A history of the petroleum industry in the United States might be called "From Chaos to Conformity," and by history I mean past, present and future. We who are connected in anyway with this industry or with the conservation of oil and natural gas must readily admit that, although much progress has been made toward maturity, we still exhibit an adeptness at fumbling the ball. An objective examination of our century of existence made in sober reflection, brings to light of flashing brilliance and even statemanship. It also uncovers substantial periods.

The industry has had to overcome many obstacles, not all of which were self made, (and I hope we can take a little comfort from that fact). May be it is possible to excuse some of our early practices when we think of them in the light of contemporary thinking. One of Col. Drake's favorite stories was about the local minister who met him on the streets of Titusville and severely reprimanded him for taking oil from the ground on the theory that it was placed there by our Creator to supply fuel for the fires of hell, and that by taking it from the ground he was thwarting the will of the Almighty and allowing sinners to go unpunished.

This content is only available via PDF.