Elko Zelker (right) at the first Telaga Said oil well. Photo: Historical Heritage and Archives
The story goes that during an inspection trip to a tobacco field in Sumatra, Elko Zelker was attacked by a tropical thunderstorm. As he sought refuge in a tobacco hut, his gaze fell upon the torch of the supervisor beside him. He asked him what kind of wood the torch was made of. He suspects it must have a lot of resin in it, or else it won’t give off much light. The supervisor tells him that the torch has been submerged in “earth wax,” which flows from below in many places in the area.
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