Francisco by 1915. These lamps were turned on and off by hand. In 1930, the final coal-gas lamp was extinguished as the town transitioned entirely to gas lamps.

 

 

August 31st, 1859 – First Dry Hole in America is Drilled

The first oil well in America was found in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1859 and just four days later, an entrepreneur named John Grandin achieved a series of more, less profitable, “firsts.”

Previously, Edwin L. Drake used a method that required a steam powered rig to drill. Grandin’s method, on the other hand, was more simple. He drilled a well at a place called Gordon Run Creek. To drill this well he used the tried and true spring-pole method. Grandin’s well had a depth of around 134 feet, and was deeper than Drake’s but it didn’t produce.

By the end of August, Grandin’s dry hole still accomplished many milestones in the petroleum industry. Grandin’s well was credited as the first well shot with black powder and the first well to be ruined by a shooting attempt.

September 1st, 1862 – Federal Oil Taxes Put in Place to Pay for Civil Was

A federal tax of 15 cents per cubic foot of gas was put in place to help pay for the Civil War.. The news about this tax wasn’t well received. Editors from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle attacked local gas companies responsible for the tax claiming it created an imbalance and burdened the company’s customers.

Brooklyn Gas Light Company publicly refuted the claims. A couple of years later in 1864, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase introduced another $1 tax on oil barrels to help fund the war.

 

 

September 2nd, 1910 – Cities Service Company Inc. Opens in Oklahoma

Henry Doherty established Cities Service Company in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It was a public utility company. Before the company was founded, Henry bought producing land Oklahoma and Kansas. He also acquired distributing companies and connected them to gas supplies. The company’s income came from stock dividends.

Five years later, the El Dorado Oilfield was discovered by Wichita Natural Gas Company. This company was a Cities Service Company subsidiary. The Oklahoma City Oilfield was discovered by another subsidiary, Empire Oil and Refining, in 1928.

In 1940, federal court mandates caused the divestiture of Cities Service’s Utilities. The remaining companies were reformed in 1959. This venture was named Cities Service Oil Company. In 1964, the company was renamed to CITGO to change as part of a rebranding effort.

In 1982, Occidental Petroleum acquired CITGO. Petróleos de Venezuela bought half of the company four years later, and finally in 1990, the other half of the company was acquired by the Venezuela Oil Company.

 

 

September 2nd, 2009 – Record in The Gulf of Mexico

In the Gulf of Mexico, a few hundred miles southeast of Houston, BP made a huge oil discovery uncovering a well that had a record depth of nearly 31,000 feet. A platform floated more than 4,000 feet above this discovery.

The location on the Timber Prospect Oil Field was thought to be very prolific. In 2009, it was estimated that it held more than 3 billion barrels of oil. This well was drilled by the Deepwater Horizon  which was ultimately destroyed in an oil spill and explosion in April 2010.

 

August 21st, 1897 – Olds Motor Vehicle Company Officially Opens in Michigan

Ransom Eli Olds was a pioneer in the automotive industry beginning when he established the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Michigan in August of 1897. This company was the first auto manufacturer in Detroit. In 1899, Olds Motor Vehicle was renamed to Olds Motor Works.

In R.E. Olds: Auto Industry Pioneer, George Mays says that by the early 1900’s Olds had made eleven prototypes. Out of the eleven prototype vehicles, at least one used each power mode of gasoline, steam and electricity respectively. Olds was the only American to manufacture and sell each type of automobile.

Olds also created the concept for modern assembly lines utilizing a stationary assembly design. Henry Ford was the first person to use a moving assembly line. In 1901, the first mass-produced automobile was sold by Olds Motor Works.

 

 

August 24th, 1892 – “Prophet of Spindletop” Discovers Gladys City Oil Gas and Manufacturing

In 1892, Patillo Higgins founded the Gladys City Oil, Gas and Manufacturing Company. He was later to nickname the “Prophet of Spindletop.”

Higgins was a self-taught geologist and a Sunday School teacher. He and his partners leased over 2,500 acres of land in Texas, near the city of Beaumont. Higgins thought that Spindletop Hill, also nicknamed “Big Hill,” contained oil even though many scientific experts doubted the possibility.

One Sunday, when bringing his class to a regular trip on the hill, Higgins spotted natural gas and oil in the area. Higgins decided to name his company after his favorite student from Sunday School.

In 1895, Higgins made his departure from Gladys City Oil Gas and Manufacturing Company. However, the company still made its mark on the oil industry. The Spindletop field soon became the most prolific oilfield in the United States and more productive than all other oilfields in the world combined.

