Heritage, Volume 12, Number 3, Summer 1994 Page: 10
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Top: A gusher burns at Spindletop. Copyright 1902 by F.J. Trost. Bottom: Early oil field workers.
"Following the solid pipe line, came a column of water;
then an eruption of mud, sand and rocks, mixed with
a great column of gas creating a deafening and roaring
sound, as of a caged lion...(then) a solid column of oil,
spouting above the height of the derrick and increasing
in force, so that by the third day, the oil column was
gushing fully 200 feet high."
10 HERITAGE * SUMMER 1994
Its potency was made manifest
by its forcing 700 feet of
four-inch heavy line pipe, secured
by swivels, blocks and
tackles, straight through the
derrick. Following the solid pipe
line, came a column of water;
then an eruption of mud, sand
and rocks, mixed with a great
column of gas creating a deafening
and roaring sound, as of a
caged lion; following the gas,
came a solid column of oil,
spouting above the height of the
derrick and increasing in force,
so that by the third day, the oil
column was gushing fully 200
National Oil Reporter
A new age was born. The world had
never seen such a gusher before. Oil was
freely flowing on the ground at an estimated
rate of 100,000 barrels a day. The
timing was right. The oil industry moved
into the forefront. With great difficulty,
the well was finally brought under control
in nine days. Trost's famous photograph of
the Lucas Gusher is the only known photograph
of this famous event. Spindletop Hill
had sprung to life. Lucas later said:
The well was only a mile from
our home which was in plain
view. There my wife stood in the
door watching the display, and
it was a heap of satisfaction to
see her there. She soon came
hurrying over to the gusher, and
the look of joy which illuminated
her countenance was reward
sufficient for all the worry and
work I had gone through.
April 10, 1901
The news of the Lucas well discovery
rocketed throughout the world. Beaumont
was turned upside down overnight. Even
though production had occurred in various
other parts of the world and in the United
States, no gusher of such magnitude had
even been seen. The timing was right, with
the advent of the development and mass
production of the internal combustion engine
and a known high volume source of
oil, for the industry to grow to gigantic
proportions. Hundreds of companies were
The rush was on. The Guffey Petroleum
Company leased Gladys City land, and
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 12, Number 3, Summer 1994, periodical, Summer 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45412/m1/10/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.