The Texas Oil Industry Illustrated through Postcards

 

Borger, Texas, ca. 1926

Borger, Texas, ca. 1926

191 postcards that depict the oil boom in Texas are now available online in the Texas: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection, which is one of more than 30 digital collections that form part of CUL Digital Collections. The postcards are held by SMU’s DeGolyer Library.

Many of the postcards show the rapid growth in Texas oil towns. Take, for example, the 26 real photographic postcards that show the growth of Borger, TX. Borger grew quickly in the 1920s when the railroad completed a spur to the town. It then built a post office, a school, a hotel, a jail and added telephone service and electricity. The town attracted not only oilmen and roughnecks, but also criminals and persons of ill repute.

P. F. Co.'s 55,000 Oil Tank struck by lightning Aug. 5, 1912, Electra, Texas

P. F. Co.’s 55,000 Oil Tank struck by lightning Aug. 5, 1912, Electra, Texas

The town was given the title, “The wickedest place in the world.” Robberies, murders and organized crime were an everyday event in Borger. Governor Dan Moody sent the Texas Rangers to provide stability and sent the Texas National Guard to impose martial law after the district attorney, John A. Holmes, was assassinated outside of his home on September 18, 1929. The Rangers closed down all the saloons and brothels and encouraged many criminals to leave town. Borger then settled down and became a major shipping area for produce and petroleum products. (Source: Borger, TX, The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association)

In addition, a number of the postcard views of the oil boom document vividly the effects of fires from oil wells and storage tanks that were hit by lightning or were set off by a spark when natural gas was unexpectedly found while drilling for oil.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Institute of Museum and Library Services

The oil-related postcards were made available through funding from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission as part of the TexTreasures program. The TexTreasures program was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

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CUL Digital Collections: September 2012

[Two women], ca. 1847-1859

[Two women], ca. 1847-1859

In September 2012, CUL uploaded 1,098 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 26,680 published items.

Highlights include:

114 images in the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs collection, including 26 cased daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes

776 slides in Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes, including Box 6 containing the series on Guatemala, Travels to Mexico, and The Adolescent

Relief Tikal, Museum of Guatemala, 1959, slide by Octavio Medellin

Relief Tikal, Museum of Guatemala, 1959, slide by Octavio Medellin

30 photographs of French and German locomotives from the David Goodyear Collection of foreign railroad photographs

45 negatives, mainly of Southern Pacific locomotives, from the Collection of railroad negatives

30 cards from the Baldwin Locomotive Works builder’s cards

83 early campus newspapers in the Southern Methodist University Student Newspapers collection

Carta corografica del Estado de Bolivar, 1865

Carta corografica del Estado de Bolivar, 1865

6 panoramic postcards from the Manning Texas and Mexico collection

5 cartes de visite from the Collection of Civil War and military cartes de visite and portraits

8 maps depicting eight of the nine states that comprised the United States of Colombia in 1865

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Early Texas Postcards from SMU’s DeGolyer Library

Early Texas Postcards from SMU’s DeGolyer Library

Port Lavaca, Texas, ca. 1906

Port Lavaca, Texas, ca. 1906

More than 1,300 early Texas postcards from SMU’s DeGolyer Library are now available online in the Texas: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints digital collection, which is one of more than 30 digital collections that form part of CUL Digital Collections.

The DeGolyer Library’s early Texas postcard collections provide a unique, visual glimpse of Texas history during the late 19th and early 20th century. These collections are especially interesting because of the large number of real photographic postcards showing distinctly local views of Texas.

Fire in Electra, Texas, ca. 1910s

Fire in Electra, Texas, ca. 1910s

These collections are important, because they illustrate a time of great change in Texas. Essentially, these images trace the visual history of Texas during the first two decades of the 20th century. They show developing towns and cities with changing skylines, street scenes, churches, schools and universities, local events and disasters, landscapes, agriculture, and the rise of such new industries as oil, railroads, tourism, recreation and banking. They preserve a particularly local view of time and place in Texas. many postcards illustrate the operations of the oil industry in its early years as well as show the dangers involved.

