In 1915, a tropical storm dropped nearly 11 inches of rain on St. Louis in just 17 hours, causing a devastating flood. Claiming 11 lives and the homes of 1,025 families, the flood focused public and government attention onto the problems of the river.
The drilling of this oil well marks the modern phase of the petroleum industry. A series of revolutionary technological changes, unforeseen even by the most prophetic, followed. Drake demonstrated practical oil recovery by applying salt-well drilling techniques, including the use of the derrick, and invented the modern method of driving iron pipe.