Tall Timber on the Boll Weevil Line - Mexia, 1923

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The Invisible Roughneck in the Texas Oilfields

Roughnecks have always been tough, especially those walking calluses who were sinking holes in Texas fields a century ago.

But muscle and blood won't cut through a thousand feet of rock...unless you have Pharaoh's manpower.

Turning those early bits was the job of an invisible roughneck. Mother Boiler's hot headed son, Steam.

You might be saying, 'Wait a minute. Steam isn't invisible. You can see it coming out of a hot kettle or a burst radiator.' Well, that's not steam.

What you see it water vapor, the ghost of steam.Out in the oilfields a hundred years ago, it was oil that fired the boilers, that made the steam, that moved the piston, that spun the flywheel, that turned the drill pipe, that was attached to the bit, that brought in the oil. The circle of industrial life.

Steam also propelled the locomotives that pulled the tank cars, that hauled the crude to the refinery.

By 1905, steam was helping to bring enough oil out of the Texas ground that the railroads switched from coal. 3.5 barrels of oil could replace a ton of coal at 1/4 the price.

That brings us to this image.

It's called Tall Timber on the Boll Weevil Line - Mexia, 1925. The Boll Weevil Line is what folks called the Trinity & Brazos Valley RR.

How about that perspective? The photographer (a Mr. Abbott) hauled his camera to the top of a neighboring derrick to get the shot of that long, black train.

Print Number Nine
in the C. A. Warner Memorial Series of Historic Texas Oil Field Images.


Physical Details

  • 24 by 18 inches
  • Limited Edition of 254 Copies
  • Each one is hand-numbered
This is a high quality Giclee print on old-world style heavy weight, acid free, cold press watercolor paper.  Each one is individually hand-numbered. The 'felt finished' surface allows the inks to 'bite', reproducing the shading and tonality of the original image vividly, beautifully, and exactly. 


These inks are guaranteed color-fast for 80 years, which means you won't need to lay out the extra money for UV glass. You can hang your print in direct sun and it will be just as bright when they are passed on to the next generation as a family heirloom as it is the day it ships.

All you need to do choose any standard 18 by 24 inch frame from your local frame shop.

Like all prints in this series, it is a Limited Edition of only 254 hand-numbered, one for each county in Texas.

It's an instant heirloom. 

 

Shipping

  • Shipping is $5 for this item.
  • Allow two weeks for delivery.
  • Ships in a sturdy tube.

Guarantee

We will gladly buy it back if you decide you don't want it anymore. There's no time limit on that.

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