Born in Freedom: The Story of Colonel Drake (1954)

 |  Drama, Short  |  29 March 1954 (USA)
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In 1857 Edwin L. Drake is sent to investigate an oil seep in a creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania. After conferring with Dr. Brewer (the land owner) and Joel D. Angier (who devised a ... See full summary »


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Cast overview:
Colonel Edwin L. Drake
Uncle Billy Smith
Crew Foreman
Thurston Hall ...
James M. Townsend
Lloyd Corrigan ...
Doctor Brewer
Joel D. Angier
Keith Richards ...
George Henry Bissell
Al Bridge ...
Hotel Desk Clerk
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Sam Brown
William Haade ...
Salt Driller
Jack Ingram ...
Man on Horseback


In 1857 Edwin L. Drake is sent to investigate an oil seep in a creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania. After conferring with Dr. Brewer (the land owner) and Joel D. Angier (who devised a method of collecting oil using baffles), Drake reports back to James M. Townsend (Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company, New Haven, Conn.) that it should be feasible to increase the yield beyond the 3 to 6 gallons a day Angier has obtained. Put in charge, and addressed by the courtesy title of "Colonel" by the company, Drake first tries to dig down to the source of the oil and is heckled for his efforts. Water entry causes failure, as it does to Drake's first attempts to drill to the oil with Billy Smith ("Uncle Billy"), an experienced salt driller. Overcoming many other obstacles, Drake's innovation to shield the well from water entry by using a drive pipe finally allows drilling to proceed until striking oil in August, 1859. His perseverance yields many barrels of oil a day, and immediately brings about the ... Written by Brian Greenhalgh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Short





Release Date:

29 March 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of Colonel Drake  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)


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Did You Know?


The first color program showed on the DuMont television network. See more »


Joel D. Angier: I don't care what you think, mister. There's no way to increase that oil. I've tried every way there is and most of it still gets away. SO I'm telling ya, there just ain't no way.
Colonel Edwin L. Drake: I think it is possible.
Joel D. Angier: To increase the quantity of the oil?
Doctor Brewer: And collect enough to make it commercially practical?
Colonel Edwin L. Drake: Yes. It may take time. But a way can, and will be, found.
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User Reviews

Historically accurate account of the birth of the oil industry
10 August 2002 | by (titusville,pa.) – See all my reviews

As a resident of the town depicted in this movie, I can vouch for its accuracy. For some reason, you only list Vincent Price in the cast. There were several well known character actors of the period who made appearances: Alan Hale Jr.,Andy Clyde, Will Wright and a couple of others whose names don't come to mind. The movie is shown daily in the Drake Well Museum.

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