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Just fifty years ago Edwin Drake, then regarded as an unbalanced enthusiast, "struck oil" near Titusville, in Pennsylvania. His tools were crude, but his scent was keen and hie industry was unflagging. Petroleum had been found in springs in several parts of Pennsylvania before 1859, but Drake was the first one to dig into the earth for its marvellous treasure oi oil. His jagged hole in the ground, however, was the beginning oi petroleum production as a great world industry. Fiity years ago 84,000 gallons of the product were the sum total of the world's output. Last year 6,000,<J00,000 gallons of petroleum were produced, 60 per cent. of the total in the United States. Even the most scientific observers oi Drake o period did not have the slightest idea of the vast industry which he had made possible. "When his boring irons went ripping into that hidden well of oil," says an American writer, "every home the world over, from the palace to the most humble cabin, was given a gift the value of which no one has attempted to estimate. The exhaustion of whale oil was making that product a luxury. The candle was little better than the pine knot. The world practically was facing a light famine. Drake came to a timely rescue. and his labour, coupled with the colossal genius of John D. Rockefeller and his associates, whith has developed the oil industry, are ii-i>pon-ible for this world service. Not only in this country, but throughout tin wnli, even in the almost unknown pla<i- of China, this world blessing is the literal illuminating £oreh — the forerunner of civilisation." Drake 6pent months in his effort-, to open up an "oil artesian." He drove bores in many places, finding trace-; of oil, but never a flow, until, on August 29, 1859, he saw promise of success at last. He left the pine standing open, and went home to bed tired, but hopeful. Next day was a Sunday, and when he went down to the well he found that a great flow of oil had surged up during the night and had flooded the floor of his derrick-shed. The old well is still shown to visitors, at Titusville. Drake is buried in the city cemetery, and the late H. Rogers, of the Standard Oil Company., spent .£BOOO on a monument to mark his grave.

-Wilton's every time for your VinegaT Essen?*!. A Is bottle makes half a gallon of best table vinegar, and a Is 6d bottk makes one allon'-of best table vinegar.

Smokers will /be glad to know that th< famous DERB^f can now be obtained v MTLD Streneth Mellow Blend. Is some thing specially gojd and supplies a lonr felt want.

Stear,n§.' Wine of Cod Liver Extract give* to delicate children a new vitality, filH out hoijjjw cheeks, and makes them stronp and T^ust. Easy for them to take it too the taste is so pleasant.

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Bibliographic details

STRUCK OIL., Wanganui Herald, Volume XXXXIV, Issue 12916, 4 November 1909

Word Count

STRUCK OIL. Wanganui Herald, Volume XXXXIV, Issue 12916, 4 November 1909

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