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Special Collections Exhibition

The BOOM days

Prosperity and Pain in Each Barrel of Crude



On display through June 30, 2017
Monday through Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

McFarlin Library – Jack and Tybie Davis Satin Room

BOOM days is a glimpse into the life of the oil field worker during the early days of the oil boom in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Pennsylvania. The exhibit is also a recognition of the fact that, in the 19th and early 20th centuries — whether you were a roughneck, a tankie, a pipe-liner, or a shooter — your job as an oil field worker was not a glamorous one; and to say it was hard work would be the greatest of understatements.

So often these men endured 18-hour work days, lousy food and extreme weather conditions. Many a worker lost his life in a horrendous accident on the rig, by asphyxiation in a storage tank, or by being blown to bits while wiring explosives. Needless to say, these hardy, courageous men, played a crucial role in Oklahoma statehood as well as in the growth and vitality of cities like Tulsa.

We hope that you will be inspired to come visit the exhibit in McFarlin’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives.