Big Inch and Little Big Inch Pipelines
The demand for crude oil and products by civilians and the military grew as World War II drew near, forcing the development of "BigInch" steel pipe (larger than 12 inches in diameter).
The Big Inch and Little Big Inch pipelines (Inch Lines) were constructed in 1942-1943 for the United States government by War Emergency Pipelines, Inc. (WEP). The purpose of these pipelines was to transport crude oil and refined petroleum products from the Gulf Coast region to refining and distribution areas near New York City and Philadelphia.
The Inch Lines served as alternatives to tanker deliveries, which had experienced major disruption because of attacks by German submarines. In early 1947, the Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation purchased the Inch Lines from the U.S. government as "war surplus property".