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

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
James M. Townsend
Lloyd Corrigan ...
Doctor Brewer
Joel D. Angier
George Henry Bissell
Hotel Desk Clerk
William 'Bill' Phillips ...
Sam Brown
Salt Driller
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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

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

A Corporate Video
20 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

There isn't much to commend this corporate video apart from the fact that Vincent Price is in it, and the only reason that it has stood the test of time internationally is for the same reason. The story is of very little interest to those who live outside of the place that this is set, and has no real international appeal. Vincent Price's appearance in the film adds nothing to the value of the story, but his name on the credit sheet means that the corporate video will be handed down for posterity because of Vincent Price's appearance. Corporate videos are not known for their storytelling values because they are meant to be informative for those within the corporation. Vincent Price fans would do well to stay away from this corporate video as it does not come anywhere near the quality of Science Fiction Theatre.

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