Life and Death in the Oilfields near Sour Lake
Charlie Jeffries wrote:
"How many men in the hurry, scurry, and irresponsible management in the field were taken out maimed, mashed, struck dead, will never be known. To get the oil out of the earth and get it converted into money was the sole thought of land owners; and those engaged in other forms of business were moved by like motives. They halted at no obstacles. Employers paid good wages for what they had done, and slam, bang, clang, they had to have results. Hence firemen with eyes so badly gassed they could hardly see the steam gauges worked around boilers; hence well crews worked with old rattletrap outfits that were liable any minute to fly to pieces and knock them to kingdom come; hence men worked in the top of derricks, hanging on with one hand, straining with the other to the limit of their muscles to adjust something that had gone wrong. After forty years of sobering absence, it still seems to me that there was more high-pressure work going on in Sour Lake than in any other place I have ever seen. "
------- Charlie Jeffries remembers life, death, and hard work in the Sour Lake oil fields, 1903
Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.