This Is What An Oil Boom Town Looks Like After It's Gone Bust

Gwen Sharp

Photo: Gwen Sharp

Some parts of America benefit from economic booms driven by a surges in certain industries.North Dakota is thriving as the shale energy boom has caused unemployment rates to collapse and incomes to surge.

We’ve looked back to see how America’s oil boom towns used to be. 

But what happens when the boom fizzles?

Three years ago, Gwen Sharp, a professor of sociology at Nevada State and editor of the sociology blog The Society Pages, visited towns in Oklahoma where the country’s first oil boom had long dried up.   

With her permission, we present her narrated guide to the country’s oldest rust belt. 

Bartlesville was once a prosperous industrial centre in Oklahoma.

In 1917, the Federal Bureau of Mines accepted the city's offer to establish its petroleum research lab.

Source: DOE

For nearly a century, Bartlesville was home of Phillips 66 oil company.

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