Oil History Books

Exploring some educational oil history books.

 

 

This addition to the American Oil & Gas Historical Society’s energy education mission offers links to helpful resources relating to petroleum history. For books, the numerous professional societies and associations (see national and state contacts) offer good recommendations.

The AOGHS listing below, limited as it is (for now), offers some classic 18th century texts that are available online; other oil history books, like Paul H. Giddens’s 1936 The Birth of the Oil Industry (with introduction by Ida Tarbell) are more rare. Encouraged by its members and website visitors, AOGHS also has added a small list of oil fiction books. Finally, historic petroleum-related images are featured in Oilfield Artists

 

The Gas that Would Not Burn

In May 1903, a well drilled on a farm near Dexter, Kansas, erupted as a “howling gasser,” and town residents gathered to celebrate the discovery of a natural gas field. Everyone anticipated petroleum riches similar to towns in Ohio and Indiana, where plentiful natural gas supplies had attracted manufacturers (see Indiana Natural Gas Boom). 

“Darkness came, the mayor made a speech, and he called for a bale of burning hay to be tossed onto the well. To the crowd’s dismay, the gas extinguished the hay. More attempts were made without success, and eventually the crowd left, their dreams shattered,” explains John A. Taylor in his 2022 book, Helium: Its Creation, Discovery, History, Production, Properties and Uses.

The concentration of helium in natural gas, usually very low, can reach up to 7 percent. Once used in airships, helium today is a vital resource in cryogenics, according to John Taylor’s 2022 book.

Taylor has written a detailed and readable history of helium in 402 pages organized in six sections, including 358 photos and illustrations. Together, they tell the story of the second most abundant element in the universe.

Taylor began his career as a flight test engineer, working in the United Kingdom and in the United States on the vertical-takeoff-and-landing Harrier fighter (the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8). He later moved on to the U.S. Naval Airship Program and various civilian airship (blimp) projects, where he often flew beneath as much as a quarter million cubic feet of helium, and became involved with its logistics, characteristics and safety issues. This led to a fascination with this unique element, and to the writing of this book.

Taylor describes the creation of the noble gas helium (He) during the big bang, its chemical properties, uses, and conservation. In 1905, two years after Dexter’s “howling gasser,” a sample was examined by Kansas University chemists David McFarland and Hamilton Cady, who for the first time discovered significant amounts of helium in natural gas. 

“Helium’s journey from a useless oddity, through the great rigid airships of the 1930s and the submarine-hunting blimps of World War II, to an essential tool in industry, medicine and research” are examined by the author. Helium has become a key part of modern cryogenics (including semiconductor manufacturing and MRI machines). The gas also is used in inert gas welding and for the pressurization and purging of rockets.

Helium in Natural Gas

Helium is produced naturally underground through radioactive decomposition and decay. Taylor reviews processes used to extract the noble gas from natural gas and non-fuel sources, its refining, and distribution. Also covered are worldwide helium production and reserves.

Although normally low, the concentration of helium in natural gas can range from 0.01 percent to 7 percent — enough to create Dexter’s 1903 Kansas “Wind Gas ” Well.

Much of his historical source material came from books, Taylor reports, but several online references relate to the natural gas industry:

The final section of Helium: Its Creation, Discovery, History, Production, Properties and Uses reviews current and prospective uses of the rare isotope helium-3.

Published in June 2022, Taylor’s book offers extensive research resources: 895 references (most available online) and 269 recommendations for further reading.

Helium: Its Creation, Discovery, History, Production, Properties and Uses is available from Amazon books, where your purchase benefits the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

 

The Extraction State — A History of Natural Gas in America

A close examination of the too often neglected history of U.S. natural gas industry can be found in Charles Blanchard’s The Extraction State, which reviews the resource’s 19th century roots before delving into how regulatory efforts beginning in the 1920s fell apart in the 1970s.

The nation’s history is a the history of modern energy production and consumption, according to the University of Pittsburgh Press, which in January 2021 published The Extraction State, A History of Natural Gas in America. Fifteen chapters examine the science, economics, and politics of the resource. His investigation begins with remembering “The Smokey City,” Pittsburgh, in the late 1870s.

The Extraction State book cover 2021

Charles Blanchard examines the rise of natural gas as source of heat and light in the late 19th century to the modern business and politics of its production, pipeline infrastructure, and environmental regulation.

