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.
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!
Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe.
After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world.
Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa.
Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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10 thoughts on “Tulsa: Oil Capital of the World”
What a spectacular find!! Thank you for sharing!!!
Your insight into the history of the City of my birth, Tulsa, is excellent. I wish you great results just like this find!
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.
It is beyond wonderful to see these pictures. I was born here in 1954, and I absolutely love and appreciate Tulsa’s history.
Very cool, Rhys. Thank you for sharing…
I have a copy of these, passed down from my husband’s grandmother. Have been trying to figure out who Corrubia was. Thx!
Do you know where we can find a copy of this to purchase?
These are all antiques now; this one is the first I’ve encountered for sale. They do apparently show up on eBay occasionally.
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.
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.