Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Sept. 14, 2010---Oil & Gas Museum located in Parkersburg, West Virginia. A large mural is painted on the outside of the building. Lots of very old oilfield equipment setting outside.

Parkersburg was where the oil came to for refining and was the base from which the early exploration and finances for the industry emanated.

Inside Keith was looking at the Civil War display.

Parkersburg Rig & Reel Company developed the pumping units and much of the other equip used in drilling and producing the wells.

First boom of the area was in 1860. Most of the oil at that time was found 25 to 50 feet below surface. It took about 30 years to learn about making various products and creating markets. Refineries were built to handle the crude.

By the 1890 boom technology had advanced to where drillers were capable of going to depths of 2000 feet. This capability brought the second boom to the Burning Springs field. Old picture shows how concentrated and congested the oilfield looked.

Early 1900's gasoline price.

Interesting old pump that was manufactured in Marietta, Ohio.

On top of this truck are sinker bars that were used to tag bottom on the wells for depth measurements. They are made out of hard wood.

One of the first oil companies was named after two of the prominent rivers in the area.

Red unit is a steam engine.

Spence, Smith & Kootz gas engine manufactured in Parkersburg in the 1920's.
With the developing oilfields Parkersburg became a major hub for the famous Baltimore and Ohio railroad. Parkersburg was also the target and center of much of the Civil War activity in the surrounding counties. Burning Springs is located about 25 miles south of Parkersburg. During the war in a raid across West Virginia General Jones burned the oilfield and all of the oil in 1863. It took time to rebuild the oilfield which still remains productive today.

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