The Oil Wells of Spindle Top - an Oil Region Near Beaumont, Texas

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
This is the way the oil fields look in various sections of the United States. The derricks or towers that you see are built to bore the wells. The cottages in the foreground are dwelling places of the families of the men who are engaged in drilling and in operating the machinery. Beyond the 7 derricks in the foreground is a great mass of towers. This gives you an idea of the extent of this particular oil region, and also how closely together the oil wells are sunk. Petroleum in recent years has become one of our most important minerals. It has partially taken the place of coal in driving machinery. Many ships now burn petroleum instead of coal because not so much room is required to store the fuel for voyages. The development of the automobile, with its demand for gasoline, has wonderfully increased the petroleum industry. In many places, too, coal is very scarce, so that petroleum is cheaper. Formerly the chief use of petroleum was for lighting purposes. Before the time of "coal oil," candles made of tallow or of grease furnished light. In cities and towns in most parts of the country, electric and gas lights have taken the place of coal oil lamps. The United States leads all other countries of the world in the production of petroleum. In 1914 the United States produced 265,762,535 barrels of 42 gallons each. Russia stood second, with 67,500,000 barrels, or 1/4 of that of the United States. California led all other states, with almost 100,000,000 barrels; Oklahoma ranked second, with almost 74,000,000 barrels; Illinois, third, with 22,000,000; and Texas, fourth with 20,000,000 barrels. Keystone ID: 20054 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.