9. Energy From the Sun
A Radio Talk by Charles F. Kettering
Recently when I mentioned the
important part rubber played in the war, I was not unmindful of the
equally great contribution petroleum made to our air and motor
Petroleum was first developed to produce kerosene for home lighting.
Before that time only very wealthy people could afford to stay up after
dark. And New England whalers sailed the seven seas to get sperm oil
for lamps. People laboriously hand-dipped candles, and Lincoln
read by the light of a rude fireplace. So important was the need
for oil that in looking for sources which could supply kerosene,
petroleum was found quite satisfactory. But the quantity was small
Drake, a former conductor on the New York, New Haven and Hartford
Railroad, came to Titusville, Pennsylvania, to search for oil. He
had a new idea - instead of collecting oil in small quantities,
wherever he could find it, he intended to drill an oil well. After
many failures he finally struck oil, and August 1859 dated the beginning of a
new mechanical age. Drake's enterprise had started a great new
Three years after the first successful
well, two million barrels of oil a year were being produced.
Incidentally, we now use more than this amount every day.