[Wichita County. ca. 1920]. Gelatin silver print, 5 x 7 inches, mounted to 7 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches. Minor edge wear. Near fine. Item #WRCAM49169
A handsome photograph, very likely taken at the Burkburnett oilfields in north Texas. Burkburnett was a major boom town for oil producers from 1912 to about 1930, even inspiring a major Hollywood film called BOOM TOWN starring Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. Here, two roughnecks appear to be taking a smoke break to pose for the photograph, sitting on the draw-works inside the derrick. Dating of the photograph is based on a reward broadside posted on the framework of the derrick from the Wichita County Oil Producers and Refiners Association, formed in 1919 to organize and police local oil production. A fascinating firsthand look into the daily life of Texas oil field workers during one of the industry's many booms in the state.