Does your company have a retired rig sitting in a garage somewhere? Does your family have pictures of rigs your dad-or even grandfather-used decades ago? Send me the pictures.

If you have a classic rig you'd like to share, send me an email.

Like many people, I have a fascination with things from the past. They just have a neat-o factor that you don’t see when you look around today. A Chevy Volt is cool-and it certainly gets better mileage than a ’68 Chevelle-but which takes your breath away?
I’m not sure the feeling’s the same when it comes to old rigs. But, I like to think there’s an honor to the tools of the trade of yesteryear. They served drillers well, and deserve attention and awe in the same way the Chevelle does (even if they don’t demand it in the same way the Chevelle does). So, I’d like to find a place to pay tribute to those rigs.
I started thinking about this in February. John Schmitt was writing about cable tool fishing for our March issue, and I fished around for art to accompany his column. The picture I found was of an old rig, perhaps from the early 1960s. Also for March, we talked about Schroepfer Well Drilling’s 60th anniversary, and one of the pictures the family sent was of their first rig. An upcoming Porky column that talks about an early George E. Failing rig-now in a museum-solidified the idea: find whatever pictures of old rigs I can, and put them in one place for you, my readers, to enjoy.
So, send me pictures. I’m thinking of rigs dating to before the mid-1970s. If they’re in your family or company photo album, give them a quick scan and send them to If you have electronic versions already, send me those. Make them JPGs at least 300 dpi and at least 4 inches wide, so people can see them clearly. (If you need guidance on that, I might be able to help.) I’ll put the pictures together and publish as many as I get right here on the National Driller website. When you send them, please include a brief description of the photo. Tell me your company name, the names of any people in the photo, the make and model of the rig.
In other news, next week is the 85th Michigan Ground Water Association convention, and I’ll be there. I’ll roam the floor and attend sessions, so if you see me around, introduce yourself. I look forward to seeing you there.