Oil Industry Photograph Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Oil Industry Photograph Collection
Call Number: MS 88-30
Size: 1.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from Hal Ottaway
Processed by: RL, 5-1-1986; JEF, 3-25-1998; MN, 1-30-2015
Note: Digital collection, Oil Industry Photograph Collection
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The Oil Industry Photograph Collection contains 467 photographs of various oil industry activities in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. These photographs date from 1924 to 1929 and show such equipment and activities as derricks, cellars and runways, pumps, production methods, housekeeping, publicity, safety and fires. Originally held in a small three-ring notebook, the photographs are affixed to sheets of paper onto which descriptions have been typed or written by an unknown author.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Box 1 Photographs accompanied by manuscript and typescript descriptions by an unknown author document oil industry equipment, activities and practices of the mid 1920s in Kansas, California, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, New York and Ohio. Originally held in a small three-ring notebook, the 265 photographs in Box 1 are affixed to sheets of paper onto which descriptions have been typed or written. The photographs show derricks, cellars, ladders, tanks, runways, pumps, machine shops, oil field camps, production methods, fires, unsafe practices and exhibits on safety and recent industry developments. Companies mentioned are Standard Oil Company (California), Empire Oil and Fuel Company, Hope Natural Gas Company, Midwest Refining Company, Marland Oil Company, Phillips Petroleum Company, Mid-Kansas Oil Company, Sinclair Companies, Watchorn Oil Company, Skelly Refinery and Humble Oil and Refining Company. Locations in Kansas include Oil Hill, Madison Trend, Rainbow Bend, El Dorado, Peabody, Elbing, Seeley Pool, Thrall and Greenwood County. Locations identified in California are Maricopa, Huntington Beach, Wheeler Ridge and Baldwin Hills. Specific locations in Oklahoma include Tonkawa, Cromwell, Bartlesville, Ada, Burbank, Carter 9 Camp, Tulsa and Osage Hills. Specific locations in Texas include Borger, Goose Creek, Big Lake, Powell, Wortham and oil well Prairie Johnson A. Identified locations in Pennsylvania include Bradford, Titusville and Ebensburg. Other identified locations are Smackover, Arkansas; Bolivar, New York; Volcano, West Virginia; Parkersburg, West Virginia; Midwest, Wyoming; Marietta, Ohio and Lebanon, Ohio. The majority of the people in the photographs are not identified. Named persons are W. V. Vietti, W. P. Yant, H. P. Ray, Morgan Walker, T. W. Johnson, William Skirvin, W. B. Berwald and "Childs." Credited photographers are A. J. Leonard, Gilfillan, V. Hayslip and Griggs Studio. Several images were taken during the filming of motion pictures "Live and Let Live!" and "S.O.S." produced by the United States Bureau of Mines. Educational exhibits of the U.S. Bureau of Mines are photographed at Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, and at the 1924 and 1925 International Petroleum Exposition and Congress in Tulsa. Of note are several photographs of Colonel Edwin L. Drake’s well where he first struck oil in 1859 near Titusville, Pennsylvania, and the monument erected there in 1924 by the Canadohta Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Box 2   Photographs accompanied by manuscript and typescript descriptions by an unknown author document oil industry equipment, activities and practices of the mid 1920s in Kansas, California, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Originally held in a small three-ring notebook, the 202 photographs in Box 2 are affixed to sheets of paper onto which descriptions have been typed or written. The photographs show derricks, draw works guards, ladders, tanks, earthen reservoirs, salvage yards, hoists, pumps, fires, fire equipment, horse-drawn teams, oil field camps, fly wheels, bull wheels, portable and permanent electric power transformers, unsafe practices, first aid simulations, safety equipment, first aid contests and the United States Bureau of Mines mine rescue car. Companies mentioned are Standard Oil Company (California), Empire Oil and Fuel Company, Hope Natural Gas Company, Mid-Kansas Oil Company, Shell Oil Company, Skelly Refinery, General Petroleum Company, Carter Oil Company, Humble Oil and Refining Company, Indian Refinery and Roxana Petroleum Corporation. Locations in Kansas include Oil Hill, Rainbow Bend, El Dorado, Thrall, Pittsburg and Greenwood County. Locations identified in California are Santa Fe Springs, Taft, Maricopa, Huntington Beach, Wheeler Ridge and Baldwin Hills. Specific locations in Texas include Borger, Goose Creek, Powell and Wortham. Other identified locations are Tulsa, Oklahoma; Bradford, Pennsylvania; Volcano, West Virginia; Charlesburg, West Virginia; Midwest, Wyoming; Lawrenceville, Illinois; and Lebanon, Ohio. People in the images are not identified with the exception of U.S. Bureau of Mines personnel C. E. Saxon and Clyde Sheridan. Credited photographers are A. J. Leonard, F. Colton, Colburn and H.C.F. Films. Many images depicting unsafe practices and simulated field scenarios were taken during the filming of motion pictures “Story of a Rotary-Drilled Oil Well,” "S.O.S." and "Live and Let Live!" produced by the United States Bureau of Mines. Educational exhibits of the U.S. Bureau of Mines concerning safety and industry best practices are photographed at the International Petroleum Exposition and Congress of 1924 and 1925 held in Tulsa. Views of the interior and exterior of the U.S. Bureau of Mines' mine rescue car no. 8 used for training and education are included. Of note are images of first aid contests held in 1925 at newly constructed football stadium at Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg, Kansas, and at the International Petroleum Exposition and Congress in Tulsa.