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oil town baseball

The first pitcher inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936 once played on an oil town baseball team. Photo from 2002 movie The Rookie, set in the Permian Basin.

oil town baseball

The once pitcher for the Olinda Oil Wells – Walter “Big Train” Johnson – joined “Babe” Ruth in a 1924 exhibition game.

Oilfields of Dreams

As baseball became America’s favorite pastime in the early 20th century, many new oil patch boom towns fielded their own teams – with names that reflected their communities’ enthusiasm and often, their livelihood.

In Texas, the Corsicana Oil Citys made baseball history in 1902 with a 51 to 3 drubbing of the Texarkana Casketmakers. Oil Citys catcher Jay Justin Clarke hit eight home runs in eight at bats during the game – still an unbroken baseball record.

In 1922, the Wichita Falls minor league lost its opportunity for a 25th consecutive victory when the league determined the team had “doctored the baseball.” The Wichita Falls ballpark caught fire in June – during a game – and burned to the ground. It was a memorable season.

In Oklahoma oilfields, the Okmulgee Drillers for the first time in baseball history had two players who combined to hit 100 home runs in a single season of 160 games. First baseman Wilbur “Country” Davis and center fielder Cecil “Stormy” Davis accomplished their home run record in 1924, although their team faded away by 1927.

oil town baseball

Today’s Tulsa Drillers play in the Texas League as a AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies.

The Tulsa Oilers were the strongest team in the Western League for a decade, winning the pennant in 1920, ‘22, ‘27, ‘28 and ‘29. The name continues in the Central Hockey League’s Tulsa Oilers. The Tulsa Drillers, a AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, a Major League club, play in downtown Tulsa.

In baseball’s first official night game, the Independence, Kansas, Producers lost to Muskogee Chiefs 13 to 3 on April 28, 1930. The game was played under portable lights supplied by the Negro National League’s famed Kansas City Monarchs.

oil town baseball

“More than 250 producing wells once dotted these hill,” notes the Olinda Oil Museum and Trail near Brea, California.

The Independence Producers were one of the 96 teams in the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, now known as Minor League Baseball.

Iola Gasbags and Borger Gassers

Thanks to natural gas discoveries, in just nine years beginning in 1895, Iola, Kansas, grew from a town of 1,567 to a city of more than 11,000. But the Iola Gasbags reportedly adopted their team name after becoming known as braggers in the Missouri State League.

“They traveled to these other cities, and they’d be bragging that they were the champions, so people started giving them the nickname Gasbags,” says baseball historian Tim Hagerty in a July 2012 National Public Radio interview.

oil town baseball

From a booming town in Kansas thanks to natural gas, the Iola Gasbags are pictured in 1904. Photo courtesy National Baseball Hall of Fame Library.

In 1903, the players renamed themselves the Iola Gaslighters – but had a change of heart and reverted to the original name the following season.

“They said, ‘You know what? Yeah, we are, We’re the Gasbags.'” adds Hagerty, author of Root for the Home Team: Minor League Baseball’s Most Off-the-Wall Names and the Stories Behind Them.

“I think the state of Kansas may take the prize for the most terrific names – the Wichita Wingnuts, the Wichita Izzies, the Hutchinson Salt Packers…and the Iola Gasbags.”

In the Texas Panhandle, the Borger Gassers disappeared after the 1955 season, despite Gordon Nell hitting a record-setting 49 homers in 1947. Team owners blamed television and air-conditioning for reducing minor league baseball attendance and profitability.

In Beaumont, Texas, site of the great Spindletop oil discovery of 1901, minor league baseball lasted for decades under several names. The first team, the Beaumont Oil Gushers of the South Texas League, was fielded in 1903. By the 1904 season the team was known as the Millionaires and then the Oilers before becoming the Beaumont Exporters in 1920.

oil town baseball

East of Dallas, in Van, Texas, fielding practice at the oil town baseball high school includes a reminder of a prolific oilfield discovered in 1929. Photo by Bruce Wells.

Although many thought the name should be changed to the Refiners, reflecting the city’s industry, for the 1950 season the team was briefly known as the Roughnecks.

Beaumont’s last AA Texas League team was the Golden Gators, which folded in 1986.

