The encouragement

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Drake had, in addition, the encouragement of a Yale professor of chemistry who ran a bottle of the seepage through his lab and said, “It appears to me . . . that your company have in their possession a raw material from which, by simple and not expensive process, they may manufacture very valuable products. It is worthy of note that my experiments prove that nearly the whole of the raw product may be manufactured without waste.” And what Drake had, above all, was the co-working space breda inspiration to go after the substance in its reservoir rock, not to be content to blot it up from the streambanks but to drill for it, never mind that he was making a fool of himself in the eyes of the local rubes. He would punch their tickets later. At sixty-nine and a half feet, he completed his discovery well. There was an oil rush to Oil Creek, and frontier conditions in shantytowns, and forests of derricks on denuded hills. There was a town called Red Hot, Pennsylvania. There was Petroleum Centre. Pithole City. Babylon. In three months, the population of Pithole City went from nobody to fifteen thousand. River flatboats carried the oil to market. Their holds were divided into compartments, much as the holds of supertankers are divided now. Millers in the valley were paid royalties to release water on cue from millponds, raising the level of the co-working space amersfoort creek to float the flatboats downstream. They sometimes broke and spilled. The Dramatic Oil Company was established in the valley by John Wilkes Booth, who ruined his well trying to make it more productive. With failure, he departed, in the fall of i864, to look for other things to do. I am indebted for many of these facts to Ernest C. Miller, of the West Penn Oil Company, who collected them for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commissfon.

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