Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The doodlebugs

with one comment

Divining rod

Charismatic prospectors did not consistently succeed at finding oil, but they proved adaptable and devised new methods when their authority waned. When clairvoyance and dreams failed to produce oil or convince investors to part with their money, some prospectors began to employ a variety of oil-finding devices such as divining rods. The divining rod and other devices with a more sophisticated appearance acquired the name of doodlebug, which applied to either the apparatus itself or the person using it…

Like a blind man surveying the terrain with a cane, the most successful doodlebug prospectors also surveyed the landscape, and this activity cultivated within them an instinct for recognizing changes in topography and vegetation that indicated the presence of oil…Successful prospectors cultivated an intuition or knack for finding oil by surveying the environment and the doodlebug device may have facilitated that process.

Brian Frehner, Finding Oil: The Nature of Petroleum Geology 1859-1920

Written by nevalalee

June 1, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. so is a doodlebug the divining rod ?

    Deb Witte

    September 16, 2019 at 6:14 am

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