“Unlike crude oil, there are surprisingly few books devoted to the history of natural gas. Charles Blanchard offers a timely business history of an important industry. There are many stories to be told about a resource once considered a byproduct, but today key for meeting energy demand.

The Extraction State examines the still evolving technologies of natural gas production, Charles Blanchard traces the rise of natural gas and the regulatory early and recent pioneers, the role of investors and market hubs, and federal and state agencies that have managed the industry since the earliest gas wells. As U.S. petroleum production from shale continues to change the future of the industry, Blanchard brings a business insider’s perspective to the history of bringing energy to consumers.”

— Bruce Wells, Executive Director, American Oil & Gas Historical Society

From Pittsburgh Press: The history of the United States of America is also the history of the energy sector. Natural gas provides the fuel that allows us to heat our homes in winter and cool them in summer with the touch of a button or turn of a dial—when the industry runs smoothly. From the oil crisis of the 1970s to the fall of Enron and the California electricity crisis at the turn of the century to contemporary issues of hydraulic fracking, poorly conceived government policies have sometimes left us shivering, stranded, or with significantly lighter wallets.

In this expansive narrative, Charles Blanchard traces the rise of natural gas and the regulatory missteps that nearly ruined the market. Beginning in the 1880s, The Extraction State explains how the New Deal regulatory compact came together in the 1920s, even before the Great Depression, and how it fell apart in the 1970s. From there, the book dissects the policies that affect us today, and explores where we might be headed in the near future.

Charles Blanchard is the head of North American natural gas research at Mercuria Energy, a large commodities trading house based in Geneva. 

The Extraction State, A History of Natural Gas in America is available from Amazon books, where your  purchase benefits the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

 

2022 AOGHS Membership Ad

 

Daniel Yergin named Energy Writer of 2020

The American Energy Society selected Daniel Yergin the Energy Writer of the Year 2020 for his book The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations. The timely book offers a “realistic assessment of energy and how it shapes all of human affairs,” and is a synthesis many of the themes covered in the author’s previous award-winning books. Yergin is a widely recognized authority on energy, economics and international politics.

The Society explained, “The New Map is not taking sides. It is a mirror for us to see our own ambivalent attachment to, and overriding dependence on, the traditional energy order, our deep reluctance to embrace the imagined future, the challenges of scale and technology, and the attempts to advance positions and interests with semantics and polemics. Rather than tell us what to think, The New Map challenges us to grapple with the future we are creating.”

Cover of New Map book by Dan Yergin.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy expert Daniel Yergin’s account of how energy is mapping the world’s future.

Noting that although there were many great books about energy in 2020, American Energy Society President Eric Vettel proclaimed, “Dr. Yergin’s legendary contributions to the field, highlighted with the release of The New Map, made this year’s selection obvious. We selected him as Energy Writer of the Year for his intellectual approach, his balanced treatment of competing ideas, his extraordinary grasp of an enormous subject, his methodical defense of an ambitious thesis with massive amounts of data, his masterful storytelling skills, and in recognition of a lifetime of literary achievement.”

Recommended Reading: The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations. Your Amazon purchase benefits the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

 

Anomalies – Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology: 1917 to 2017

Robbie Rice Gries – with help from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and many volunteers – has written a fascinating and educational history of pioneering women in petroleum geology. Her 405-page Anomalies, Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology, 1917-2017 includes personal stories, written correspondence, and photographs dating to the first decade of the 20th century. Grandchildren, children, nieces, nephews, and friends share their memories of these pioneering women.

Oil history books include this book, Anomalies, Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology, by Robbie Rice Gries.

Remarkable accounts of determined women working as petroleum geologists in a male-dominated industry.

The stories begin with WW I and conclude with hiring through Affirmative Action in the 1970s and the successes of many of today’s women in petroleum geology. Anomalies was released March 1, 2017, as part of the AAPG 100th anniversary.

“Robbie Gries and her contributors have created a remarkable account of early women in petroleum geology,” declared the late Marlan W. Downey, founder and chairman of Roxanna Oil Company. “The book represents a ‘deep dive’ into the lives, accomplishments, triumphs, and, even, terrors, of early women professionals.

Downey praised Gries’ book for its four years of researching histories of largely forgotten women professionals. “The book should be read by every petroleum geologist, geophysicist, and petroleum engineer; partly for the pleasure of the sprightly told adventures, partly for a sense of history, and, significantly, because it engenders a proper respect towards all women professionals, forging their unique way in a ‘man’s world.’” 

