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Inventory of the John Elbert Elliott papers 1901-1980
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Collection Summary

    Title: John Elbert Elliott papers
    Date (inclusive): 1901-1980
    Creator: Elliott, John Elbert, 1887-1980.
    Collection Number: 81095
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Language of Material: English
    Collection Size: 53 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes (26.4 linear feet)
    Abstract: Includes letters, photographs, clippings, printed matter, and memorabilia of an American oil geologist, engineer, and entrepreneur.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John Elbert Elliott papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1981.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Related Materials

    Arthur A. Cervi miscellany, Hoover Institution Archives
    Charles H. White papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical Note

    1887 Born, Bozeman, Montana
    1897 Moved to the Monterey and Salinas area of California
    1906 Graduated from Monterey High School
    1907 Member, Western Pacific Railway survey party in the Feather River Canyon
    1911-1912 Chief statistician, Associated Oil Company, Taft, California
    1912 A.B. in geology & mining, Stanford University
    1912-1913 Assistant chief geologist, Caribbean Petroleum Company (subsidiary of the Barber Asphalt Company), Venezuela
    1913 First American geologist to become a regular employee of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Group in the United States
    1913-1915 Geologist, Shell Oil Company of California, San Francisco
    1915-1920 Chief Geologist, Shell Oil Company of California, San Francisco
    1918- Member, American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME)
    1919- Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
    1921 Associate professor of petroleum technology, Stanford University
    1921 Moved to Los Angeles, California
    1921-1939 President and general manager, Elliott Core Drilling Company
    1922-1939 With Floyd C. Merritt, formed the firm Elliott and Merritt, working as a consulting engineer and geologist, Los Angeles
      With Merritt, organized and operated the Elliott Oil Companies (also known as the Elliott Petroleum Co.), located in Santa Fe Springs
    1923 Author, "Core Drilling with Rotary Tools in California," Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
    1928-1929 Vice president, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
    1929 Pioneered the use of geological map-making through airplane travel
    1940-1942 Independent petroleum engineer and operator
    1942-1944 Major, Chemical Warfare Service, United States Army
    1944 Moved to Austin, Texas
    1944-1960 Independent petroleum geologist
    1960- Estate manager, semi-retired
    1962 Recipient, Anthony F. Lucas Gold Metal of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers
    1966- Member, American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)
    1968 Selected as the Republican presidential elector for the 10th district in Texas
    1970 Elected honorary member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
    1972 Named honorary chairman of the Texas delegation to the Electoral College
    1980 Died

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection was originally housed in a series of binders that served as personal and professional scrapbooks of John E. "Brick" Elliott, a petroleum industry businessman, geologist, and consultant who created and popularized the core barrel technique for drilling and invented the double-barreled rotary core. The eclectic mix of materials, including letters, photographs, clippings, and ephemera, provides a snapshot of the United States in the 20th century, particularly focusing on the oil industry, the Republican Party, and political and civil rights issues in the 1960s and 1970s.
    The Scrapbooks, which make up the majority of the collection, follow the timeline of Elliott's life, documenting his career, travels, and interests. They merge professional and personal material, containing photographs, correspondence, and printed matter from Elliott's life and work, which took him around the United States and abroad. Many scrapbooks document Elliott's travels or contain materials documenting Elliott's work in the oil industry, including his role in the Elliott Core Drilling Company. The scrapbooks also include materials on people Elliott knew at various times in his life, such as Stanford classmates and oil industry businessmen.
    Elliott was a Stanford University alumnus. The collection contains photographs and memorabilia from his years at Stanford (1907-1912), as well as documentation of his activities as an alumnus, materials on football at Stanford, and clippings on student protests in the 1960s.
    An active member of the Republican Party, Elliott served as the Republican presidential elector for the 10th district in Texas. The collection contains correspondence and material from his political involvement, as well as printed material covering a wide variety of political and economic issues. Additionally, Elliott attended yearly meetings and reunions of various groups, including the Bohemian Club and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which are documented in his scrapbooks.
    The Correspondence, subject file, and printed matter contain material not included in Elliott's scrapbooks, including printed matter on Stanford and the oil industry.
    The Motion picture film contains a color film of highlights from a Rose Bowl game, while the Oversize material includes drawings of Stanford.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Petroleum industry and trade.