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Piney Woods; 1932

From the Texas Archives On the Moving Image; Sloane collection. Click to view, appx. 6 minutes, no sound.

No information about the film, sadly, and nothing I have in my collection, or have ever seen before. I place this early 1930's in East Texas or Louisiana. If this were a Myron or Floyd Kinley job I would have the film; I do not. I think this may actually be H.L. 'Pat' Patton and his family, along with a host of volunteers. The film was not spliced properly, it goes from late in the fire to early, back to late, this from the level of debris still around the well from the rig, including a draw-works, another reason I put this even early 1930's and along the Gulf Coast.

Its a hot fire as no body can stand to be around it very long and workers are being shifted in and out. Water being sprayed is from steam boilers with little pressure. Once the men can get close enough to set up their tin shields they can be seen throwing dirt up under the tin and giving them more relief. More relief allows them to get more water into the well and numerous times they just about get the fire out.

They finally do and are then able to stand on the earthen levee and spray water to keep the well head cool. The casing stub is leaned over, bent when the rig fell most likely.

Patton often avoided glycerin shots to blow fires out, or blow damaged well head off wells as his background was not in shooting torpedoes, like Kinley, or Tex Thornton's was.

Anyway, the fires gets flooded out and film ends. Pity. Now the fun starts. In oil well firefighting the easy part is getting the fire out. The difficult, dangerous part comes when capping the still blowing well.


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