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.

About rhysfunk

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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8 Responses to Tulsa: Oil Capital of the World

  1. Heather Goodson says:

    What a spectacular find!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. Charlie Tooley says:

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

  3. Nicole Masullo says:

    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.

  4. Patti Edwards says:

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

  5. Very cool, Rhys. Thank you for sharing…

  6. Michelle Barnett says:

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

  7. Noel Hunt says:

    Do you know where we can find a copy of this to purchase?

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