Spindletop: The Gusher That Launched The Oil Industry

Although the modern oil industry is said to have begun with the drilling of the first oil well by Edwin Drake in Pennsylvania, it was the discovery of oil at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas, that pushed the world into the age of crude oil. The exact date when this happened is January 10, 1901.

That day, an enormous geyser of oil exploded from a drilling site at Spindletop Hill coating the landscape with a thick slimy mess for hundreds of feet. Nobody had seen a gusher so powerful and so plentiful before. Soon a booming oil industry grew around Beaumont, and America’s oil production tripled overnight. Petroleum that was previously used only as a lubricant and in place of kerosene in lamps became the main fuel source for trains and ship, and new inventions such as automobiles and airplanes.

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Lucas gusher of Spindletop Hill

The Lucas gusher of Spindletop Hill in Beaumont, Texas, blowing thousand of barrels of oil in the air on January 1901.

Source: amusingplanet.com

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