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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Oil workers, Wyoming, early 1920s

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Oil workers, Wyoming, early 1920s
NMAH, Archives Center, API Collection


This object appears in the following sections:

Americans Adopt the Auto:
Americans Adopt the Auto — “Fill 'er Up!”

Canfield filling station

Mobiloil 'Gargoyle' Sign

Two oil workers in Wyoming
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
This Bureau of Mines photograph number 28740 has the annotation “Pulling tubing with tubing oil saver. Production test work - Wyoming. 1921-1922” on the bottom of it. Oil fields were masculine workplaces that sprung up whereever deposits of petroleum were found.
Physical Description
photograph. The images shows two men covered in oil, dressed in protective clothing. They are smiling at one another. In between them is a large piece of oily machinery, hanging from a hook.
Date Made:

The 20th century oil industry employed increasingly large numbers of men in the the oil fields: their number rose from 22,230 workers in 1902 to 93,205 in 1919. Even more were employed building pipelines and working in refineries, corporate offices, and marketing. Despite the Depression, by the mid-1930s the oil industry employed some 1 million people.

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