Much of the DeGolyer Library’s early Texas postcard collection are “real photographic postcards” in that they are true photographs printed on postcard stock paper. Such cards, often made spontaneously by entrepreneurial, traveling photographers, can be the only record of a small-town event otherwise lost in time. In addition, since postcards fall under the category of ephemera, or materials that are not considered particularly valuable, they were frequently discarded; therefore, many that remain may be unique records of the past.

One of Galveston's Beautiful Homes, Galveston, Texas, ca. 1910s

One of Galveston’s Beautiful Homes, Galveston, Texas, ca. 1910s

Somewhat older than the real photographic cards are printed, color halftone photomechanical  postcards made by professional companies. These were sometimes printed locally, but many were manufactured in Germany, a country that specialized in the process. After the outbreak of World War I, overseas imports ceased. Together, the real photographic postcards and printed postcards represent a fascinating piece of Texas history.

The DeGolyer Texas postcards are located in three accessions: The Eric Steinfeldt Collection of Maritime Views; the Collection of Real Photographic Postcards of Texas, and the Collection of Texas Postcards.

Tornado in Austin, Texas, 1922

Tornado in Austin, Texas, 1922

SMU, through its Central University Libraries (CUL), has recently digitized and made available on the Internet more than 1,300 of these postcards, which depict buildings, people, events, and industries in Texas. The digitized postcards can be used by a wide range of user communities for applications such as historic preservation, genealogical research, re-photography, and the study of Texas.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Institute of Museum and Library Services

Throughout 2012 digitization of 1,240 of the early Texas postcards was funded by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission as part of the TexTreasures program. The TexTreasures program was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

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CUL Digital Collections: August 2012

In August 2012, CUL uploaded 660 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 24,580 published items. (Note: Items include individual pages in compound objects.)

The Capilla de Pocito, part of the Basilica de Guadalupe, ca. 1905-1905, from the Album, Mexico

The Capilla de Pocito, part of the Basilica de Guadalupe, ca. 1905-1905, from the Album, Mexico

Below are highlights:

46 Texas postcards into the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs collection as part of the Summerlee Texas History Grant

30 currency notes in the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

417 slides in Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes

80 photographs from the Album, Mexico

45 stereoviews from the Stereos of Mexico

Court House, Dallas, Tex., ca. 1908

Court House, Dallas, Tex., ca. 1908, was one of 61 early Texas postcards uploaded into CUL’s Flickr: The Commons Photostream in August 2012.

21 cards from the Baldwin Locomotive Works builder’s cards

12 photos and prints from the Collection of Civil War related prints and photographs

6 aerial negatives of the Sleepy Hollow Country Club by Robert Yarnall Richie


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CUL Digital Collections: July 2012

In July 2012, CUL uploaded 318 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 23,920 published items. 

Below are highlights:

Calavera de las elecciones presidenciales, 1919, illustrated by Jose Guadalupe Posada

Calavera de las elecciones presidenciales, 1919, illustrated by Jose Guadalupe Posada

129 early Texas postcards digitized as part of the FY2012 TexTreasures grant

20 currency notes in the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

50 slides in Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes

92 documents in the Cantonment Burgwin Postings collection

14 broadsides illustrated by Jose Guadalupe Posada

17 photographs from Brehme photographs of Mexico

33 broadsides from the Advertisements in rhyme for business enterprises in Texas, Louisiana, and Indian Territory

El Ixtaccihuatl y el Popocatepetl, ca. 1908-1915, by Hugo Brehme

El Ixtaccihuatl y el Popocatepetl, ca. 1908-1915, by Hugo Brehme

4 cartes de visite and 1 stereograph from the Collection of Civil War and military cartes de visite and portraits

Shown above left: Print by Jose Guadalupe Posada in the Calavera de las elecciones presidenciales, 1919, broadside. This image includes the “chepito el marihuano”, a caricature created by Posada to satirize a certain type of upper-class Mexican man. Shown right: El Ixtaccihuatl y el Popocatepetl, ca. 1908-1915, by Hugo Brehme, shows two Mexican volcanoes.