Recommended Reading:  Anomalies, Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology, 1917-2017. Your Amazon purchase benefits the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

 

Breaking the Gas Ceiling: Women in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry

Published in 2019, Breaking the Gas Ceiling: Women in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry offers personal accounts from an expanding group of petroleum pioneers – women who work offshore.

Cover of book Breaking the Glass Ceiling by Rebecca Ponton

Journalist Rebecca Ponton interviewed a diverse group of energy industry professionals; her chapters read like a collection of captavating short stories.

The milestones of these notable “women on water” may not receive the attention given to NASA’s women space walkers, but they also deserve recognition. Learn more in Women of the Offshore Petroleum Industry tell Their Stories.

 

AOGHS membership ad for 2020

 

Myth, Legend, Reality – Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry

The man who would drill the first commercial oil well was down to his last few pennies in August 1859. A letter was on its way to Titusville, Pennsylvania, from the company that had hired him to search for oil. The letter instructed him to close operations, because as far as investors of the Seneca Oil Company were concerned, his drilling effort was finished, according to historian William Brice, PhD.

Book cover of Edwin L. Drake biography

The limited edition biography of the father of the U.S. petroleum industry was published in 2009 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of his historic oil well.

Brice in 2009 published his comprehensive biography of Edwin L. Drake, the man who launched the U.S. petroleum industry when the Titusville well produced a small amount of oil from 69. 5 feet deep on August 27, 1859. Brice, professor emeritus in geology and planetary science at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, published his 661-page epic as part of the U.S. petroleum industry’s 150th anniversary.

Learn more in Edwin Drake and his Oil Well.

 

The Natural Gas Industry In Appalachia

 

In March 2011, David Waples announced McFarland Publishing had published a second edition of his The Natural Gas Industry In Appalachia – in order to incorporate information about the Marcellus Shale natural gas production now ongoing in the region. “For those of you familiar with my book, if you know of any area, technology, incident, persons, issues that you noticed not explored in the piece, I would appreciate it if you could let me know,” David noted. 

The Natural Gas Industry in Appalachia explores the evolution and significance of the natural gas industry. Early chapters discuss the first natural gas discoveries in the 1800s, the way in which entrepreneurs used the fuel, and the displacement of the manufactured gas industry.

Book cover of The Natural Gas Industry in Appalachia.

The natural gas industry began in the Appalachian states as an unwanted or underestimated byproduct of the oil rush of 1859.

The practical uses of natural gas were introduced by innovators Joseph Pew and George Westinghouse for the steel and glass industries in Pittsburgh. Today, gas is an increasingly prevalent part of American energy markets, filling the critical void left by a lack of new coal, oil, and nuclear power. 

Later chapters of his The Natural Gas Industry In Appalachia discuss the growth of the region’s drilling industry, the first wooden and metal pipelines, the development of gas compressor engines, the pioneering of gas storage fields, and the genesis of gas marketing for lighting, heating, cooking, and industrial use. The final chapter describes the growth of the Appalachian natural gas industry since its major source of supply shifted from local wells in the 1950s to new discoveries in the southwestern United States and the Gulf of Mexico.

Amazon purchases benefit the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

 

Supporting the historical society – Amazon Associates

Amazon purchases benefit the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

Highlighted History Books from Amazon

Education and Teaching Books

Biographies and Memoirs

Engineering and Transportation

Politics and Social Sciences 

 

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (1991)

“Any survey of the natural resources used as sources of energy must include a discussion about the importance of oil, the lifeblood of all industrialized nations.” — Daniel Yergin, bestselling author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize

According many oil and natural industry experts, energy educators, and policy makers, if time allows you reading only one book about petroleum history, it should be this 1991 best seller by journalist Daniel Yergin.

Cover of 1991 book, the Prize, by Dan Yergin

Dan Yergin received the Pulitzer Prize for his epic examination of the worldwide petroleum industry.

“Deemed ‘the best history of oil ever written’ by Business Week and with more than 300,000 copies in print, Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize–winning account of the global pursuit of oil, money, and power has been extensively updated to address the current energy crisis.” – Amazon review of The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (1991).

