22 December 2012

Olinda Oil Field Photos from 1916

Here are some great views of the Olinda Oil Field as it appeared in 1916 with the photographs appearing in an article about energy supply in the United States during the First World War, which America entered the following year. 

The creation of the American Expeditionary Force to fight in Europe, where the opposing sides had been bogged down in catastrophic trench warfare, led to the development of a quickly-mobilized industry of weapons and ammunition, tanks, aircraft, trucks and other vehicles, and ships with the demand for petroleum skyrocketing.  The Olinda field, along with the others in the several oil-producing states in the Union, were tapped heavily for the war effort.

The views here include panoramas of the general field and of a large reservoir of oil and the reflections cast from it, which is a timeworn photographic cliche, to be sure, but a very effective one.

These images could not be scanned together because they are on facing pages with the center fold between then and were obtained by the publication from the General Petroleum Company, one of the bigger firms operating leases at Olinda in that period. 

The company had its property to the north of the Chanslor-Canfield Midway Organization (CCMO), to which the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad spur line came into the field from Atwood in Placentia. 

This would be roughly in the vicinity of the Olinda Alpha Landfill above the Olinda Ranch subdivision.  Click here for a link to a post on this blog from just about a year ago showing a detail of a 1924 map in which the General Petroleum site was located.

Aside from the forest of derricks and collection of pump houses, sheds and other associated structures, residences are found scattered throughout the panoramas and some of the surrounding hills and open spaces are captured, as well.

These images were scanned from the article, which is in the collection of the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, California.

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