Tulsa: Oil Capital of the World

This morning, Samantha and I went out to the Holland Hall Book Fair.  We attend annually, not only to bolster our own library but to gather a collection of children’s books for the Tulsa World Book Drive.  It was pouring down rain, but the place was packed.  I quickly tired of the crowd and retreated to a corner of the gymnasium, where I found the Rare Books section.

In the back corner, my eyes were drawn to a little spiral-bound book standing upright.  The cover featured a beautiful charcoal drawing of the Tulsa skyline & looked nearly identical to the cover of an old Bishop’s Restaurant menu I’d seen at the Tulsa Historical Society.  But it wasn’t a menu; not at all.

Oil Capital

This booklet was more than 30 pages of drawings by architect Paul E. Corrubia.  It was assembled for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce in 1937.  On the back of each page was a small write-up about the photo promoting the city.  It was stunningly beautiful.  Although I had originally put my name down for an auction bid, I quickly changed my mind and bought it outright.  I didn’t go in expecting to spend any money, but it was just too significant to pass up.  I scanned a few pages in when I returned home and thought I’d post a few here for all to see, along with their appropriate caption.  Enjoy!

Oil Capital Skyline
Symbolizing the undying Spirit of Tulsa, the Oil Capital’s skyline is one of the crown jewels of the Magic Empire of the youthful Southwest. Modern skyscrapers, ever clean because Tulsa’s fuel is natural gas, stretch into the Oklahoma sky out of the rolling prairie in tremendous tribute to the twentieth century pioneers who builded this Arkansas river giant.
Union Railroad Station
Since the railroads first opened the Indian territory, Tulsa has been favored with major rail facilities and today the Frisco, Santa Fe, M-K-T, Midland Valley, and Sand Springs lines serve her. Tulsa’s three million dollar union depot is an architectural masterpiece, with four great overpasses taking city streets over the trackage. Forty-five railroads have offices in Tulsa.
The National Bank of Tulsa Building
This 24-story office building with its imposing tower is one of the landmarks of Tulsa. Specializing in oil financing, the National Bank of Tulsa, too, is a financial landmark. The development of every major field in the Southwest if reflected in the growth of “The Oil Bank of America.” At the same time, this institution offers individuals and commercial interests in Tulsa, banking services to meet every need.
International Petroleum Exposition
Number 1 show of the oil industry is the International Petroleum Exposition, held at intervals of two years in Tulsa with every oil producing nation participating. A non-profit institution directed by the world’s leading oil men, the Exposition features exhibits worth ten million dollars of every phase of the “black gold” industry. Elaborate permanent buildings house it.
Center of Petroleum Education
Black gold thrust Tulsa forward in magic growth, making her Oil Capital of the World. Tulsa also is the home of the University of Tulsa, heir to Oklahoma’s earliest educational heritage. Vision of Tulsa’s leaders led to the University’s College of Petroleum Engineering, strategic center of petroleum education. Imposing and scientifically equipped, the Phillips Engineering Building is devoted entirely to petroleum and chemical engineerings.
Livestock Pavilion
Tulsa is the capital of the great eastern Oklahoma agricultural empire, famed for the variety and excellence of its products and the progressiveness of its farm population. The annual Tulsa Four-State Fair, of which the Livestock Pavilion is a permanent structure, embodies all phases of this vast industry. The Tulsa Stockyards is a busy trading center for sale of beef cattle, sheep, hogs, horses, and mules raised in this region.

10 thoughts on “Tulsa: Oil Capital of the World

  1. Your insight into the history of the City of my birth, Tulsa, is excellent. I wish you great results just like this find!

  2. Thank you for visiting the 2018 Holland Hall Book Fair and referencing it in your blog. So glad you found a Tulsa treasure, you never know what you will find. Hope to see you again next year. Nicole Masullo – 2018 HH Book Fair Chairperson.

  3. It is beyond wonderful to see these pictures. I was born here in 1954, and I absolutely love and appreciate Tulsa’s history.

  4. I have a copy of these, passed down from my husband’s grandmother. Have been trying to figure out who Corrubia was. Thx!

    1. Hi Noel, I have a copy that is signed by Paul Corrubia. It is a great piece of work. I collect all things Oklahoma and have over 1900 books etc on Oklahoma . I was going to sell this particular Illustrative Booklet from 1937 for $350.00 if you are interested. Thanks, Phillip in Okc
      P.S. The front page is torn off and I was going to frame each page of his works but never got around to it.

  5. I was given this collection by my dear friend Jim Vlahos who was also an architect and an artist. They are truly a treasure. I appreciate the information you gave about the historical society as I’d not known that. My collection is slightly different, no spiral or book, just individual sheets ge kept in a binder along with a collection of prints that were reproductions of World War 2 paintings by Clarence Tibado.

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