SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Oil well boring rig. Coloured historical engraving of workers operating a 19th century oil well boring rig. Mobile rigs such as this were used to drive steel tubes into the earth to create tube wells. Firstly a suspended hammer (centre left) was used to drive a tube into the earth. The tube was about 3.5 metres in length with an aperture of about 5cm. The lower portion of the tube, which was made of tempered steel, was pierced with holes and tapered to a fine point. A second smaller tube was then inserted into the first. A pebble suspended on a string was then lowered into the newly made well to check for oil. If oil was found a pump was fixed to the well.
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