The Oil Boom as an Infant
California makes a huge deal of the gold rush, but its only enduring legacy is Levi's blue jeans and a football team in San Francisco.
Spindletop gave us the twentieth century.
No Spindletop: no oil boom. No oil boom: no automobile for America to fall in love with. No Henry Ford. No assembly line. No fuel for the engines of industry and innovation.
Sure, these developments were already in motion, but is was a slow motion. Spindletop was a big bang that gave birth to a whole new universe. Plentiful oil literally fueled the second industrial revolution.
The twentieth century was born in Beaumont on January 10, 1901. That's the day the Lucas Gusher came in. It blew a thousand feet of four inch pipe out of the hole, sent oil two hundred feet in the air, and ran wild for ten days.
The horde rolled in and Beaumont tripled in size. In the space of a year lots of poor men got rich and many rich men got poor and then rich again.
This map is the closest you will ever come to having a baby picture of the Texas oil boom.
It shows the Spindletop Field with seven producing wells (including the Lucas discovery well,) along with twenty-five more being drilled on various leases.
These numbers, and the fact that the Beatty Gusher (April, 1901) is not shown, means you are looking at a snapshot of the field sometime between February and March of 1901.
A year later there would be over 500 companies active in the field with 285 producing wells. They didn't call it a boom for nothin'.
This is a high quality giclee reproduction of the original (of which there is only one known copy, now in a private collection.) It is on a buttery textured full cotton watercolor paper and measures 21 by 14 inches.
The edition is just 254 hand-numbered copies, one for each county in Texas.
With Christmas coming these won't last long.
If you order now during the early-bird period you can have them for $59.95. They're ready to ship now.
We will always buy it back if you decide you don't want it. There's no time limit on that.