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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 Larkspurâ„¢. 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!

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