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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

Columbia Oil Farm

to Oil History

Coincidence, timing and luck combined to get the first concerted search for oil underway in the 1850's. The right eyes saw a sample bottle of crude oil from a seep. The oil was tracked to a site near Titusville, Pennsylvania. A stock company to extract and market it was formed. After a favorable chemical analysis, promotion to sell stock and to finance the extraction took place. Drilling for it was then undertaken. Jeers turned to astonishment ...

Columbia Cornet Band

The plan of this narrative is to relate the beginning of an oil company in Oil Creek Valley and the entry of Andrew Carnegie into oil investment. Because of the size of the acreage owned in fee and its favorable position in the geological province of the shallow, oil-laden Venango Sands, Columbia Oil Company...

Writing Philosophy

If you are looking for organization of this long tale, there isn't any. I wrote it whenever a subject (chapter) came to mind. Although I sometimes call oilhistory.com an electronic book, it really doesn't fit the description of a book except in size (and remember, it is growing too). Look upon this work as a compendium with a lot of my ideas, interests and experiences expressed therein, but it is extremely researched as shown in the bibliographies.

Recent Additions


The history of oil, like that of other large industries, is fascinating and evolutionary. Happenings, events and inventions can occur suddenly putting the driller, refiner or carrier miles down the road almost overnight. The reader can expect that the chapters will often skip forward and backward in time depending on what facet of the industry grabs my thoughts at the moment. I really wish I could step forward faster and describe matters as I saw them and participated in them in the 1950's and onward. I'll have to get to those things, but there seems to always be another piece of older history that I feel has to be commented upon before I bring this tale up to my lifetime. So don't look for road signs, tour guides or a steady pace. It won't happen that way.

January 2002

last updated 6/2/2004
© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
all rights reserved