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East Texas Oil Fields

Hamon Arts Library - SMU

Silent | 1929-1932

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    Index of Intertitles
    •  Discovery Well Van Field. 1929 
    •  Watson Well No. 1 and surroundigns. March 1931 
    •  Bringing in the Watson Well No. 1. April 28, 1931 
    •  201 South Main Street.  Longview, Texas 
    •  Bringing in Petroleum Finance Corp.  Lacy Well No. 1.  Fall of 1931 
    •  Gas flare from neighboring well. 
    •  Street scenes Kilgore.  1931 
    •  Bringing in petroleum Finance Coporation - Laird and Crim Well No. 2. - Mrs. Hopkins and Edwin Jr. 
    •  Watson Well No. 1. 1932 
    •  Hotel at Port Isabel Texas, mouth of Rio Grande River. 
    •  Union Sulphur Co. discovery well near Mercedes, Hidalgo Co. Texas. 
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    "East Texas Oil Fields" came to TAMI as part of the family film collection of prominent oil man and geologist, Edwin B. Hopkins. The film documents the development of several new wells on the East Texas and Van Oil Fields between the years 1929 and 1932. Highlights include an oil field fire outside of Kilgore, the offices of the Petroleum Finance Corporation of Texas in Longview, and footage of Kilgore's main street during the 1930s. Hopkins' interests extended throughout the state, and the film also includes a new oil discovery near the south Texas town of Mercedes, in Hidalgo County. Since its discovery on October 5, 1930, the East Texas Oil Field has remained the largest oil and gas field in the continental United States, yielding over 5.2 billion barrels of oil. Its 140,000 acres consist of land in the East Texas counties of Gregg, Rusk, Upshur, Smith, and Cherokee. The sheer quantity of oil from the East Texas Oil Field and its importance during World War II led to the construction of the Big Inch (completed in 1944), a 1,400 mile pipeline running to refineries in Philadelphia. In nearby Van Zandt County, the Van Oil Field, while much smaller, was the first fully unitized field in Texas. The size and historic importance of the East Texas and Van Oil Fields were crucial to the importance of petroleum in the Texas economy and the development of Texas as a resource-rich state.