The beginning of oil

Beneath the Crust

On the 10th of January 1901 just outside of Beaumont Texas at a site called Spindletop that would become world famous, two brothers Al and Curt Hamill danced for joy. They were both covered in thick brownish green liquid that had only moments before been buried over 1,000 feet beneath the earth’s crust, but was then gushing out of the ground in a 6 inch wide column jetting over 100 feet in the air.

By contrast to other oil wells operating at the same time in the US that would produce around 50-100 barrels of oil, Spindletop was producing an extraordinary amount. The record breaking fields in Russia at the time were yielding around 5,000 barrels a day, but Spindletop was producing 5,000 barrels an hour; over 100,000 barrels a day.


People from all over the country flocked to the area to see the gusher and a lake…

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