May 14, 1953 – Tulsa’s Golden Driller debuts at Petroleum Expo
The Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth introduces the original Golden Driller at the International Petroleum Exposition in Tulsa, Oklahoma, May 14 to May 23, 1953.
It is temporarily erected again for the 1959 Expo – and attracts so much attention that the company refurbishes and donates it to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority.
The giant is rebuilt in 1966.
Today, the Golden Driller – a 76-foot tall, 43,500 pound statue of an oil worker – is the largest freestanding statue in the world, according to city officials.
The rebuilt statue is permanently installed at the 21st Street and Pittsburg Avenue site for the 1966 International Petroleum Exposition. Refurbished again in 1979, the angle-iron structure made of plaster and concrete reportedly can withstand 200 mph winds.
The Golden Driller’s right hand rests on an old production oil derrick moved from an oil field in Seminole, Oklahoma.
Declared Oklahoma’s official state monument in 1979, a plaque at his base dedicates him “to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God’s abundance a better life for mankind.”
Tulsa’s first International Petroleum Exposition and Congress, held in 1923, helps make the city known as the “oil capital of the world.”
May 14, 2004 – Petroleum Museum Opens in Oil City, Louisiana
The first public museum in Louisiana dedicated to the oil and gas industry opens in Oil City, 30 miles northwest of Shreveport.
The Louisiana State Oil and Gas Museum, originally the Caddo-Pine Island Oil and Historical Museum, includes the historic depot of the Kansas City Southern Railroad. The museum preserves the many Caddo Parish discoveries – and the economic prosperity brought by a North Louisiana petroleum boom.
With the first oil wells drilled in the early 1900s, by 1910 almost 25,000 people are working in and around Oil City, which becomes the first “wildcat town” in the Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas region.
The museum documents the historical importance of the first oil discovery in 1905 – and the technology behind the May 1911 Ferry No. 1 well at Caddo Lake, one of the nation’s earliest over-water oil wells. Gulf Refining Company completed this early “offshore” oil well on Caddo Lake, where production continues today. Read the rest of this entry »