Amazon purchases benefit the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

 

American drill in England during WWII

The Secret of Sherwood Forest – Oil production in England during World War II (1973) by Guy and Grace Woodward (University of Oklahoma Press). See Roughnecks of Sherwood Forest.

 

Postcards of Texas Oil History

The history of America’s oil and natural gas industry provides an important context for teaching young people the modern energy business. Texas Oil and Gas by geologist and historian Jeff Spencer documents in vintage postcards the rapid growth of the Texas petroleum industry from its beginnings near Corsicana in the 1890s through the next several decades of oil boms throughout the state. Read more in Vintage Oil Postcards from Texas.

 

AOGHS Support Ad 2020

 

SPE’s Oil and Natural Gas

Published as part of an energy education program of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Oil and Natural Gas offers young people a surprisingly comprehensive introduction to the history and uses of oil. It is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. Read more in the Story of Petroleum.

A novel by Gene Ames Jr. of San Antonio, also deserves attention. Ames, an independent producer, served as president of many state and national industry associations (receiving the industry’s Chief Roughneck Award in 1995). His novel, A Wildcatter’s Trek: Love, Money and Oil, was published in 2016.

 

History of Alberta’s Tar Sands

After years of research and interviews, Joyce Hunt of Calgary, Canada, in 2012 published her oil history book Local Push-Global Pull: The Untold Story of the Athabaska Oil Sands, 1900-1930. “To fully understand and appreciate the events that shaped the development of the Oil Sands industry in Alberta, this book is a must read,” noted a February 2012 review.

While the time period Hunt focuses on is different from the significant growth of modern oil sands projects, there are common threads. “The major issues 100 years ago were not that different from the major issues the big players face today.” Learn more in History of Canadian Oil Sands.

 

Amazon purchases benefit the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

_________________________________________

Recommended Reading

For educators, students, and researchers, this recommended reading list (with links to Amazon books) has been derived from “This Week in Petroleum History,” updated every Monday.  Recommended reading subjects provide a chronology of U.S. exploration and production heritage, including historic oilfield discoveries, technologies, pioneers, and disasters. Many nonfiction book suggestions also can be found at goodreads which includes a list of popular “Best Books About Oil & Gas.” 

 

Suggestions from “This Week in Petroleum History.”

 

Editor’s top picks: Trek of the Oil Finders: A History of Exploration for Petroleum (1975) by Edgar Wesley Owen (American Association of Petroleum Geologists), The Birth of the Oil Industry (1936) Paul H. Giddens, and Empire Oil: The Story of Oil in New York State (1949) by John P Herrick. “If you are doing business in the oil and gas industry in New York State this is a must read. The level of historical research is excellent,” noted one online reviewer in 2014 after reading the 474-page history. 

Amazon purchases benefit the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. As an Amazon Associate, AOGHS earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (January 1): Making Hole – Drilling Technology (AOGHS); John D. Rockefeller: The Wealthiest Man In American History (2017); Sign of the 76: The fabulous life and times of the Union Oil Company of California (1977); The Great Wildcatter (1953); Cherry Run Valley: Plumer, Pithole, and Oil City, Pa., Images of America (2000); Humble, Images of America (2013); Handbook of Petroleum Refining Processes (2016); Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund 1976-2011: A 35-year Michigan Oil and Gas Industry Investment Heritage in Michigan’s Public Recreation Future (2011).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (December 25): Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist (1994); The Black Giant: A History of the East Texas Oil Field and Oil Industry Skulduggery & Trivia (2003); Myth, Legend, Reality: Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry (2009); Portrait in Oil: How Ohio Oil Company Grew to Become Marathon (1962).
______________________________

Recommended Reading (December 18): Black Gold, the Artwork of JoAnn Cowans (2009); The Three Families of H. L. Hunt: The True Story of the Three Wives, Fifteen Children, Countless Millions, and Troubled Legacy of the Richest Man in America (1989); Tulsa Oil Capital of the World, Images of America (2004); Bird’s Eye Views: Historic Lithographs of North American Cities (1998); Down the Asphalt Path: The Automobile and the American City (1994).

