El Dorado in Butler County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Cable Tool Drilling Rig
This is the type of rig used in the 19 teens and into the 1930's during the oil boom in Kansas. Three main sections make up the early rigs: the boiler which was the energy source to power the steam engine that ran the rig; the derrick which was made out of wood in the beginning and later changed to steel; and the drilling floor where the machinery and men worked together to drill a well. Sitting on the very top is the crown block. The block is a group of six pulleys, each providing lifting support for different objects attached below.
The men worked 8-12 hour "towers" or shifts. It took a 5 man crew 5 days to build a rig. A different 3-5 man crew took one day to fit it with the cables and tools, known as "rigging up". It took thirty days to drill approximately 2,500 feet if everything went well.
The cable tool rig lifted and dropped the bit several times a minute, thus drilling a hole. Each bit needed to be heated in the forge and "dressed" or hammered back into the proper diameter and shape.
Erected by Butler County Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in Industry & Commerce.
Location. 37° 49.003′ N, 96° 50.688′ W. Marker is in El Dorado, Kansas, in Butler County. Marker is in the fenced outdoor Kansas Oil Museum exhibit area of the Butler County History Center. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 383 East Central Avenue (US 54), El Dorado KS 67042, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kansas Oil Museum (here, next to this marker); Mrs. Addie Cowley Bradley (a few steps from this marker); Steel Oil Derrick / 1930's Cable-Tool Drilling Rig (a few steps from this marker); Tool Rack (a few steps from this marker); Oil Field Lease House (within shouting distance of this marker); Pole Trailer (within shouting distance of this marker); Model K Star Spudder (within shouting distance of this marker); Alfred Washington Ellet (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in El Dorado.
Also see . . . Butler County History Center and Kansas Oil Museum. (Submitted on June 6, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 694 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 6, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.