Patillo Higgins’ trust in the “Big Hill” allowed for the eventual formation of oil companies like Sun, Mobile, Texaco, and Gulf.

 

 

August 24th, 1923 – Discovery Leads to University of Texas’ First Royalty Payment

On August 24th, 1921, Santa Rita No. 1 Well uncovered a new oilfield on land owned by the University of Texas. The site was located in the Permian Basin. Three months after this discovery, the University of Texas got their first royalty payment, totally $516.

The 4 ½ square-mile field was found in Big Lake and was uncovered after the Texon Oil and Land Company drilled for 21 months. Petroleum royalties provided the university with over $4 million dollars in just three years.

The well’s walking beam and more equipment were moved to the university’s Austin campus in 1958. According to the student newspaper, this well improved conditions at the university. In one statement, it was said that this allowed the campus to go from shack-like buildings to modern classrooms.

 

 

August 24th, 1937 – Oil Gusher Makes a Bang in Music Mountain

In 1937, a gusher in McKean County surprised many, including the company that drilled it, when it began sprouting from the ground. The Niagara Oil Company, started drilling the well on Music Mountain, ultimately uncovering the first oil discovery in the area in over 70 years.

This well reached unprecedented depths at the time with a total recorded depth of 1,630 feet.

The producing well was located under the Bradford Sands, which had been discovered more than 50 years earlier. This region’s oil is known as one of the best lubricants on the planet. A refinery in Bradford, now the American Refining Group, has been refining oil in McKean County since the early 1880s.

 

 

August 27th, 1859 – Petroleum Industry Gets Its Start

The American petroleum industry officially got its start in Titusville, Pennsylvania when Edwin L. Drake, a former train conductor and William Smith, a former blacksmith, were hired by Seneca Oil Company to drill land in the area. They went on to discover the first commercial well in America. The well was drilled at around 70 feet near Oil Creek, and it eventually produced 25 BOPD.

Prior to this, small amounts of oil were found by spring pole and cable-tool drillers. The little amounts of oil were an unwanted by-product at the time. Still, Drake drilled for that oil. His investors planned to refine it into kerosene which was in high demand at the time.

Drake developed new drilling methods at Oil Creek. One of these methods was to drive an iron pipe into the well and preserve the integrity of the bore. Unfortunately, after months of drilling problems and setbacks, the people of the town named the well “Drake’s Folly.” Investors then addressed letters with “Colonel” Edwin Drake, in an attempt to improve his reputation.

Oil was seen floating at the top of a pipe by one of Drake’s drillers. “Uncle Billy” Smith made the discovery in the summer of 1859. A bit reached what was later called the First Venango Sand. Drake used a kitchen water pump to pump the oil.

 

 

August 27th, 1959 –  Centennial Petroleum Stamp Dedicated By U.S. Postmaster

In Titusville, Pennsylvania a crowd gathered for “Oil Centennial Day,” where the U.S. Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield spoke to a captivated audience. He introduced the new stamp, costing just four cents.

The keynote speaker called dedicating a stamp to commemorate 100 years of the oil industry one of his “greatest pleasures.” He also described the impact that petroleum had on peace and war in America.

Summerfield stated Americans have a good reason to be grateful to the industry. He went on to say that the American way of life wouldn’t have been possible without petroleum providing power.

In 2009, the U.S. Postal Service Stamp Advisory Committee refused requests for another oil industry stamp to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the petroleum industry. However, before this, Kermit the Frog and nine total muppets had been given a stamp.

 

August 15th, 1945 – Gas Rationing Comes to an End

The gas rationing that began during World War II ended in 1945. In 1942, when it started, the Office of Price Administration gave out coupon books and priority stickers in an attempt to conserve resources. Almost every civilian’s vehicle had an “A” sticker, which allowed them to have four gallons of gas per week.

A nation-wide speed limit of 35 miles per hour was put into place reduce gas consumption, but it wasn’t the only rationing effort that came as a result of the war. People also rationed food, tires, coffee and shoes.

 

 

August 16th, 1861 – McClintock Discovery Becomes Known as Oldest Producing Oil Well

A well completed close to Rouseville, Pennsylvania, the McClintock No. 1 Well became known as the oldest oil-producing well in America. The well reached just over 600 feet and produced 50 BOPD, located just 14 miles from Titusville where America’s first commercial well discovery took place.

The Oil Region Alliance for Business, Industry, and Tourism states that the McClintock is the oldest well that still produces oil at its initial depth. This organization promotes this well and other important historic landmarks in northern Pennsylvania.

