May 2, 1973: Well Drilling–Bring in the Jetting Machine

0502 Dayton Iowa Well DrillingMay 2, 1973: Bring in the Jetting Machine. Being a well driller himself, Wayne Tell of Tell Well Co., Dayton, Iowa, was intrigued when his local paper, the Dayton Review, ran this photo on May 2, 1973. He cut it out and saved it and now shares it with his fellow industry members. According to the newspaper account, the photo was taken between 1880 and 1890 and shows the work under way for the drilling of the town well by A. G. Olson’s Well Drilling Machinery. From the left are Adolph Anderson, Robert Anderson, an unidentified man, and Andrew Olson. If you look toward the center of the picture you’ll see something that looks like a giant corkscrew. Tell says it was called a ram’s horn and was used for rock removal. Tell believes that the drillers first tried using the auger machine on the left and when that proved unsuccessful, the jetting machine on the right was brought in to complete the job. The 5-inch diameter, 350-foot-deep well was used into the early ’30s at which time a new one was drilled to 1250 feet and is still in use today. Tell says the original well has been sealed.


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