Early oil pioneers noted that oil could be found near oil seeps. As
drilling equipment was developed in the 1800's, searching for water and
salt, oil finders decided to drill for oil. As drilling started, they
recognized that the rocks gave them clues to where the oil was trapped.
They noted that sedimentary rocks, especially sandstones, would contain
the black liquid. Early explorers would not only use science, but also
Edwin L. Drake was just one of these early drillers. He developed a
"drive pipe" that would allow people to drill with more
control. In 1859, near Oil Creek in Titusville, Pennsylvania, Drake used
his drill and struck oil. He used whisky barrels to capture his new
wealth. Word soon spread like a wildfire, with the promise of riches,
men were lured to strike it rich in the oil fields of the east.
Although Drake laid the foundation for an industry that would change
the face of the world, he died in the 1880's in obscurity. But the
industry he helped to find, would soon make oil finders some of the
wealthiest people in the world.
Drake's first operation in Pennsylvania