Kern County is one of the top oil producing areas in the United States. Four oil fields in Kern County have each produced over one billion barrels of oil.Cable - Tool Drilling RigThis authentic reconstruction of a cable-tool drilling rig, such as was used by Kern County operators at the turn of the century, is emblematic of the ingenuity of American enterprise. It is also a memorial to those pioneers who, by logic and application, overcame the problems of their time, and gave strength and stability to a great and growing institution.
In 1899, the discovery of oil on land near the Kern River started an oil boom. The oil boom resulted in the construction of hundreds of wooden derricks north of Bakersfield over the next few years.
A cable tool drilling rig uses a cable or rope to raise and lower a large metal drill bit. The drill bit pounds on the ground breaking up soil and rock digging a cylindrical tube or well into the earth.
The Petroleum Production Pioneers, in cooperation with numerous oil companies and volunteers, constructed this replica of a cable tool drilling rig on the grounds of the museum in 1957.
[A second marker:]
Petroleum is one of the world's most valuable resources. By modern processes it is transformed into endless commodities that add to the convenience and comfort of mankind. It has brought immeasurable benefit to the citizens and industries of the San Joaquin Valley.
This cable-tool rig very fittingly represents an important era in the evolution of oilwell drilling techniques and, hence, an equally important era in the history of Kern County.
Dedicated May 4, 1957
Petroleum Production Pioneers
Kern County Museum Oil Committee
Kern County Board of Supervisors