The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 8
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
early as 1893. In 1899 he and Captain A. F. Lucas entered
into an agreement, and a well was drilled to a depth of 575
feet. This well encountered showings of oil and gas before it
was abandoned. The two determined prospectors were now
more firmly convinced than ever that the area would prove
productive, but they were confronted with a lack of financial
resources. They succeeded, however, in securing the backing
of Guffy and Galey of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and commenced
a second well on October 27, 1900.
On January 10, 1901, this well blew in at 10:30 A.M.
from a depth of 1,160 feet. Spindletop had been discovered.
It is doubtful whether any discovery in the history of the indus-
try has had a comparable significance. The capacity of the well,
estimated at from 35,000 to 100,000 barrels per day, staggered
the imagination; and the force of the flow demonstrated con-
clusively that the industry must devise heavier equipment and
new methods for controlling wells of such tremendous pro-
A new era had dawned in the oil industry. Spindletop became
the Mecca for executives of eastern oil companies, independent
operators, investors, promoters, and speculators. Prospectors
began searching both day and night for similar mounds in the
vicinity of the coast, expecting each such surface elevation to
prove another Spindletop. Prices for land jumped from a few
dollars to several thousand dollars per acre, and in some in-
stances as much as $30,000 was paid for a single location on
the mound at Spindletop. Gusher after gusher was completed
in the new field, and train loads of prospective investors were
treated to the spectacle of seeing wells opened up and flowing
a solid stream of oil high into the air. That practice undoubt-
edly heightened the desire of the investor to own some of the
gaudily colored stock offered him, but it was also fraught with
possible disaster through the ever-present hazard of fire.
It was apparent that some action must be taken to safeguard
life and property, and the result was the first organized effort
in Texas, if not in the world, to prevent unnecessary wastage
of oil as well as to protect the lives of the workmen and prop-
erty of the operators. A meeting of operators and representa-
tives of oil and supply companies was held on August 30, 1901,
and a committee was appointed to formulate proper measures
of safety. This committee, under the chairmanship of George
A. Hill, Sr., adopted, published, and, through its watchmen and
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/24/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.