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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

has useful maps and well-chosen illustrations, gives a fascinating exam-
ple of how history is made.
Dallas, Texas WAYNE GARD
Early Texas Oil: A Photographic History, 1866-1936. By Walter Run-
dell, Jr. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1977. Pp.
260. Bibliography, index. $19.50.)
Pictures from the oilfields, other than those handed out by major
company public relations departments, are relatively rare. That makes
this handsome, well-printed volume (Number i of The Montague
History of Oil Series) particularly welcome. It's perfect for the coffee
table-it's now on mine-and is useful to the professional historian in
providing a view of life in the oilfields from the 189os, when the Corsi-
cana field was the biggest thing in Texas, until the 1930s, when the
East Texas field was tamed.
The 328 photographs reproduced in the book are practically all
contemporary and include spewing gushers, fires, and teeming crowds,
photos of early oilmen and property owners enriched by oil, tankers
that took the oil from Texas, well "shooters" delivering their nitro-
glycerin torpedoes, the oil exchanges that sprang up with the booms,
the inevitable jammed streets and trains, as well as pipeline crews
(often overlooked) and tank trucks and filling stations so essential to
the marketing of petroleum products. Only a few of the pictures are
likely to have been seen before: such as F. J. Trost's 19ol photograph
of the Spindletop discovery well's blowing its top and the one in 1930
of C. M. "Dad" Joiner, A. D. "Doc" Lloyd, H. L. Hunt et al. gathered
expectantly by the Daisy Bradford No. 3 in the gigantic East Texas
To put this together, former Goose Creek resident Walter Rundell,
Jr., now professor of history at the University of Maryland, scoured
photographic holdings at academic archives such as those of the Univer-
sity of Texas at Austin and Texas Tech, the Permian Basin Petroleum
Museum, the Texas State Archives, the Houston Public Library, the
Library of Congress, the American Petroleum Institute, major oil
companies, and Texas newspapers. The result is a collection that has
long been needed.
As a book of photography as well as a pictorial history, however,
the text might have contained more about some of the photographers,
such as Trost of Port Arthur, and the photographs following the


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 81, July 1977 - April, 1978. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed April 30, 2016.

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