This exceptional map was published as a special supplement in the March 20th, 1933 edition of The Oil Weekly, a professional oil industry magazine published in Houston. Two decades after the first salt dome discovery at Spindletop in 1901, which ushered in the United States oil age, we see a widely developed and highly sophisticated Gulf Coast oil and gas industry.
The map spans the coast of Texas and Louisiana from the Rio Grande to New Orleans, inland to the Texan cities of Loredo, San Antonio, and Austin, and up the Mississippi River past Baton Rouge as far as Tallulah. It was prepared by a Gulf Coast Engineering Company geographer, who plots in extensive detail different types of oil and gas fields, as well as geological or geophysical oil field prospects throughout the region. Spindletop itself is of course shown in the southern portion of Beaumont, and the myriad oil pipelines passing through and around it attest to the importance of this field, the discovery of which proved to be the beginning of a dramatic period of change and economic growth sometimes referred to as the ‘Texas Oil Boom.’ Also called the ‘Gusher Age,’ this period lasted from 1901 to 1940s, and thus contemporary to our map.
With excellent design and precision, this map documents an important industrial sector that played a key role in the regional economy of the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, and indeed the economy of the United States as a whole. A rare collectors’ item.