January 12, 1926 – Texans patent Ram-Type Blowout Preventer

Seeking to end dangerous and wasteful oil gushers, James Abercrombie and Harry Cameron received a patent for a hydraulic ram-type blowout preventer. Petroleum companies embraced the new technology, which the inventors improved in the 1930s. Their concept used rams — hydrostatic pistons — to close on the drill stem and form a seal against the well pressure. Abercrombie had taken his idea for the ram-type preventer to Cameron’s machine shop in Humble, Texas, where the two men sketched out details on the sawdust floor.

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