The story of the discovery and harnessing of oil in Western Pennsylvania has needed an historian, and this story for young people dramatizes the feverish search, first for oil, then for a way to bring it successfully to the surface. By the 1850's men were acutely aware of its value, but their methods of extraction were primitive and inadequate. Colonel Drake, fanatic in his determination to solve the dual problem, was locally a laughing stock until his method of drilling, by use of a narrow vertical pipe, conclusively proved that he had found the answer. Though the fictional aspects of the story bring a Pennsylvania farm boy into a factual background, the interest and the drama center around the carefully researched true story. Lavinia Dobler, author of A Business of Their Own and Glass House at Jamestown was the 1957 winner of the Dodd, Mead Librarian Award.