OTIS A. SINGLETARY, Editor
History of Humble Oil and Refining Company, A Study in In-
dustrial Growth. By Henrietta M. Larson and Kenneth Wig-
gins Porter. New York (Harper & Brothers). Pp. 769. Illus-
This is an outstanding contribution to the authentic literature
dealing with the oil industry in the United States and particu-
larly in Texas. The result of more than a decade of research and
work, this book is replete with excellent pictures, charts, and
tables, and is also a source of biographical information concern-
ing key men in the company. It is "a human story, of managers
and men at work" as it traces the growth of the company and,
to a certain extent, that of the oil industry decade by decade.
No effort was spared to make the work historically accurate
from beginning to end, and the untold hours of research are
apparent even to the most casual reader, and a most complete
set of bibliographical notes not only authenticates facts but also
facilitates further research by anyone desiring to engage in it.
As the story opens, it touches briefly on the birth of the oil
industry in Texas at Corsicana and then carries the reader, with
the growing industry, through the days of Spindletop, the early
Gulf Coast, and North Texas to 1917 and shows where and how
the men who then formed Humble had fitted into the early pic-
ture of the oil industry prior to the time they combined the
various groups of properties into "an aggregation of successful
but relatively small oil producers with ambitions to form a large
integrated corporation." It also points out that "their common
problems and opportunities in 1916 provided the motivation, and
Farish the initiating leadership."
After being chartered on March 17, 1917, and becoming a legal
entity on June 21, 1917, the company laid exceedingly sound
foundations for its future growth; they are reflected in small
refineries, casinghead gasoline plants, plans drawn and a site
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/. Accessed May 24, 2016.