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Spindletop oil discovery...

Item # 679354

January 17, 1901

NEW YORK TIMES, January 17, 1901  Although discoveries were made in various locations long before this date, this discovery--to be known as Spindletop--marked the emergence of the oil industry at a time when the automobile and other industries were experiencing rapid growth, coinciding with the need for this new product.
The discovery of oil in Beaumont, Texas, was the beginning of the oil industry in Texas. When the well struck on January 10, 1901 it would gusher uncontrollably for 8 days before being capped.
At the top of the front page is a one column report headed: "THE TEXAS OIL DISCOVERY" with subhead: "General Manager of the Santa Fe Road Says the Well at  Beaumont is a World Beater". The article includes near the beginning a prophetic statement: "Col L. J. Polk...visited the newly discovered great oil well. He says the discovery is unquestionably a world beater, and is only the beginning of many other equally as wonderful wells which will be drilled in the same locality as rapidly as drilling rigs can be shipped there and set to work..." with further details, as seen in the photos. The article with the heads take 4 1/2 inches at the top of the second column.
As noted by Wikipedia, the January 10 discovery at Spindletop marked the birth date of the modern petroleum industry. At 100,000 barrels of oil a day, the gusher tripled U.S. oil production overnight.
Some of the companies chartered to exploit the wealth of Spindletop, such as Gulf Oil and Texaco, are part of today's Chevron Corporation.
This is the complete 16 page newspaper. Usual browning throughout with various chipping at the margins causing little loss to the bottom of the last column, and various edge tears as is typical with fragile newsprint of this era. It must be handled carefully. There is no damage near the noted article.
A great newspaper on the birth of the modern oil industry, and terrific to have not only in perhaps the most revered newspaper in the country, but on the front page as well.

Category: The 20th Century