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Historic Photos of Texas Oil

Historic Photos of Texas Oil

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Historic Photos of Texas Oil

Longueur:
212 pages
53 minutes
Sortie:
Aug 1, 2009
ISBN:
9781618584311
Format:
Livre

Description

On January 10, 1901, near Beaumont, Texas, an unremarkable knoll of earth the world would soon call Spindletop shot a geyser of oil a hundred feet into the air, confirming the belief of Pattillo Higgins that black gold lay buried there. The Texas oil industry had begun in earnest, and neither Texas nor the world would ever be the same. In the years to come, Texas oil would fuel the nation’s automobiles and help to bring victory to the Allies in both world wars, shaping America’s destiny throughout the twentieth century. Join author and historian Mike Cox in this photographic visit to the heyday of Texas crude as he recounts the stories of key oil-patch discoveries around the state. Nearly 200 images in vivid black-and-white, with captions and introductions, offer a roughneck-close look at this uniquely American tale of dry holes and gushers, ragtowns and riches, boomtowns, blowouts, and wildcatters gone broke.
Sortie:
Aug 1, 2009
ISBN:
9781618584311
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

The 2010 recipient of the A.C. Greene Award for lifetime achievement, Mike Cox is the author of twenty-one nonfiction books. An award-winning former journalist and longtime freelance writer, he lives in Fredericksburg, Texas, and is a spokesperson for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


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Aperçu du livre

Historic Photos of Texas Oil - Mike Cox

HISTORIC PHOTOS OF

TEXAS OIL

TEXT AND CAPTIONS BY MIKE COX

Panorama of the Ranger oil field photographed May 14, 1919.

HISTORIC PHOTOS OF

TEXAS OIL

Turner Publishing Company

200 4th Avenue North • Suite 950

Nashville, Tennessee 37219

(615) 255-2665

www.turnerpublishing.com

Historic Photos of Texas Oil

Copyright © 2009 Turner Publishing Company

All rights reserved.

This book or any part thereof may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2009921194

ISBN-13: 978-1-59652-531-3

Printed in China

09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16—0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

PREFACE

EARLY OIL (1880–1910)

NORTH TEXAS (1911–1921)

WEST TEXAS (1926–1940S)

EAST TEXAS (1915–1960S)

NOTES ON THE IMAGES

The J. S. Cullinan and Company refinery, which began distilling crude oil in 1898. Corsicana city fathers had lured Cullinan to Texas from the Pennsylvania oil field. His company, capitalized at $100,000, built tanks, pipelines, and the refinery.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This volume, Historic Photos of Texas Oil, is the result of the cooperation and efforts of many individuals, organizations, and corporations. It is with great thanks that we acknowledge the valuable contribution of the following for their generous support:

———————

With the exception of touching up imperfections that have accrued with the passage of time and cropping where necessary, no changes have been made. The focus and clarity of many images is limited by the technology and the ability of the photographer at the time they were taken.

PREFACE

In July 1919, a young newspaperman from Fort Worth stuck a red two-cent stamp upside down on a foldout postcard containing 26 images of the wild and woolly boom town of Ranger and mailed it to his wife. The Future Oil Metropolis of Texas, the smiling Mr. Sun on the card’s cover proclaimed. Business Opportunities? Yes! Work? Plenty!

Indeed, the light of prosperity shined brightly on Texas that distant summer. The McCleskey Number 1 had blown in near Ranger 21 months earlier, triggering a boom that made news all over the world. Not only that, Texas oil had just helped the United States and her allies defeat Germany in the First World War.

The journalist who rented a hotel room in Eastland County to serve as his home away from home while covering the oil boom was my late grandfather, L. A. Wilke. I still have that souvenir he bought for a quarter to send to my grandmother, who was staying with her mother in San Angelo for as long as my granddad had to be in the oil patch. I’m sure it never occurred to my grandparents that 90 years later, I would be using some of the postcard’s public domain images.

Just as my maternal grandfather had gone to the oil fields as a reporter, my other grandfather, Luther McNeil, came to the Panhandle boom town of Borger in 1926 to hire on as a roughneck. Back on the Wilke side of my family, Granddad’s uncle, Marshall L. Johnson, an old buffalo hunter turned cowboy turned printer, had spent some time in the southeast Texas oil field in 1901 hoping to cash in on the nascent petroleum industry. But my oil field heritage is not unique. Hundreds of thousands of people made money off Texas oil during the boom years. Or tried to.

The story of Texas from its first settlement through the twentieth century can be boiled down to three words: Cotton, cattle, and oil. But it was the discovery of huge quantities of oil in the Spindletop field near Beaumont in 1901 that not only transformed Texas, it changed the world. Though the oil industry is still a big part of what makes Texas, the first half of the twentieth century was oil’s golden era—a rollicking time of fortunes made and fortunes lost, of gushers and dry holes, boom towns and ghost towns. Oil spawned Texas’ industrial development, revolutionized transportation, led to the urbanization of the state, helped birth the conservative movement, and made the University of Texas one of the richest institutions of higher learning in the world. Oil also made rich many men and women who eventually saw fit to reinvest in their state by donating some of their fortunes for college buildings, hospitals, libraries, art museums, and assorted other philanthropies.

Beyond all that, the oil industry shaped the world’s perception of Texas. The wheeler-dealer type became a Texas icon, right up there with the cowboy. From the 1940 Clark Cable movie Boom Town

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