______________________________

Recommended Reading (December 11): Offshore Pioneers: Brown & Root and the History of Offshore Oil and Gas (1997); Apollo and America’s Moon Landing Program: Apollo 17 Technical Crew Debriefing with Unique Observations about the Final Lunar Mission – Astronauts Cernan, Schmitt, and Evans (2017); Electric and Hybrid Cars: A History (2010); Texas Oil and Gas, Postcard History (2013); The Wright Brothers (2016).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (December 4): The Oklahoma City Oil Field in Pictures (2005); General Motors: A Photographic History (1999); The Legend of Coal Oil Johnny (2007); Stella Dysart of Ambrosia Lake: Courage, Fortitude and Uranium in New Mexico (1959); Project Plowshare: The Peaceful Use of Nuclear Explosives in Cold War America (2012).
______________________________

Recommended Reading (November 27): Los Angeles, California, Images of America (2001); The fire in the rock: A history of the oil and gas industry in Kansas, 1855-1976 (1976); America’s First Automobile: The First Complete Account By Mr. J. Frank Duryea Of How He Developed The First American Automobile, 1892-1893 (2012); Cherry Run Valley: Plumer, Pithole, and Oil City, Pennsylvania, Images of America (2000); Fill’er Up!: The Great American Gas Station (2013). ___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (November 20): Be My Guest (1957); Magnolia Oil News Magazine (January 1930); Glenn Pool…and a little oil town of yesteryear (1978); The American Highway: The History and Culture of Roads in the United States (2000); History Of Oil Well Drilling (2007); Natural Gas: Fuel for the 21st Century (2015); CONOCO: The First One Hundred Years Building on the Past for the Future (1975).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (November 13): Giant Under the Hill: A History of the Spindletop Oil Discovery (2008); Offshore Pioneers: Brown & Root and the History of Offshore Oil and Gas (2011); John D. Rockefeller: The Wealthiest Man In American History (2017); The Bakken Goes Boom: Oil and the Changing Geographies of Western North Dakota (2016); Oil Man: The Story of Frank Phillips and the Birth of Phillips Petroleum (2016).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (November 6): Around Titusville, Pa., Images of America (2004); Myth, Legend, Reality: Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry (2009); Sheer Will: The Story of the Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel (2014); Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 (2017); Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century (1996).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (October 30): Holy Toledo: Religion and Politics in the Life of “Golden Rule” Jones (1998); The Bradford Oil Refinery, Pennsylvania, Images of America (2006); Early Texas Oil: A Photographic History, 1866-1936 (2000); The Lincoln Highway: Coast to Coast from Times Square to the Golden Gate (2011); Texon: Legacy of an Oil Town, Images of America (2011); The Natural Gas Industry in Appalachia (2005); A History of the New York International Auto Show: 1900-2000 (2000).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (October 23): The Salt Creek Oil Field: Natrona County, Wyo., 1912 (reprint, 2017); Oil and Gas Pipeline Fundamentals (1993); The Reluctant Rocketman: A Curious Journey in World Record Breaking (2013); Historic Photos of Texas Oil (2012); Maclure of New Harmony: Scientist, Progressive Educator, Radical Philanthropist (2009).

___________________________________________________________________________________

As an Amazon Associate, the American Oil & Gas Historical Society earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