In 1995, the well was donated by Quaker state. The Alliance claims that it still produces up to ten barrels of oil every month. While a marker is close to the site identifies the McClintock Well, many people pass the well every year and have no idea it’s there. In the Drake Well Museum, souvenir bottles of oil from this well are available.

 

 

August 16th, 1927 – Phillips Petroleum Fuels Air Race From California to Hawaii

The Phillips Petroleum Company developed high-octane fuel that allowed a monoplane to travel over the Pacific Ocean and that would eventually instigate the start of a deadly air race. August 16th, 1927, eight aircrafts took flight from Oakland, California in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 people watching this event.

The race started in California and was to end in Hawaii, where the Dole Pineapple Company offered up $25,000 prize for the person who took first place. This came just three months after Charles Lindbergh became the first person to make a solo flight across the Atlantic ocean.

Phillips Petroleum provided the fuel that powered the winning plane, as a special fuel was needed to make the 2,439-mile flight over the Pacific Ocean. The fuel, known as Nu-Aviation gasoline was the latest Phillips product and was developed to power a single-engine monoplane known as the Woolaroc.

Unfortunately, at the airport in Oakland, two fuel-heavy planes crashed during takeoff. After the crash, the remaining five planes flew out over the Pacific. Out of the five, only two were able to make it to Hawaii.

 

 

August 17th, 1785 – Oil Discovered Floating on Pennsylvania Creek

Just two years after the Revolutionary War ended, oil was found floating on a creek in Pennsylvania. U.S. Army General William Irvine revealed the area was labeled as Oil Creek because of the matter found floating at the surface.

According to General Irvine, the natives claimed this oil cured ailments including ulcers and rheumatic pains. According to the general, the creek emptied itself into the Allegheny River and the water flowed from a spring. The oil was on top of the water, much like Barbados tar and a single person alone could collect several gallons of the oil each day.

Oil Creek State Park used to be filled with barges and wooden derricks looking for more oil lurking beneath the surface. Now, it attracts many people with nearly 10,000 acres that are great for biking, backpacking and hiking.

 

 

August 18th, 2007 – Crater Exhibit Opens at Oklahoma Museum

The Astrobleme Museum opened in Ames, Oklahoma in 2007 and featured an exhibit shows the impact of a meteor and how it lead to a huge oil discovery in the area. The discovery was made by Harold Hamm almost 500 million after the meteor struck.

The location of the oil was about 20 miles from Enid and it was buried by almost 10,000 feet of sediment, making it virtually invisible. Impact craters were believed to be an unlikely place to find petroleum prior to this discovery.

Even though other wells were uncovered close by, no one had dug into the deep and hidden Ames crater of Major Country until 1991 when then Hamm’s Continental Resources drilled down to nearly 10,000 feet. This was unusual for the area, yet the drillers were able to locate oi and what would become one of the most prolific craters. It produced just over 17 million barrels of oil and close to 80 billion cubic feet of gas.

Independent producer Lew Ward of Ward Petroleum noted that the Ames Astrobleme was incredible discovery and one of the most observed geological features on the planet thanks to its massive impact on the economy.

Thanks to this discovery, oil companies across the globe began to see the potential of craters.

 

 

August 19th, 1957 – Oil Discovery in Washington

The Sunshine Mining Company drilled the first commercial oil well in Washington state in August of 1967. The well was called The Medina No 1 and produced just over 220 BOPD. The well was located in Grays Harbor County near Ocean City and had a depth of 4,135 feet.

Another well that was discovered 6 months before this produced more than 30 BOPD. However, it was labeled as non-commercial and later deserted. In contrast, the Medina produced almost 13,000 barrels until the well was capped in 1961.

According to a report in 2010, over 600 wells have been drilled in the state. Despite that, commercial production never occurred. In fact, no oil production has taken place in the state since 1962. However, some companies still continue to search for methane to this day.

 

August 7th, 1933 – Permian Basin Comic “Alley Oop” Hits the Presses

Even though the cartoon “Alley Oop” appeared for the first time in August 1933, the story behind this comic actually dates back much earlier. It all started with a 1926 oil discovery in the Permian Basin. A small Texas oil town would later be named the inspiration for artist of the comic, Victor Hamlin.

Iraan was first identified as a booming town in 1926 after the discovery of the productive Yates oilfield. The town’s name merged names of landowners Ira and Ann Yates. During the oil boom, in Permian Basin, Hamlin was as a cartographer for an oil company. He had a fascination with paleontology and geology which ultimately led to the development of his comic strip.

