The Indiana gas boom

The Indiana gas boom was a period of active drilling and natural gas production at the Trenton gas field adjacent to the US state of Indiana and northwest Ohio. The boom began in the early 1880s and lasted into the early 20th century.


Natural gas was first discovered in Indiana in 1876. Coal miners in the town of Eaton were digging holes for coal. When they reached a depth of about 180 meters, there was a loud noise from the ground and a stench came up from the hole. The incident scared the miners. Some believed they had punched a hole in the ceiling of Hell. Block the hole and do not drill any more1

Indiana’s first commercial gas well was built in 1886 when George W. Carter, William W. Worthington, and Robert C. Bell hired Almeron H. Crannell to drill another well at Eaton’s. Crannell hit the gas at a depth of 922 feet (281 m). When the escaping gas ignites, the flames reach 10 feet in the air. Other gas wells were drilled, and in some cases, assuming that the gas could not be exhausted, they set fire to the leaking gas to signal their discovery. The resulting flame was called Torch 2.

Gas fever gripped the state and thousands of gas wells were built. Explorers discovered the gas field is the largest of three natural gas fields discovered to date, covering an area of ​​5,120 square miles (13,260.7391232 km2).

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