Architectural drawing of the Boston Building in Denver.

Architectural drawing of the Boston Building in Denver.

In 1917 and 1918, with the United States fighting in World War I, the Double Standard Oil & Gas Company sought investors for the booming oilfields.

“Double Standard Oil & Gas Company is the owner of valuable oil leases in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming,” the company told potential investors.

Advertisements added that a valuable lease had been acquired in the new Electra-Burkburnett oilfields of North Texas. The lease reportedly included “eight producing wells, together with pumping plant, tanks and full equipment, connected with the pipeline, and selling oil.”

Noting that oil was then selling at $2 per barrel, Double Standard’s owners “expect soon to be getting $3 per barrel for this high-grade oil.”

The exploration company, based in the  prestigious Boston Building in Denver (built in 1890 and today a  National Historic Landmark), announced it was launching new drilling operations in the Electra-Burkburnett oilfield – and offering investors stock at 10 cents a share.

“You can join us in an exceedingly profitable business enterprise, and in doing so, help increase the oil output, which means, help win the war,” one Double Standard Oil & Gas advertisements concluded. “Write us for free map and further particulars. Special inducements to live active salesmen.”

There is no record of Double Standard drilling a successful oil well in a region famous worldwide for its discoveries, which began in 1911 in what today is part of the Mid-Continent field, extending from Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas into parts of Louisiana and Missouri.

In North Texas, it was an April 1, 1911, oil gusher that brought prosperity – and hundreds of companies – to Electra, Texas. A well in nearby Eastland County struck oil in October 1917 brought even more.

The “Roaring Ranger” in Ranger reached a daily production of 1,700 barrels. Then, on July 28, 1918, a well in Burkburnett triggered another yet another drilling boom that brought still more companies.

Double Standard apparently arrived late to the scene of these giant discoveries. Historians note that because much of the surrounding land had been leased, many who rushed to Electra and Burkburnett seeking quick profits, just as quickly departed…or failed.

The company lost its right to do business in Texas in 1920 and left few records behind.

Electra will be named Pump Jack Capital of Texas by the Texas legislature in 2011, the centennial of the community’s  historic oil discover.

A 1940 Academy Award-winning movie starring Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable was based on the story of Burkburnett’s oilfield. Read Boom Town Burkburnett.

Interestingly, in its rush to print its stock certificates, the Double Standard Oil & Gas Company used a vignette of derricks commonly seen on those of other companies formed (and failed) in the oil regions, including Centralized Oil & Gas Company, the Double Standard Oil & Gas Company, the Evangeline Oil Company, the Texas Production Company and the Tulsa Producing and Refining Company!

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The many stories of many exploration companies trying to join petroleum booms (and avoid busts) can be found in an updated series of research in Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything?

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