Mapping provides insight into oil’s geographic expansion, socioeconomic impact, and ecological consequences. However these maps cannot convey the array of personal experiences working and living in and around the oil fields. See below for oil personnel’s individual stories, in their own words.
Digitized sound recordings of Texas oil industry oral histories, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas, Austin, Texas.
- Boatright, Mody C. and William A. Owens, Tales from the Derrick Floor: A People’s History of the Oil Industry (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1982).
- Weaver, Bobby, Oilfield Trash: Life and Labor in the Oil Patch (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010).
- Lambert , Paul, F., Voices from the Oil Fields (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984).
- Lynch Gerald, Roughnecks Drillers, and Tool Pushers (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991).
It is important to acknowledge the oil industry’s dark side. There is a growing body of literature describing the impact of oil industrialization on adjacent — often nonwhite — communities. Lack of regulation and intention to oil’s environment impact resulted in increased cancer rates, reproductive and nervous system disorders, and respiratory maladies. Most of these works recount stories of community activism and resilience in the face of corporate indifference and systemic poverty.
- Steve Early, Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City (Boston: Beacon Press, 2017).
Unless otherwise noted all data sets were transcribed from archival documents, digitized, and mapped by the author. Below is a list of archival collections used.
- American Petroleum Institute Photo and Film Collections, Smithsonian Archives Center, Washington, D.C..
- Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association Records, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
- “Climate at a Glance,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union (OCAWU) Records, Special Collections, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.
- Texas Commission for Environmental Quality, Archives Center, Austin, Texas.
- Texas General Land Office, microfiche archives, Austin, Texas.
- “Crude Oil Production and Well Count,” Texas Railroad Commission, Austin, Texas.
- US Census of the Population, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Harvey O’Conner Papers, Walter Reuther Library Archive, Wayne State University, Detroit Michigan.
- EXXON Mobil Historical Collection, Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas.
- Oral Histories Collection, Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Midland, Texas.
- Farm Securities Administration/Office of War Information Black and White Negatives Collection, U.S. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C..
** I have received no compensation for endorsing the above titles. All opinions are my own.**