Recommended Reading (October 16): Natural Gas: Fuel for the 21st Century (2015); The 76 bonanza: The fabulous life and times of the Union Oil Company of California (1966); Ranger, Images of America (2010); Desert Kingdoms to Global Powers: The Rise of the Arab Gulf (2016); Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Postcard History Series (2000); Oil in West Texas and New Mexico (1982).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (October 9): The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (2008); Arizona Rocks & Minerals: A Field Guide to the Grand Canyon State (2010); History of the Pure Oil Company: 1914 to 1941 (1941); The History of the Standard Oil Company: All Volumes (2015).
__________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, September 25:  Oil in West Texas and New Mexico (1982); Black Gold in California: The Story of California Petroleum Industry (2016); Early California Oil: A Photographic History, 1865-1940 (1985); Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire (2003); Oil in the Deep South: A History of the Oil Business in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, 1859-1945 (1993); Ragtown: A History of the Greater Healdton-Hewitt Oil Field Hardcover (1989); Signal Hill, California, Images of America (2006); From Here to Obscurity: An Illustrated History of the Model T Ford, 1909 – 1927 (1971).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, September 18: Utah Oil Shale: Science, Technology, and Policy Perspectives (2016); Louisiana’s Oil Heritage, Images of America (2012); The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power (2008); The Bazooka (2012); Wireline: A History of the Well Logging and Perforating Business in the Oil Fields (1990).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, September 11:  Rochester Through Time, America Through Time (2015); Nacogdoches, Images of America (2009); Midland, Images of America (2010); Yates: A family, A Company, and Some Cornfield Geology (2000); Desert Kingdoms to Global Powers: The Rise of the Arab Gulf Hardcover (2016); Natural Gas for the Hoosier State (1995).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, September 4: Drilling Technology in Nontechnical Language (2012); Schlumberger: The History of a Technique (1978); An Illustrated Guide to Gas Pumps (2008); California State University, Dominguez Hills (2010); Pico Canyon Chronicles: The Story of California’s Pioneer Oil Field (1985); Atoms for Peace and War 1953-1961 (2017).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, August 28: McKeesport – Images of America: Pennsylvania (2007); Street Lights of the World (2015); Conoco: 125 Years of Energy (2000); Phillips, The First 66 Years (1983); Vertical Reefs: Life on Oil and Gas Platforms in the Gulf of Mexico (2015); A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher (2012).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, August 21: R.E. Olds: Auto Industry Pioneer (1977); Giant Under the Hill: A History of the Spindletop Oil Discovery at Beaumont, Texas, in 1901 (2008); Santa Rita: The University of Texas Oil Discovery (1958); Growing Up In The Bradford Oil Fields (2008); Myth, Legend, Reality: Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry (2009); Black Gold: The Philatelic History of Petroleum (1995).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, August 14: Western Pennsylvania’s Oil Heritage (2008); Winners’ Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race (2009); Glory Gamblers (1961); The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters (2014).
___________________________________________________________________________________

As an Amazon Associate, the American Oil & Gas Historical Society earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

Recommended Reading, August 7: Yates: A family, A Company, and Some Cornfield Geology Hardcover (2000); An American Hero: The Red Adair Story : An Authorized Biography (1990); Oil And Gas In Oklahoma: Petroleum Geology In Oklahoma (2013); Texas Art and a Wildcatter’s Dream: Edgar B. Davis and the San Antonio Art League (1998); Drilling Technology in Nontechnical Language (2012).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, July 31: The Natural Gas Industry in Appalachia (2005); Du Pont Dynasty: Behind the Nylon Curtain (1984); The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways (2012); Monsters Of Old Los Angeles – The Prehistoric Animals Of The La Brea Tar Pits (2008); Oil: From Prospect to Pipeline (1971); Ragtown: A History of the Greater Healdton-Hewitt Oil Field (1989).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, July 24: Spanish Sea: The Gulf of Mexico in North American Discovery, 1500-1685 (1985); The Oil Scouts – Reminiscences of the Night Riders of the Hemlocks (1986); Wildcatters: Texas Independent Oilmen (1984); Eisenhower: Soldier and President (1968); Torpedoes in the Gulf: Galveston and the U-Boats, 1942-1943 (1995).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, July 17: From the Rio Grande to the Arctic: The Story of the Richfield Oil Corporation, by former CEO Charles S. Jones (1972); Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska (2012); Texon: Legacy of an Oil Town, Images of America (2011); The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes (2009); From Oklahoma to Eternity: The Life of Wiley Post and the Winnie Mae (1998).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, July 10: Crude Volatility: The History and the Future of Boom-Bust Oil Prices, Center on Global Energy Policy Series (2017); Pump and Circumstance: Glory Days of the Gas Station (1993); The Great Railroad Revolution: The History of Trains in America (2013); A History of the Greater Seminole Oil Field (1981); Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicles (2003).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, July 3: Death and Oil: A True Story of the Piper Alpha Disaster on the North Sea (2011); Remington and Russell: The Sid Richardson Collection (1994); Where it All Began: The story of the people and places where the oil & gas industry began: West Virginia and southeastern Ohio (1994); Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story (2009).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, June 26: Official Guide to the Smithsonian, 4th Edition (2016); Eisenhower: Soldier and President (1968); Cherry Run Valley: Plumer, Pithole, and Oil City, PA (2000); Texas Rich: The Hunt Dynasty, from the Early Oil Days Through the Silver Crash (1982); Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America (2009); Evolution of the American Diesel Locomotive, Railroads Past and Present (2007).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, June 19: The Great Alaska Pipeline (1988); Artificial Lift-down Hole Pumping Systems: Conference Transcript (1984); Oil Man: The Story of Frank Phillips and the Birth of Phillips Petroleum (2014); Ross Sterling, Texan: A Memoir by the Founder of Humble Oil and Refining Company (2012); Signal Hill, California – Images of America (2006); Tulsa Where the Streets Were Paved With Gold – Images of America (2000).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading, June 12: Oil Man: The Story of Frank Phillips and the Birth of Phillips Petroleum (2014); Oil in West Texas and New Mexico (1982); Western Pennsylvania’s Oil (2008); Offshore Pioneers: Brown & Root and the History of Offshore Oil and Gas (2011); Whiting and Robertsdale – Images of America (2013); Voice of the Marketplace: A History of the National Petroleum Council (2002).

