SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Early Oil: 1910

Early Oil: 1910

Contra Costa County, California, circa 1910. "Standard Oil works, Richmond, looking east." The refinery, described as "colossal" when it opened in 1902, is still in operation, under the Chevron name. 8x6 inch glass negative. View full size.

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East Bay smoke

Smoke in the sky from the refineries across the Bay was a familiar sight from Marin County at least through the 1950s, as seen in the large black smudge hovering in the beyond past San Quentin Point in my brother's slide from 1955 looking east from the hills over our home town Idyllic Larkspur™. At least we didn't have to smell it, usually, as ElViejo did.

"Still in Operation"

It was doing a pretty good job of spewing smoke and smell in the 1950s when I was growing up two towns to the south. On some days, driving by it on the way to the Richmond-San Rafael ferry (and then on to Stinson Beach -- good times) it would bring tears to your eyes.

"Still in operation"

But hopefully not spewing all that smoke and particulates into the air!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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