[Four men on rig floor]




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Undated image of four men posing on rig floor. The hole is visible in the center foreground while a wheel is visible on the left background. PBPM 79-039.045.04 Inscription (on back): According to Billy Thomson Jr.*, this old "rag rope" (heavy Manila cable) rig was over a well in Kansas; so far as I know, or have reason to believe, no well in the Permian Basin was drilled by the use of "rag rope." There were a lot of old "rag rope" drillers in the Permian Basin who had drifted in from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and New York, viz. "Vinegar Bill" Irvin, father of Herbert "Bert" Irvin [Hall of Famer], H. P. ("Cap") Slagel [Hall of Famer], George Rinear, and many others, but by 1917, the wire line drilling cable had succeeded the old Manila "rag rope" line, but those old timers, including Frank Finegan, told me that they could "make a lot more hole" with the rag rope line because it had a lot more "spring" to it - but it was much easier to "jump" (shear) a pin (threaded end of a cable-tool percussion bit) because of the temptation to make too much hole too fast in hard formation such as "the big lime" underlying the Permian Basin. Identification of those in picture by Billy Thomson, Jr. * L-R: W. J. "Bill" Thomson; ?; R. G. ("Bob") Thomson, son of W. J.; and ?. October 19, 1979 Lee Jones, Jr. * W.W. Thomson - not a real "junior" inasmuch as his father was W. J. Thomson L. J.




The images in this collection are for study purposes, teaching, classroom projection and research only. To use these digital files in any form, an attribution of "Photo courtesy of The Petroleum Museum, Lee Jones, Jr. Collection" must accompany the image.