19 Haunting Photos From The Golden Days Of The Texas Oil Boom

By the 1940s and 50s, a group of large corporations seized hold of the “Texas Oil Boom” — the state’s huge petroleum binge that began in the early 20th century with a few lucky roughnecks.
Oil had long been the lifeblood of the Texas economy by 1950, when the state housed 26,409 miles of crude oil trunk lines.

Like the generations before them, youngsters like George H.W. Bush journeyed to Texas to launch their auspicious oil careers — and soon became millionaires.

Thanks to the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University, we have some breathtaking classic photos of the golden era.

General American Tank Storage in Houston, 1938.

A General American Tank Storage worker

Three more

Schlumberger Well Surveying Corp in Houston, February 1948

Schlumberger workers in 1948

A Halliburton high-pressure pump, June 1940

Valve Manifold at Dock, July 19, 1957

Another worker

And the connecting dock hose

Here's a Gulf Oil Corporation plant in West Texas, December 3, 1956

A rig at the plant

And a worker

Men digging at the plant in 1956 or 1957

The Chicago Bridge & Iron 'spheroids' at Shell refinery, June 1940

'Petroleum Engineering,' June 1940

A Texas oil well fire in June 1938

Three men talk while an oil well fire burns in the background, June 1938

The geophysical department in the Houston office of Superior Oil Company, 1949

And a sulphur test at Gulf Oil Corp, 1956

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