Another team in the Texas League, the Shreveport Gassers, on May 8, 1918, played 20 innings against the Fort Worth Panthers before the game was finally declared a tie at one to one.

“Big Train” and Olinda Oil Wells

Perhaps baseball’s greatest product from the oilfield was a young man who was a roustabout in the small oil town of Olinda, California. Walter “Big Train” Johnson will earn national renown as the greatest pitcher of his time.

In 1894, the Union Oil Company of Santa Paula purchased 1,200 acres in northern Orange County for oil development. Four years later the first oil well, Olinda No. 1, came in and created the oil boom town.

Around the turn of the century, Olinda Oil Wells baseball players began making a name for themselves among the semi-pro teams of the Los Angeles area.

oil town baseball

A 1961 baseball card notes the former California oilfield roustabout’s 1913 pitching record, which lasted until Don Drysdale pitched 58 in 1968.

By 1903 the Orange County team was sharing newly built Athletic Park in Anaheim, “two hours south of Olinda by horse and buggy,” notes one historian. Youngster Walter Johnson rooted for the Oil Wells.

Johnson, originally from Humboldt, Kansas, moved to the thriving oil town east of Brea with his family when he was 14. He attended Fullerton Union High School and played baseball there while working in the nearby oilfields.

His high-school pitching began making headlines, including a 1905 15-inning game against rival Santa Ana High School where he struck out 27.

By 17, Johnson was playing for his oil town baseball team, the Olinda Oil Wells, as its ace pitcher. He shared in each game’s income of $25, according to Henry Thomas in Walter Johnson: Baseball’s Big Train.

“Not a bad split for nine players considering that a roustabout in the oilfields started at $1.50 a day,” Thomas notes in his book. Johnson finished with a winning season and soon moved on to the minor leagues.

Johnson’s major league career began in 1907 in Washington, D.C., where he played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Washington Senators.

The former oil patch roustabout remains major league baseball’s all-time career leader in shutouts with 110, second in wins (417) and fourth in complete games (531).

In 1936, “Big Train” Johnson was inducted into baseball’s newly created Hall of Fame with four others: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson.

In 1924, Johnson returned to his California oil patch roots. On October 31, he and his former baseball teammates played an exhibition game in Brea against Babe Ruth and the Ruth All-Stars.

Texon Oilers of the Permian Basin 

On May 28, 1923, a loud roar was heard when the Santa Rita No. 1 well erupted in West Texas. People as far away as Fort Worth traveled to see the well. Near Big Lake, Texas, on arid land leased from the University of Texas, Texon Oil and Land Company made the discovery. The oilfield, about 4.5 square miles, revealed vast oil reserves in West Texas. Exploration spread into other areas of the Permian Basin, still one of the largest oil-producing regions in the United States.

oil town baseball

The first oil “company town” in the Permian Basin, Texon, was founded in 1924 by Big Lake Oil Company. The Texon Oilers won Permian Basin League championships in 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1939. Texon remains a tourist attraction – as a ghost town.

Early Permian Basin discoveries created many boom towns, including Midland, which some will refer to as “Little Dallas.”

By 1924, Michael L. Benedum, a successful independent oilman from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and other successful independent producers – wildcatters – formed the Big Lake Oil Company.

The new company established Texon, the first oil company town in the Permian Basin.

Today a ghost town, Texon was considered a model oil community. It had a school, church, hospital, theater, golf course, swimming pool – and a semi-pro company baseball team.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, the Texon Oilers baseball team was the centerpiece of the employee recreation plan of Levi Smith, vice president and general manager of the Big Lake Oil Company. Smith, an avid baseball fan, organized the club soon after he founded the Reagan County town (a few miles west of today’s town of Big Lake).

 The Big Lake oilfield was featured during the beginning of a 2002 movie.

The Permian Basin oilfield was featured in a 2002 movie featuring a Big Lake High School teacher and baseball coach.

By the summer of 1925 a baseball field was ready for use. In 1926 a 500-seat grandstand completed the facility.

“In 1929 the Big Lake Oil Company began a tradition of hosting a Labor Day barbecue for employees and friends, highlighted by a baseball game,” notes historian Jane Spraggins Wilson.

