Among the very first, if not the first, pipe lines laid was one put down between the Sherman well and the railway terminus on the Miller farm. It was about 3 miles long, and designed by a Mr. Hutchinson; he had an exaggerated idea of the pressure to be exercised, and at intervals of 50 to 100 feet he set up air chambers 10 inches in diameter. The weak point in this line, however, proved to be the joints; the pipes were of cast iron, and the joint-leakage was so great that little, if any, oil ever reached the end of the line, and the scheme was abandoned in despair.
In connection with this question of oil transportation, a sketch of the various methods, other than pipelines, adopted in Pennsylvania may not be out of place. We are mainly indebted to Mr. S.F. Peckham, in his article on "Petroleum and its Products" in the U. S. Census Report of 1880, for the information relating to tank-cars immediately following:
Originally the oil was carried in 40 and 42 gallon barrels, made of oak and hooped with iron; early in 1866, or possibly in 1865, tank-cars were introduced. These were at first ordinary flat-cars upon which were placed two wooden tanks, shaped like tubs, each holding about 2,000 gallons.
On the rivers, bulk barges were also, after a time, introduced on the Ohio and Allegheny; at first these were rude affairs, and often of inadequate strength; but as now built they are 130 x 22 x 16 feet, in their general dimensions, and divided into eight compartments, with water-tight bulkheads; they hold about 2,200 barrels.
In 1871 iron-tank cars superseded those of wood, with tanks of varying sizes, ranging from 3,856 to 5,000 gallons each. These tanks were cylinders, 24 feet 6 inches long, and 66 inches in diameter, and weighed about 4,500 lb. The heads are made of 5/46 in. flange iron, the bottom of ½ in., and the upper half of the shell of 3/16 in. tank iron.
In October, 1865, the Oil Transportation Co. completed and tested a pipe-line 32,000 feet long; three pumps were used upon it, two at Pithole and one at Little Pithole. July 1, 1876, the pipe-line owners held a meeting at Parkers to organize a pipe-line company to extend to the seaboard under the charter of the Pennsylvania Transportation Co., but the scheme was never carried out. In January, 1878, the Producers' Union organized for a similar seaboard line, and laid pipes, but they never reached the sea, stopping their line at Tamanend, Pa. The lines of the National Transit Co., illustrated in our map, were completed in 1880-81, and this company, to which the United Pipe Lines have also been transferred, is said to have $15,000,000 invested in plant for the transport of oil to tide water.
The National Transit Co. was organized under what was called the Pennsylvania Co. act, about four years ago, and succeeded to the properties of the American Transit Co., a corporation operating under the laws of Pennsylvania. Since its organization the first named company has constructed and now owns the following systems:
The line from Olean, N.Y., to Bayonne, N.J., and to Brooklyn, N.Y., of which a full page profile is given, showing the various pumping stations and the undulations over its route of about 300 miles. The Pennsylvania line, 280 miles long, from Colegrove, Pa., to Philadelphia. The Baltimore line, 70 miles long, from Millway, Pa., to Baltimore. The Cleveland line, 100 miles long, from Hilliards, Pa., to Cleveland, O. The Buffalo line, 70 miles long, from Four Mile, Cattaraugus County, N.Y., to Buffalo, and the line from Carbon Center, Butler County, Pa., to Pittsburg, 60 miles in length. This amounts to a total of 880 miles of main pipe-line alone, ranging from 4 inches to 6 inches in diameter; or, adding the duplicate pipes on the Olean New York line, we have a round total of 1,330 miles, not including loops and shorter branches and the immense network of the pipes in the oil regions proper.
A general description of the longest line will practically suffice for all, as they differ only in diameter of pipe used and power of the pumping plant. As shown on the map and profile, this long line starts at Olean, near the southern boundary of New York State, and proceeds by the route indicated to tide water at Bayonne, N.J., and by a branch under the North and East rivers and across the upper end of New York city to the Long Island refineries. This last named pipe is of unusual strength, and passes through Central Park; few of the thousands who daily frequent the latter spot being aware of the yellow stream of crude petroleum that is constantly flowing beneath their feet. The following table gives the various pumping stations on this Olean New York line, and some data relating to distances between stations and elevations overcome:
|----------------------------------------------------------------| | | | | Greatest | | | | | Summit | | | Miles | Elevation | between | | | between | above Tide. | Stations. | | Pumping Stations. | Stations. | Ft. | Ft. | |______________________|___________|________________|____________| | Olean | -- | 1,490 | -- | | Wellsville | 28.20 | 1,510 | 2,490 | | Cameron | 27.91 | 1,042 | 2,530 | | West Junction | 29.70 | 911 | 1,917 | | Catatonk | 27.37 | 869 | 1,768 | | Osborne | 27.99 | 1,092 | 1,539 | | Hancock | 29.86 | 922 | 1,873 | | Cochecton | 26.22 | 748 | 1,854 | | Swartwout | 28.94 | 475 | 1,478 | | Newfoundland | 29.00 | 768 | 1,405 | | Saddle River | 28.77 | 35 | 398 | |______________________|___________|________________|____________|
On this line two six-inch pipes are laid the entire length, and a third six-inch pipe runs between Wellsville and Cameron, and about half way between each of the other stations, "looped" around them. The pipe used for the transportation of oil is especially manufactured to withstand the great strain to which it will be subjected, the most of it being made by the Chester Pipe and Tube Works, of Chester, Pa., the Allison Manufacturing Co., of Philadelphia and the Penna. Tube Works, of Pittsburg, Pa. It is a lap-welded, wrought-iron pipe of superior material, and made with exceeding care and thoroughly tested at the works. The pipe is made in lengths of 18 feet, and these pieces are connected by threaded ends and extra strong sleeves. The pipe-thread and sleeves used on the ordinary steam and water pipe are not strong enough for the duty demanded of the oil-pipe. The socket for a 4-inch steam or water pipe is from 2½ to to 2¾ inches long, and is tapped with 8 standard threads to the inch, straight or parallel to the axis of the pipe; with this straight tap only three or four threads come in contact with the socket threads, or in any way assist in holding the pipes together.
In the oil-pipe, the pipe ends and sockets are cut on a taper of ¾ inch to 1 foot, for a 4-inch pipe, and the socket used is thicker than the steam and water socket, is 3¾ inches long, and has entrance for 1 5/8 inches of thread on each pipe end tapped with 9 standard threads to the inch. In this taper socket you have iron to iron the whole length of the thread, and the joint is perfect and equal by test to the full strength of the pipe. Up to 1877 the largest pipe used on the oil lines was 4-inch, with the usual steam thread, but the joints leaked under the pressure, 1,200 pounds to the square inch being the maximum the 8-thread pipe would stand. This trouble has been remedied by the 9-thread, taper-cut pipe of the present day, which is tested at the mill to 1,500 pounds pressure, while the average duty required is 1,200 pounds; as the iron used in the manufacture of this line-pipe will average a tensile test strain of 55,000 pounds per square inch, the safety factor is thus about one-sixth.
PROFILE SHOWING NATIONAL TRANSIT CO.'S
PIPE-LINE, FROM OLEAN TO SADDLE RIVER.