Borger in Hutchinson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
LeRoi Motor-Generator Set
E.J. Longyear Coring Drilling Rig
When oil was discovered here in 1922, there was no electricity or roads and Panhandle was the closest town - almost 30 miles away. Fuel, materials and equipment used for drilling and oil production had to be shipped by rail to Amarillo, almost 50 miles distant or to the railhead in Panhandle - then trucked to Borger on dirt roads which were often impassable due to mud. The difficult, equipment-intensive job of prospecting for oil was made worse because electrical power was also many miles away. Until the power grid was extended to reach the new oil fields, generators such as the example shown here, supplied power for lighting and equipment that allowed around-the-clock drilling operations - which made the process far more efficient and profitable for wildcatters and the workers "making hole".
The LeRoi company began as the Milwaukee Machine Tool Company in 1913 and was sold to Waukesha Motor Company in 1958, which discontinued this series in 1974.
Upper Left: This generator was restored and donated by SERCO,
E.J. Longyear Coring Drilling Rig
In 1888, Edmund J. Longyear, a mining engineer, drilled the first diamond-core hole in the Mesabi Iron Range in northern Minnesota. Early drills were powered mainly by steam engines, which were later replaced by internal combustion engines such as this one, which was developed in the 1920s. From 1912 to 1916, Longyear drilled for copper in Cuba, the company's first international project. In 1914, Longyear began setting up diamond core rigs for Phelps Dodge Corp. to explore for copper in Arizona. During the 1930's, the company drilled core samples for the proposed Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Coring drilling rigs such as this one were used not only to identify geologic formations but also to create holes for extraction of oil or natural gas from those reservoirs. In land-based oil and gas fields, once a well was drilled, the drilling rig would then be moved off the well and a service rig that was purpose-built for completions would be moved to the well site to complete the well. That freed up the drilling rig to drill another hole and streamlined the operation as well as allowing other services to take place. Boart Longyear is still in operation today providing drilling services and equipment.
Lower Left: Before and after restoration
Erected by Hutchinson County Historical Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1922.
Location. 35° 40.357′ N, 101° 23.373′ W. Marker is in Borger, Texas, in Hutchinson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Main Street and East 7th Street. The marker is located in the courtyard north of the Hutchinson County Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 618 North Main Street, Borger TX 79007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nitro Storage Safe & Do-It-Yourself Drilling Rig (here, next to this marker); Bessemer Gas Engine (here, next to this marker); The Panhandle Oil Boom & the Borger Field (here, next to this marker); 1950 GMC Winch Truck (here, next to this marker); Allis-Chalmers/Cooper Winch Tractor (here, next to this marker); Auxiliary Equipment from the Early Borger Oil Field (here, next to this marker); The Huber Paraffin Scraper (here, next to this marker); Boomtown (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Borger.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 100 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.