Mark Clark wrote:
"... At any rate, if the tunnel was ever finished, John Henry's drill can't still be stuck in the last hole he made."
(1) Sure it could, if the hole being drilled was for a contest held outside the construction area, which is where the drill was in 1930 (and may still be).
(2) Others have spoken of the horizontal angle at which the drill was held. My information is that it was held that way *sometimes*. Holes were drilled at all angles, from straight down to straight up and points in between. The early steam drills could only drill straight down. A contest between one of these and a hand driller would likely have involved straight down holes. The drill sticking in the rock outside the east portal of Oak Mountain Tunnel, Shelby County, AL, is in such a hole.