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CUL Digital Collections: June 2012

CONTENTdm Collections

In June 2012, CUL uploaded 453 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 23,600 published items. 

Rita Crocker Clements and William ''Bill'' Perry Clements, Jr., ca. 1960s

Rita Crocker Clements and William "Bill" Perry Clements, Jr., ca. 1960s.

Below are highlights:

85 early Texas postcards digitized as part of the FY2012 TexTreasures grant

31 currency notes in the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

64 photographs and documents in the Southern Methodist University Campus Memories collection

48 slides in Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes

43 negatives in the Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection, including 23 aerial view of mansions in Newport, RI, ca. 1932-1934

Mule car of only international street railway in the world, El Paso-Juarez, 1902.

Mule car of only international street railway in the world, El Paso-Juarez, 1902.

92 documents in the Cantonment Burgwin Postings collection

40 broadsides illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada

25 images from the El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico album, 1902

25 images from the Stereos of Mexico

Volumes 61-82 from the Baldwin Locomotive Works engine specifications, 1869-1938

Shown above left: Rita Crocker Clements and William “Bill” Perry Clements, Jr., ca. 1960s. Right: Mule car of only international street railway in the world, El Paso-Juarez, 1902.

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CUL Digital Collections: May 2012

In May 2012, CUL uploaded 608 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 23,150 published items. (Note: Items include individual pages in compound objects.)

Detail, Wood Carving, O. Medellin, No. 15

Detail, Wood Carving, O. Medellin, No. 15

Below are highlights:

53 Texas photographs into the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs collection as part of the Summerlee Texas History Grant

71 early Texas postcards digitized as part of the FY 2012 TexTreasures grant

43 currency notes in the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

General Alvaro Obregon, President-Elect of Mexico, 1928

General Alvaro Obregon, President-Elect of Mexico, 1928

161 slides in Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes

75 negatives in the Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection, including 13 negatives from Mission Manufacturing, 1944, Houston, and 48 negatives showing aerial views of mansions, estates, and landmarks ca. 1932-1934

69 documents in the Cantonment Burgwin Postings collection

26 real photographic postcards and photos from American border troops and the Mexican Revolution

Las Mujeres Martirizadas!! Crimenes nunca vistos en la ciudad de Mexico, por Roman Palma, 1899, illustrated by Jose Guadalupe Posada

Las Mujeres Martirizadas!! Crimenes nunca vistos en la ciudad de Mexico, por Roman Palma, 1899, illustrated by Jose Guadalupe Posada

71 photographs and postcards from various railroad accessions

7 stereoviews from the Collection of Civil War era stereographs

12 items from the Jack Kilby Papers and Jack Kilby Photographs collections

20 broadsides illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada.

Shown top left: Detail, Wood Carving, O. Medellin, No. 15. Above right: General Alvaro Obregon, President-Elect of Mexico, 1928. Left: Las mujeres martirizadas!! Crimenes nunca vistos en la ciudad de Mexico, por Roman Palma, 1899, illustrated by Jose Guadalupe Posada.

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CUL Digital Collections: April 2012

Rancho Encinal, page 6

Rancho Encinal, page 6

In April 2012, CUL uploaded 527 items into our CONTENTdm collections

Below are highlights:

Rancho Encinal, an album containing 48 pages of photographs of the DeGolyer estate at White Rock Lake

43 Texas photographs into the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs collection as part of the Summerlee Texas History Grant

105 early Texas postcards digitized as part of the FY 2012 TexTreasures grant

48 items, mostly from the Everette Lee DeGolyer, Sr. papers

Ziegler's Saloon $1.00 (one dollar) private scrip, Corpus Christi, July 4, 1862

Ziegler's Saloon $1.00 (one dollar) private scrip, Corpus Christi, July 4, 1862

55 currency notes in the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

32 slides from the Octavio Medellin: Works of Art and Artistic Processes

30 stereoviews from the Stereos of Mexico

41 stereoviews by Alexander Gardner, including 38 stereoviews from the Across the continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division and 3 stereoviews from the Scenes in the Indian country

24 negatives from the Robert Yarnall Richie Photographs collection

101 documents in the newly restructured Cantonment Burgwin Postings collection

Shown top right: Page 6 from the Rancho Encinal album. Above left: Ziegler’s Saloon $1.00 (one dollar) private scrip, Corpus Christi, July 4, 1862.