Recommended Reading (June 4): The Maybelline Story: And the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (2010); Around Titusville, Pennsylvania, Images of America (2004); I Invented the Modern Age: The Rise of Henry Ford (2014); Code Name MULBERRY: The Planning Building and Operation of the Normandy Harbours (1977); The Great Getty: The Life and Loves of J. Paul Getty – Richest Man in the World (1986); Corsicana, Images of America (2010).

___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (May 28): Chronicles of an Oil Boom: Unlocking the Permian Basin (2014); Blood and Smoke: A True Tale of Mystery, Mayhem and the Birth of the Indy 500 (2012); Rock Oil, The Wonder of the Nineteenth Century in Pennsylvania and Elsewhere (1860); Blanton Museum of Art: Through the Eyes of Texas, Masterworks from Alumni Collections (1900).

___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (May 21): Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.(2004); Huntington Beach, California, Postcard History Series (2009); Crayola Creators: Edward Binney and C. Harold Smith, Toy Trailblazers (2016); Burlington’s Zephyrs, Great Passenger Trains (2004); Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Review of Inception and Progress; Accessions and Donors, Historic Papers (2017).

___________________________________________________________________________________

As an Amazon Associate, the American Oil & Gas Historical Society earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

Recommended Reading (May 14): Tulsa Oil Capital of the World, Images of America (2004); Louisiana’s Oil Heritage, Images of America (2012); Standard Oil Company: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Famous Monopoly (2016); Ohio Oil and Gas, Images of America (2008); Geophysicist Career Guide (2018).

___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (May 7): Erle P. Halliburton: Genius with Cement (1959); Textile League Baseball: South Carolina’s Mill Teams, 1880-1955 (2004); The Civil War and Northwestern Virginia (2004); Conoco: 125 years of energy (2000); Phillips The First 66 Years (1983).

___________________________________________________________________________________

AOGHS membership ad for 2020

___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (April 30): Cherry Run Valley: Plumer, Pithole, and Oil City, Pennsylvania (2000); The Seven Sisters: The great oil companies & the world (1975); The Maybelline Story: And the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It (2010); The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World (2015).

