Houston History: Howard Hughes Sr., the Houstonian that changed the oil industry

Howard R. Hughes Sr.
Howard R. Hughes Sr. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Meet Howard Robard Hughes Sr., the man that changed the oil industry.

Born in Lancaster, Missouri and raised in Keokuk, Iowa, Hughes would follow his father steps in becoming a lawyer. However, he changed his career path and ventured into the lead and zinc-mining industry.

It wasn’t until 1901 when Hughes arrived in the Lone Star state with the discovery of Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas.

Howard R. Hughes Sr. (KPRC)

At the time, many drilling companies had a difficult time getting through underground rock formations to drill oil.

All of that change in 1906 when Hughes and his partner Walter Sharp began designing and experimenting with drilling.

Sharp and Hughes began testing their new drilling technology at Goose Creek, outside Houston. The tool was a success and “fishtail” rotary drills would become part of the past.