“Management consistently attempted to schedule well-known clubs, such as the Fort Worth Cats and the Halliburton Oilers of Oklahoma,” adds Wilson, who explains that during the Great Depression, “before good highways, television, and other diversions, the team was a source of community cohesiveness, entertainment, and pride.”

After the World War II, with its famous the oilfield diminishing and the town losing population, aging Oilers left the game for good, Wilson reports. By the mid-1950s the Texon Oilers were but a memory.

Hollywood visits West Texas

A Midland, Texas, museum exhibits Permian Basin history.

A Midland, Texas, museum exhibits Permian Basin history.

The 2002 movie “The Rookie” – filmed almost entirely in the Permian Basin of West Texas – featured a Big Lake high-school teacher.

Based on the “true life” of baseball pitcher Jimmy Morris, it tells the story of a Big Lake’s baseball coach, Morris (played by Dennis Quaid), who despite being in his mid-30s briefly makes it to the major leagues.

The movie – promoted with the phrase, “It’s never too late to believe in your dreams” – opens with a  flashback scene near Big Lake, the Santa Rita No. 1 drilling site.

oil town baseball

In the movie “The Rookie,” Catholic nuns christen the well. In reality, one of the well’s owners climbed to the top of the derrick and threw out rose petals given to him by a group of Catholic women investors.

As the well is being drilled, Catholic nuns are shown carrying a basket of rose pedals to christen it for the patron Saint of the Impossible – Santa Rita.

oil town baseball

Whiting has been home to the North-west Indiana Oilmen since 2012.

“Much is made of the almost mythic importance of oil in Big Lake, with talk of the Santa Rita oil well,” explains ESPN in the The Rookie in Reel Life

Learn more about the Permian Basin in Santa Rita taps Permian Basin and visit the Petroleum Museum in Midland.

Whiting, Indiana, fields Oilmen in 2012

In 1889, the Standard Oil Company began construction on a 235-acre refinery complex in Whiting, Indiana. Today owned by BP, the Whiting refinery is the largest in the United States.

Whiting fielded a baseball team in 2012. On June 3, the North-west Indiana Oilmen crushed the Southland Vikings 14-3 at Oil City Stadium in Standard Diamonds Park for the first win in franchise history. The team is one of eight in the Midwest Collegiate League, a pre-minor league.

June-18-Standard-Oil-Refinery-AOGHS

Standard Oil’s giant refinery in Whiting, Indiana, processed “sour crude” in the early 1900s. Now owned by BP, it is the largest U.S. refinery. The city of Whiting incorporated in 1903.

“The name Oil City Stadium celebrates Whiting’s history as a refinery town tucked away in the Northwest corner of Indiana for over 120 years,” says team owner Don Popravak. “The BP Refinery, located just beyond they outfield fence is a constant reminder of the blue collar attitude Whiting was built on,” he adds.
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The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Support this AOGHS.org energy education website with a contribution today. For membership information, contact bawells@aoghs.org. © 2019 Bruce A. Wells.

 high-flying trademark

A winged neon reminder of its oil heritage soared above Dallas on the Magnolia Petroleum building.

Thanks to Project Pegasus, after years of neglect the high-flying trademark was saved and restored to a new location. On May 27, 2015, the corporate symbol was re-lit by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings.

Although no longer atop the historic Magnolia building, the red-winged oil patch icon continues to be a city attraction perched on a 22-foot derrick in front of the Omni Dallas Hotel on Lamar Street.

Mobil Oil Company’s trademark has been a feature of Dallas since first welcoming attendees to a 1934 petroleum convention. It remains among the most well recognizable corporate symbols in American history. The twin flying red horses – one on each side – are rotating again and the neon glow is once again bright.
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Of the almost 2.5 million of miles of energy pipelines in America, at least one minuscule fraction has made a contribution to the arts, as a Texas sculptor demonstrated in 1993.

Petroleum pipeline sections are part of the 1993 Houston sculpture some call the largest (non-playable) saxophone in the world.

On February 22, Bob “Daddy-O” Wade debuted his 63-foot tall saxophone sculpture at Billy Blues Bar & Grill on Houston’s west side. He and a crew of three transformed two 48-inch-wide sections of steel pipeline into a free-standing sculpture supported by a 25-foot-deep pylon.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds played at the restaurant’s opening gala as the crowd admired Wade’s pipeline artwork, which has the same width as the 800-mile-long Alaskan pipeline (see below). His sculpture also includes a Volkswagen, a surfboard, beer kegs, and assorted incongruent pieces to create a blue-painted saxophone, known around Houston as the “Smokesax.”

