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When the first gusher blew in at Spindletop, near Beaumont, Texas, in 1901, petroleum began to supplant cotton and cattle as the economic engine of the state and region. Very soon, much of the workforce migrated from the cotton field to the oilfield, following the lure of the wealth being created by black gold. The early decades of the twentieth century witnessed the development of an oilfield culture, as these workers defined and solidified their position within the region's social fabric. Over time, the work force grew more professionalized, and technological change attracted a different type of laborer. Bobby D. Weaver grew up and worked in the oil patch. Now, drawing on oral histories supplemented and confirmed by other research, he tells the colorful stories of the workers who actually brought oil wealth to Texas. Drillers, shooters, toolies, pipeliners, teamsters, roustabouts, tank builders, roughnecks . . . each of them played a role in the frenzied, hard-driving lifestyle of the boomtowns that sprouted overnight in association with each major oil discovery. Weaver tracks the differences between company workers and contract workers. He details the work itself and the ethos that surrounds it. He highlights the similarities and differences from one field to another and traces changing aspects of the work over time. Above all,Oilfield Trashcaptures the unique voices of the laboring people who worked long, hard hours, often risking life and limb to keep the drilling rigs "turning to the right."
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
The Oil Boom, 1901-1905
The Drillers, 1901-1910
The Other Hands, 1901-1910
Moving on up North, 1910-1922
The Panhandle-Populating Cow Country, 1919-1930
East Texas-Changes in the Patch, 1930-1935
Way Out West, 1923-1940
Change Comes to the Oil Patch, 1941-1960
The Making of an Oilfield Culture, 1901-1960
A Language of Their Own
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.