___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (April 16): Myth, Legend, Reality: Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry (2009); Early Louisiana and Arkansas Oil: A Photographic History, 1901-1946 (1982); The First Cars – Famous Firsts (2014); The Great Los Angeles Swindle: Oil, Stocks, and Scandal During the Roaring Twenties (1996); Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling: Report to the President (2011); The Osage Oil Boom (1989).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (April 9): Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank (2008); The Greatest Gamblers: The Epic of American Oil Exploration (1979); Early Days of Oil: A Pictorial History of the Beginnings of the Industry in Pennsylvania (2000); Oil in Oklahoma (1976).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (April 2): Dallas: The Complete Story of the World’s Favorite Prime-Time Soap (2005); The Bakken Goes Boom: Oil and the Changing Geographies of Western North Dakota (2016); The Texaco Story: The First Fifty Years, 1902-1952 (2012); Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science (2000).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (March 26): The Oklahoma Petroleum Industry (1980); Oil Lamps The Kerosene Era In North America (1978); Amazing Pipeline Stories: How Building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Transformed Life in America’s Last Frontier (1997); Myth, Legend, Reality: Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry (2009); Innovations in Energy: The Story of Kerr-McGee (1980); Early Texas Oil: A Photographic History, 1866-1936 (2000); Cherokee Strip Land Rush, Images of America (2006).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (March 19): Oil Boom Architecture: Titusville, Pithole, and Petroleum Center, Images of America (2008); The Powell Expedition: New Discoveries about John Wesley Powell’s 1869 River Journey (2017); Myth, Legend, Reality: Edwin Laurentine Drake and the Early Oil Industry (2009); The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Perspectives on Modern World History (2011).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (March 12): “King of the Wildcatters:” The Life and Times of Tom Slick, 1883-1930 (2004); Historic Battleship Texas: The Last Dreadnought (2007); The Secret of Sherwood Forest: Oil Production in England During World War II (1973); Discovery at Prudhoe Bay Oil (2008); San Joaquin Valley, California, Images of America (1999); A History of the Greater Seminole Oil Field (1981); The Green and the Black: The Complete Story of the Shale Revolution, the Fight over Fracking, and the Future of Energy (2016); A Texas Tragedy: The New London School Explosion (2012).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (March 5): Kettles and Crackers – A History of Wyoming Oil Refineries (2016); American Fads (1985); Sour Lake, Texas: From Mud Baths to Millionaires, 1835-1909 (1995); Rigs-to-reefs: the use of obsolete petroleum structures as artificial reefs (1987); Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century Hardcover (1996); A Geophysicist’s Memoir: Searching for Oil on Six Continents (2017).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (February 26): Enough for One Lifetime: Wallace Carothers, Inventor of Nylon (1996); As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty (1976); Erle P. Halliburton, Genius with Cement (1959); The Underground Reservation: Osage Oil (1985); John Wesley Powell: Soldier, Explorer, Scientist (2006); History of Paola, Kansas (1956); Where it all began: The story of the people and places where the oil & gas industry began: West Virginia and southeastern Ohio (1994); Alfalfa Bill Murray (1968).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (February 19): The Natural Gas Revolution: At the Pivot of the World’s Energy Future (2013); Herman Frasch -The Sulphur King (2013); The B.F. Goodrich Story Of Creative Enterprise 1870-1952 (2010); Caney, Kansas: The Big Gas City (1985); The Battle of Los Angeles, 1942: The Mystery Air Raid (2010); Enough for One Lifetime: Wallace Carothers, Inventor of Nylon (1996); Pawnee Bill: A Biography of Major Gordon W. Lillie (1995); Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend (2012). ___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (February 12): Roadside Geology of Nevada (2017); The Taking of Getty Oil: Pennzoil, Texaco, and the Takeover Battle That Made History (2017); Images of America: Around Bradford (1997); Lufkin, from sawdust to oil: A history of Lufkin Industries, Inc. (1982); Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks: A Guide (2000).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (February 5): In Pursuit of Fame: Rembrandt Peale, 1778-1860 (1993); Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer (2017); Anomalies: Pioneering Women in Petroleum Geology 1917-2017 (2017); Building Bartlesville, 1945-2000, Images of America: Oklahoma (2008).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (January 29): Bertha Takes a Drive: How the Benz Automobile Changed the World (2017); The Oil Scouts: Reminiscences of the Night Riders of the Hemlocks Hardcover (1986); The Finest in the Land: The Story of the Petroleum Club of Houston (1984); Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West (2016). 
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (January 22): Early Days of Oil: A Pictorial History of the Beginnings of the Industry in Pennsylvania (2000); Against the Fires of Hell: The Environmental Disaster of the Gulf War (1992); The Black Giant: A History of the East Texas Oil Field and Oil Industry Skulduggery & Trivia (2003); Slick Policy: Environmental and Science Policy in the Aftermath of the Santa Barbara Oil Spill (2018).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (January 15): Ranger, Images of America (2010); The Offshore Imperative: Shell Oil’s Search for Petroleum in Postwar America (2009); Ohio Oil and Gas, Images of America (2008).
___________________________________________________________________________________

Recommended Reading (January 8): Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (2004); Giant Under the Hill: A History of the Spindletop Oil Discovery at Beaumont, Texas, in 1901 (2008); Early Texas Oil: A Photographic History, 1866-1936 (2000); The Ford Century: Ford Motor Company and the Innovations that Shaped the World (2002); Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century (1996); Theodor Geisel: A Portrait of the Man Who Became Dr. Seuss (2010).

As an Amazon Associate, the American Oil & Gas Historical Society earns a commission from qualifying purchases.

2022 AOGHS Membership Ad

_______________________________________________

The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Become an AOGHS annual supporting member and help maintain this energy education website and expand historical research. For more information, contact bawells@aoghs.org. © 2022 Bruce A. Wells.

 

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This