Although deemed by the Houston City Council to be art and thus not subject to signage ordinances, it took arguments about the First Amendment to reach that decision; the Smokesax had been accused of violating Houston’s sign ordinance prohibiting advertising billboards taller than 40 feet.

“While embraced by the local art community, the Sax was targeted by the Houston Sign Administration as being in violation of the Houston Sign Code,” noted the trade publication Billboard Insider in 2018.

The creative use of 48-inch-wide steel pipe was noted by the Fort Worth Star Telegram, which described artist Wade as a, “pioneer of Texas Funk and connoisseur of Southwestern kitsch.” Even musician Willie Nelson opined, “Now that I understand art, I realize what a genius Daddy-O Wade really is.”

Bob “Daddy-O” Wade used two 48-inch steel sections of pipeline and a Volkswagen to create his work of art.

When Billy Blues Bar & Grill moved from Richmond Avenue to a new site in 2001, the future was uncertain for Houston’s giant pipeline artwork, called by some the largest (non-playable) saxophone in the world.

“After the club closed, the building stood empty for years,and the sculpture was neglected, as well as vandalized,” noted one Houston blogger. In 2000, Smokesax was restored, and the big, blue saxophone sculpture “once again stands proudly against the blue Texas sky.” But the iconic sculpture would leave Richmond Avenue.

To ensure preservation in 2013, Houston’s Orange Show Center for Visionary Art acquired Bob “Daddy-O” Wade’s sculpture, which remains a little-known petroleum industry landmark of modern art. Also see Oil in Art.

Modern Petroleum Pipelines

Oil and natural gas pipelines have been part of the petroleum industry since the earliest U.S wells. During the World War II, “Big Inch” pipelines with diameters of 24 inches and 20 inches connected prolific Texas oilfields with Chicago and East Coast refineries.

The United States has almost 2.5 Million miles of oil and natural pipelines. Photo courtesy Energy Information Adminsitration.

Since starting operations in June 1977, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System has delivered more than 17.5 billion barrels of oil from North Slope and Prudhoe Bay oilfields(as of 2018). The pipeline’s maximum throughput was more than 2 million barrels of oil a day in 1988.

Giant storage tanks at Cushing, Oklahoma, today have a capacity of 85 million barrels of oil, enhancing the town’s self-proclaimed status as “Pipeline Crossroads of the World.”

Since the 1990s, companies have used “in-line” tools to inspect for corrosion and other defects while the pipelines stay in use, according to the American Petroleum Institute. An electronic “smart pig,” introduced in 1965, is now a generic name for sophisticated in-line inspection tools that target defects with greater accuracy, API noted in 2001.

Today, with construction debated and often controversial, about 2.5 million of miles of petroleum pipelines operate daily as part of U.S. energy infrastructure.

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The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Support this AOGHS.ORG energy education website with a contribution today. For membership information, contact bawells@aoghs.org. © 2019 Bruce A. Wells.

 

Seuss the oilman? Thirty years before the Grinch stole Christmas in 1957, Theodore Seuss Geisel’s critters were seen in Standard Oil advertising campaigns.




seuss the oilman

Few know that Theodore Seuss Geisel created advertising campaigns for Standard Oil for many years. This Standard Oil Company “Essolube” oil change card was issued between 1930 and 1940.

During the Great Depression, the strange but wonderful creatures of the future Dr. Seuss helped sell Essolube and other products for Standard Oil of New Jersey. He later said his experience at Standard, “taught me conciseness and how to marry pictures with words.”

seuss the oilman

Ted Geisel’s unique critters populated Standard Oil advertisements for “Flit,” once a popular bug spray.

In the cartoon that launched his career, Theodore Seuss Geisel drew a peculiar dragon inside a castle.

In the January 14, 1928, issue of New York City’s Judge magazine, Geisel introduced America to one of the many characters inhabiting his imaginative menagerie.

seuss the oilman

Dr. Seuss later said his experience working at Standard Oil “taught me conciseness and how to marry pictures with words.”