Posted in Civil War, Early Texas Postcards, Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas photographs | 1 Comment

CUL Digital Collections: March 2012

CONTENTdm Collections

H. P. Dyer, Bonham, Texas, 1855In March, SMU Central University Libraries uploaded 677 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 22,013 published items. 

Below are highlights:

A copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence

7 movies in the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection

20 items from the LHL Eisenbahn-Technische Ausstellung “Seddin” album

124 Texas photographs into the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs collection as part of the Summerlee Texas History Grant, including 9 daguerreotypes

Pam Lange interviews Frances Bearden, wife of Texas artist and SMU art professor Ed Bearden36 currency notes in the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

36 stereoviews from the Collection of Civil War era stereographs

4 Civil War cartes de visite and portaits

20 items from the Arnold Jung locomotives accession

56 negatives and photographs from the Robert Yarnall Richie Photographs collection, including 16 images for Women’s History Month

225 early Texas postcards digitized as part of the FY 2012 TexTreasures grant

15 oral histories in the SMU Video Archive Series

4 Civil War cartes de visite and portraits

Jack Kilby's The Truth, ca. 196816 items from the George A. McAfee photographs

5 photographs from the Stanley Marcus papers

102 documents in the newly restructured Cantonment Burgwin Postings collection

5 drawings from the Alvin Colt design drawings, photographs, and other materials for Neiman Marcus Fortnights

14 items in the Jack Kilby Photographs and Manuscripts collection

Shown top right: H. P. Dyer, Bonham, Texas, 1855, was one of nine daguerreotypes digitized and uploaded into the Lawrence T. Jones III collection as part of the Summerlee grant.  Above left: Pam Lange interviews Frances Bearden, wife of Texas artist and SMU art professor Ed Bearden, as part of SMU’s Video Archive Series. Above right: Jack Kilby’s The Truth.

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CUL Digital Collections: February 2012

In February, CUL uploaded 686 items into our CONTENTdm collections. CUL now has approximately 21,336 published items.

Below are highlights:

Deep Therapy Department, Baylor University Hospital, Drs. Martin and Martin, ca. 1920s

Deep Therapy Department, Baylor University Hospital, Drs. Martin and Martin, ca. 1920s

116 Texas photographs into the Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs collection as part of the Summerlee Texas History Grant

21 currency notes in the Rowe-Barr Collection of Texas Currency

10 items in the newly-created Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest.

8 items in Texas Artists: Paintings, Sculpture, and Works on Paper

1939 The Semi-Weekly Campus Goes To Press video into the Southern Methodist University Campus Memories collection

18 negatives from the Robert Yarnall Richie Photographs collection

Carib Gold, 1956

Carib Gold, 1956

52 items into the Railroads: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints collection, including 34 glass and film negatives, mostly lithographs, from the Collection of Railroad Negatives and 18 items from the Central Pacific Railroad accession

Carib Gold, 1956, by Splendora Film Corp., in the newly created G. William Jones Film and Video Collection

7 movies in the Tyler, Texas Black Film Collection

15 early card photographs from the Colorado Stereos accession

2 videos in the John G. Tower Multimedia collection, including Tight Money, High Interest Rates, and Inflation and Vietnam Press Conference

Boogie Woogie Blues

Boogie Woogie Blues

115 early Texas postcards digitized as part of the FY 2012 TexTreasures grant

145 documents in the newly restructured Cantonment Burgwin Postings collection

Bridwell Library made public the Collection on Frances E. Willard and created Lantern slides produced by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South

Shown above right: Deep Therapy Department, Baylor University Hospital, Drs. Martin and Martin, ca. 1920s. Above left: Carib Gold, 1956. Right: Boogie Woogie Blues, starring Hadda Brooks.

Posted in Early Texas Postcards, Railroads, Robert Yarnall Richie, Texas artists, Tyler Texas Black Film Collection | Leave a comment