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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Oil Patch: 1939

The Oil Patch: 1939

August 1939. "Independent refinery. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma." Last seen here. Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.

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I believe this location is just south of the former Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, on the east side of Oklahoma City, where Douglass High School now stands. Which would put the refinery southeast of the intersection of NE Fourth Street and North Martin Luther King Avenue (former Eastern Avenue). A number of paddock buildings are visible to the southeast of the track. The body of water between the racetrack and the refinery is now part of James E. Stewart Golf Course.

The round building

Is for walking and training horses. It is not a railroad roundhouse.

Oil Patch

The roundhouse is probably for indoor horse-training. Notice the really big, long building top right of center. That's an aerodrome if ever I've seen one.

[Actually that's the Stockyards Coliseum, aka the Oklahoma City Ice Palace, built in 1922, destroyed by fire in 1930, and then rebuilt with a similar design. - Dave]

Back 'a the Patch

Looks like a horse racing track in the background, center, with stables in the background, right.

What's the roundish large building in the background left, with cupola? Railroad roundhouse? Indoor fairgrounds?

[Whatever it is, it is not the same building as the fairgrounds carousel. - Dave]

Legal History

The only oil company in Oklahoma at the time with "Producing & Refining Co." in their name was the Denver Producing and Refining Company. Most of the remaining information on the company is in the form of lawsuits that were lodged against it in the '30s and '40s.

[This all looks like secondhand equipment, which would explain why the DENVER (Acme, or whatever) was removed from the tank. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL 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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