“Flit,” was a popular bug spray of the day – especially against flies and mosquitoes. It was one of many Standard Oil Company of New Jersey consumer products derived from petroleum.

Late in 1927, Standard Oil’s growing advertising department, which had focused on sales of Standard and Esso gasolines, lubricating oil, fuel oil and asphalt, reorganized to promote other products, according to author Alfred Chandler Jr.

“Specialities, such as Nujol, Flit, Mistol, and other petroleum by-products that could not be effectively sold through the department’s sales organization were combined in a separate subsidiary – Stanco,” noted Chandler in his 1962 book, Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise.

“Quick, Henry, the Flit!”

Geisel’s fortuitous bug-spray cartoon depicted a medieval knight in his bed, facing a dragon who had invaded his room, and lamenting, “Darn it all, another dragon. And just after I’d sprayed the whole castle with Flit.”

According to the curators of the Dr. Seuss Collection at the University of California, San Diego, an anecdote in Judith and Neil Morgan’s 1995 book Dr. Seuss and Mr. Geisel, the wife of the ad executive who handled the Standard Oil account saw the dragon cartoon. Read the rest of this entry »

 




Traveling from Pennsylvania to Texas at the turn of the century, Thaddeus Mortimer Fowler created oil town “aero views” – panoramic maps of many of America’s earliest petroleum communities.

oil town aero views

More than 400 Thaddeus Fowler panoramas have been identified. There are 324 in the Library of Congress, including Oil City, Pennsylvania. Source: Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Washington, D.C.

oil town aero views

An 1896 Fowler panorama of Titusville, Pennsylvania, where Edwin L. Drake launched the U.S. petroleum Industry in 1859.

Fowler today has the greatest number of panoramic – “Aero View” or “Birds-Eye View” maps in the collection of the Library of Congress. Lithographs of his cartography (done without a balloon) have fascinated Americans since the Victorian Age.

Panoramic maps were a popular cartographic form used to depict U.S. towns during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Interestingly, many of what Fowler called “aero views” captured the small cities near America’s earliest oil and natural gas fields. Read the rest of this entry »

 

joe roughnck

Texas artist Torg Thompson created printed and bronze versions of “Joe Roughneck” in the 1950s.

Joe Roughneck’s rugged, square-jawed face first appeared as the advertising face of an oilfield tubular goods manufacturer before becoming an industry award in 1955. His bust has been handed to top independent oil and gas company executives, dedicated in parks by Texas governors, and featured in newspaper and magazine articles.
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A centennial oil stamp commemorating the birth of the U.S. petroleum industry was issued on August 27, 1959, by Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield, who proclaimed: “The American people have great reason to be indebted to this industry. It has supplied most of the power that has made the American standard of living possible.”  Read the rest of this entry »

 




The popular Depression era comic strip caveman Alley Oop began in the imagination of a cartoonist who drew Permian Basin oilfield maps.

alley oop

A 1995 postage stamp commemorates Alley Oop by Victor Hamlin, a cartoonist from the Yates oil field company town of Iraan, Texas.

Alley Oop appeared for the first time in the summer of 1933 when Victor Hamlin, a former Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reporter, published the soon wildly popular tales about a caveman. Hamlin began syndicating his daily cartoon in the Des Moines Register in Iowa.

Hamlin’s idea for the comic strip, which soon would run in more than 800 newspapers, reportedly began in a small oil “company town” in the Permian Basin.

The West Texas oil town of Iraan (pronounced Eye-Rah-Ann) today proclaims itself as Hamlin’s inspiration for Alley Oop. Story begins with major oilfield discoveries in the Permian Basin, beginning with a 1920 discovery by W. H. Abrams in Mitchell County. But it was the success of the Santa Rita No. 1 well in May 1923 that convinced independent oil companies to explore the full 300-mile extent of the basin from most of West Texas into the southeastern corner of New Mexico.


Iraan first appeared as a company town following the discovery of the prolific Yates oilfield in October 1926. The town’s name combined names of the townsite owners, Ira and Ann Yates. Discovered in southeastern Pecos County, the Yates field brought prosperity to Midland, Odessa and other communities by producing more than 40 million barrels in just three years.

