page 2 of 2
Modern oil rigs show considerable advances in drilling technology since Drake dug the first well. iStockphoto.
Coal oil and petroleum were in competition [which]… might explain why it took three years after the first flowing well to establish the predominance of petroleum. Coal oil companies were as much a hindrance as a help to petroleum. Technological change was not sudden or smooth—and perhaps not inevitable. (p. 232)
©2010 Chemical Heritage Foundation