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On this day: 01-10-1901

Texans strike oil

In the town of Beaumont, Texas, a 100-foot drilling derrick named Spindletop produced a roaring gusher of black crude oil. The oil strike took place at 10:30 a.m. on this day in 1901, coating the landscape for hundreds of feet around in sticky oil. The first major oil discovery in the United States, the Spindletop gusher marked the beginning of the American oil industry. Soon the prices of petroleum-based fuels fell, and gasoline became an increasingly practical power source. Without Spindletop, internal combustion might never have replaced steam and battery power as the automobile power plant of choice, and the American automobile industry might not have changed the face of America with such staggering speed. English inventor R.W. Thompson received a British patent for his new carriage wheels, which had inflated tubes of heavy rubber stretched around their rims--the world´s first pneumatic tires. They became popular on horse-drawn carriages, and later prevented the first motorcar passengers from being shaken to pieces.

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Yearmakemodel0-601/4 mileComment
1972HurstOldsmobile Cutlass 455ci/300hp 3spd6.80015.200Motor Trend
1970HurstChrysler 300 440ci/375hp 3spd auto7.10015.300Car Life
1969HurstAMC SC/Rambler 390ci/315hp 4spd6.30014.200Car Life
Yearmakemodel0-601/4 mileComment
1969HurstOldsmobile Cutlass 455ci/380hp 3spd auto6.20014.100Car Life
1968HurstOldsmobile Cutlass 455ci/390hp 3spd auto0.00013.770Speed & Supercar