Photograph album of Texas oil fields, 1919

Processed by Jane Carpenter with assistance from Simon Elliott; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2013
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Photograph album of Texas oil fields
Date (inclusive): 1919
Collection number: 94/56
Creator: Stephenson, J.W. (John Wesley), photographer.
Physical Description: 1 album (25 photographic prints) : gelatin silver, 22 x 30 cm (album)

Photographer identified in Library of Congress Catalog of copyright entries: Works of art.... v. 13-14

Photographs are backed with canvas.

Bound in canvas-backed plain brown paper covers; torn piece (40 x 80 mm) missing from top left corner of upper cover; covers secured with pieces of brown shoelace threaded through two sets of holes punched along spine.

Copyright date of 1919 on most photographs.

Spec. Coll. copy: in beige cloth clamshell box, with box title "Stephenson. Texas Oil."
Abstract: Album of 25 canvas-backed gelatin silver prints of Texas oil wells and oil workers taken during 1919 by J.W. Stephenson, a commercial photographer in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Photograph album of Texas oil fields (Collection 94/56). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 

Scope and Content

The album contains views of early Texas oil towns such as Burkburnett and Waggoner City (Ragtown), Texas, as well as the "highway" running through the Burk-Waggoner oil pool, along which a steady stream of horse-drawn wagons travelled, carrying equipment and supplies. Several of the photographs show oil gushing from a well, including the Texas Chief gusher, Burk Waggoner gusher, Golden Cycle gusher on fire (dated April 24, 1919), and spouting wells operated by Hill & Roberts, Motex, General Oil Co., and Arkansas-Texas Oil & Lease Co. Other photos depict workers operating the pipes filling huge barrels with oil--captioned "M&P Burk, Block 818," "Burk George southwest corner Blk. 818," "Lucinda Meadows Tract," and "Big Bob Brewer Block 84," while in other shots, workers oversee vast oil storage tanks in Thrift, and at the Parker Wells, or lay pipeline to the Burk Waggoner pool, Warrior Oil Company's Lucinda Meadows Tract, or Five Oil Company's Lilis Morgan Tract. A panoramic shot of oil wells operated by Motex Refining Company shows a landscape covered with hundreds of derricks, almost all in production. Shots of tanker cars at the rail station in Burkburnett, and rows of tankers sitting out in the fields by the pipelines, waiting to be filled document the importance of the railroad in transporting the oil. Finally, a group of workers poses on the platform at the base of a derrick, watching a torrent of oil gush from an open pipe into a canal in front of them, while a photographer at the side readies his camera.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Motex Refining Company.
Arkansas-Texas Oil & Lease Company.
General Oil Company.
Gushers --Texas --Photographs.
Oil fields --Texas --Photographs.
Oil fields --Equipment and supplies --Photographs.
Oil wells --Texas --Photographs.
Oil well drilling rigs --Texas --Photographs.
Oil storage tanks --Texas --Photographs.
Petroleum workers --Texas --Photographs.
Tank cars --Texas --Burkburnett --Photographs.
Wichita Falls (Tex.) --Photographs.
Burkburnett (Tex.) --Photographs.
Thrift (Tex.) --Photographs.
Waggoner City (Tex.) --Photographs.
Golconda (Tex.) --Photographs.

Genres and Forms of Material

Gelatin silver prints.
Photographic prints.
Photograph albums.

Related Material

Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.