According to one comic strip historian, the cartoonist came up with the idea for Alley Oop while working in the Permian Basin oilfields. As Iraan boomed in the late 1920s, Hamlin, originally from Perry, Iowa, began working in the oil patch.

“He could watch dinosaur bones being removed by the steam shovels and scrapers as they cleared the sites for drilling, wells, and pumps,” Mike Hanlon explains. Hamlin developed a life-long interest in geology and paleontology.

According to Steve Stiles in The Man Who Walked With Dinosaurs, “Hamlin moved on to doing art for an oil industry publication and one day, while wandering through the desolate landscape of the oilfields, began musing about the dinosaurs who had once roamed through the very same territory.”

Hamlin, who reportedly witnessed the first oil gusher at Iraan, worked as a cartographer for petroleum company making their site maps. The official start date of his Alley Oop was a daily strip was August 7, 1933. The Sunday page began September 9, 1934.


The biggest roughnecking days are over in Iraan by 1960 – when the band “The Hollywood Argyles” sang Alley Oop was “the toughest man there is alive.” The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960.

Tourists visit the Alley Oop Museum and R.V. Park on the northwest edge of Iraan. Thanks to improved recovery techniques, oil production from Yates oil wells continues – and the field is estimated to have one billion barrels of recoverable oil remaining.

Although Hamlin retired in 1971 and died in 1993, his daily strips (now by Jack and Carole Bender) today appear in 600 newspapers. Alley Oop was one of 20 U.S. Postal Service commemorative Comic Strip Classics postage stamp series in 1995. When visiting West Texas, stop by Iraan and visit the Alley Opp Park and Fantasy Land.

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The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Support this AOGHS.ORG energy education website with a contribution today. For membership information, contact bawells@aoghs.org. © 2018 Bruce A. Wells.

 




hall of petroleum

Oil history today has a small role in the Smithsonian’s “America on the Move” exhibit.

In 1967, the Smithsonian’s “Hall of Petroleum” devoted an entire wing to oil field exhibits, including drilling rigs and pump jacks. Few remain today.

With a collection of more than three million artifacts, the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., exhibits surprisingly few relating to the U.S. petroleum industry. It wasn’t always so.

In June 1967, an entire wing of exhibits – the “Hall of Petroleum” – opened at the Smithsonian Institution’s American history museum on the national mall. It including cable-tool and rotary drilling rigs, pump jacks and other oilfield exhibits.

Thousands of visitors viewed the petroleum history – including examples of exploration and production technological advancements. Read the rest of this entry »




Community museums, historians, writers, and educators across the country are dedicated to preserving the heritage of an industry that shaped and defined the 20th century. Oilfield artists have been important recorders and interpreters of petroleum’s influence in the United States.

California Artist seeks Home for “Oil and Guts” Oilfield Mural

Artist Barbara Fritsche began painting “Oil and Guts” at the end of 2007 – just when the fictionalized movie “There Will Be Blood” was hitting theaters, she says. Meeting with roughnecks provided her a petroleum industry education.

Los Angeles artist Barbara Fritsche’s mural – which some say resemble the Buena Vista oilfields – acknowledges “the blue collar appeal and respect of the environment surrounded by a biblical sunset, famous in this area.”

Barbara Fritsche seeks a buyer for her mural.

Fritsche adds that her her 48-foot by 12-foot oil on canvas board mural, which originated as a commission for an independent oilman, took a year and a half to complete. Today, this original work of oilfield art is looking for a home in a museum, corporate headquarters, or other appropriate location.

“My drawings and the landscape in my painting resemble the Buena Vista oilfields, as stated by roughnecks that offered their nods of appreciation,” she explains.

“My concept for ‘Oil and Guts’ – a slice of time in the oil business, using a narrative, acknowledging the blue collar appeal and respect of the environment surrounded by a biblical sunset, famous in this area,” says the artist. Read the rest of this entry »

 




The 1939 “Oil Fields of Graham” mural by Alexandre Hogue is on display in its original Texas oil patch community’s historic U.S. Postal Service building – now a museum.

Born in Memphis, Missouri, on February 22, 1898, Hogue became known for his paintings of southwestern scenes during the Great Depression – including murals of the 1930s petroleum industry. Read the rest of this entry »