 

 

August 7th, 2004 –Well Control Expert, Paul “Red” Adair Passes Away

On August 7th, 2004, Paul “Red” Adair, a famed firefighter and well control expert passed away at age 89 in Texas. Adair, born in 1915,. Served on the bomb disposal unit for the U.S. Army during World War II. After his service, he worked for Myron Kinley, a pioneer in oilfield firefighting from California.

Adair established his own business, called the Red Adair Company in 1959. He created new technologies designed for “wild well” control. Over the years, his organization put out upwards of 2,000 well fires and blowouts all over the world.

The oilfield firefighter’s expertise was documented in the 1968 John Wayne film Hellfighters. These skills were put to the test in 1991 when Adair and his organization put out 117 oil well fires in Kuwait that were started by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Army.

 

 

August 9th, 1921 – Reflection Seismography Discovered in Oklahoma

Dr. J.C. Karcher, a physicist from Oklahoma, pioneered research that led to the first reflection seismograph in the world.  In 1921, this geologic section was measured close to Ardmore.

According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, the state was the first location where this technique for oil exploration was used. The method records reflected seismic waves as they move through the earth, resulting in the location of productive oil formations.

The Arbuckle Mountains were selected for a pilot survey on this technique due to the number of exposed formations in this area.

 

 

August 9th, 1922 – Psychic Helps Locate Oilfield in Texas

The United North and South Oil Company had a breakthrough with the Rafael Rios No. 1 Well close to Luling, Texas, thanks to insight from an unexpected source; a psychic by the name of Edgar Cayce.

This discovery came after they had just drilled six dry holes. In 1922, another oil field was uncovered. It was over 10 miles long and more than a mile wide. Two years later, the field had nearly 400 wells that produced oil, yielded more than 10 million barrels of oil.

This company was the first tap oil production in the area, thanks to president President Edgar B. Davis who locals claim was the one to contact the psychic.

Davis later sold his leases to the Magnolia Petroleum Company for more than $10 million. It was biggest oil deal in Texas to date. The psychic, Cayce, claimed that he had great success helping many wildcatters. However, he failed with his own oil company, only drilling dry holes. According to Reader’s Digest, Luling now has a yearly Roughneck BBQ and Chili Cook-Off to celebrate the discovery,  They are said to have the best ribs in the nation.

 

 

August 10th, 1909 – Dual-Cone Roller Bit Hits the Market

Howard Hughes Sr. of Texas made “fishtail” drill bits obsolete with his invention of the dual-cone roller bit. This patented design was made of two turning cones that could pulverize hard rocks, leading to deeper and faster drilling.

According to many historians, there were several people trying to improve drill bits at this time. Hughes and business partner Walter Sharp were the ones who found success. Months before receiving their patent in 1909, they founded the Sharp-Hughes Tool Company. They did this so that they could manufacture their bit.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers noted that rather than scraping at rock, like the fishtail bit does, the Hughes bit adopted a different approach that instead burrowed in to the rock. On August 10th, 2009, 100 years after the initial discovery, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers named the invention a historic mechanical engineering landmark.

The ASME added that by chipping and powdering rock formations, the Hughes Two-Cone Drill Bit could reach a great depth and tap into reservoirs thousands of feet below surface level which would have a lasting impact on the oil industry.

 

 

August 12th, 1930 – Western Kentucky Oil Men’s Association Takes Shape

Independent producers from Eastern Kentucky joined the Western Kentucky Oil Men’s Association in August of 1930. During the meeting, held in Frankfurt, articles of incorporation were revised that would go on to establish a statewide organization. This organization is now known as the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association.

In 1919, oil was discovered close to Pellville in Hancock County, Kentucky. This started an oil boom in the area. Historians also claim this state was home to the first commercial oil well in America. Oil was initially found here in 1829 while boring for salt brine on a farm close to Burkesville.

 

 

August 13th, 1962 – Norman Rockwell Appears in Oil and Gas Journal

The Oil and Gas Journal used a now infamous drawing from artist Norman Rockwell to promote their publication in 1962.  It was called “Where Oil Men Invest Their Important Reading Time.” Rockwell’s depictions of American became popular in many magazines including Leslie’s Illustrated WeeklySaturday Evening Post and more.

Rockwell created artwork for the American Petroleum Institute in 1959. They sponsored a “first day of issue”  for the U.S. postal service celebrating the birth of the oil industry in the United States, which took place 100 years earlier.

According to a collector, Rockwell’s drawing incorporated the phrase “Oil’s First Century 1859-1959, Born in Freedom Working for Progress.” The illustration portrayed men of science and the extraction of crude oil and ended with a depiction of an attendant at a service station.

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