Drake, Edwin Laurentine, 1819–80, American oil well driller, b. Greene co., N.Y. In 1858 he was employed to conduct drilling operations and on Aug. 27, 1859, he struck oil near Titusville, Pa., at a depth of 69 ft (21.1 m). Drake's was the first producing oil well in the United States.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.