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Map of Gulf Coast District: c. 1928

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  • Title: Map of Gulf Coast District
  • Date: c. 1928
  • Medium: Printed with some hand coloring and manuscript additions
  • Condition: Very Good - on a mostly clean bright sheet, with minor age-toning, splits without loss along folds, blank verso
  • Inches: 10 1/2 x 21 3/4 [Image]
  • Centimeters: 26.67 x 55.25 [Image]
  • Product ID: 319009

Unrecorded Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast oil and gas map. Anonymous authorship, updated by E .J. Raisch 4/7/1928. From the estate of Joseph S. Cullinan, this map extends along the Gulf coast from the U.S./Mexico border east to beyond New Orleans with a printed legend identifying:

Undeveloped Salt Domes
Oil Producing Salt Domes
Producing Structures – Possible Salt Domes
Sulfur Producing Salt Domes
Oil and Sulfur Producing Salt Domes

An additional manuscript legend identifies:

Gas Producing Domes
Production discovered since 1-1-[19]28
Strata Fields
Dome(s) discovered by Tortion Balance or Seismograph

Tortion balance was introduced by 1927 along the gulf coast of Texas and Louisiana growing rapidly after major discoveries in 1928 and beyond. This then is perhaps the earliest record of discoveries identified using this method, with hand added identifiers showing nearly 20 domes discovered up to 4/7/1928 – a real testament to the technology. Not recorded in any of the usual sources, suggesting very limited distribution, perhaps privately printed and updated by one of the numerous oil concerns along the gulf coast at the time.

Joseph “Buckskin Joe” Cullinan was born on December 31, 1860, near Sharon, Pennsylvania, the oldest son and second of eight children of John Francis and Mary (Considine) Cullinan. At the age of fourteen he began working in the Pennsylvania oilfields and learned to perform virtually every task associated with oil production. In 1882 he joined Standard Oil, and he eventually held several managerial positions in that company. He left Standard in 1895 to organize his own company, Petroleum Iron Works, an operation that manufactured steel storage tanks.
When oil was discovered in Corsicana, Texas, in 1894, local developers invited Cullinan to Texas to advise them on production and marketing techniques. In Corsicana he organized the J. S. Cullinan Company, which later became Magnolia Petroleum Company. Among the contributions that Cullinan made to the Corsicana oil industry were the introduction of oil as a fuel for locomotives, the use of natural gas for lighting and heating, and the utilization of oil to settle dust on the city's streets. South of Corsicana, Cullinan constructed a refinery that began operation in 1899 and was the first such facility west of the Mississippi. In addition, in 1899 he was instrumental in persuading the Texas legislature to enact the state's first petroleum-conservation statute.

Cullinan moved his operations to Beaumont shortly after the Spindletop discovery in 1901. There he founded the Texas Company (later Texaco) in 1902; he served as company president until he lost control of the stock in a proxy fight with eastern investors in 1913. When he moved his operations and the Texaco headquarters to Houston in 1905, Cullinan established that city as the focal point of the oil industry in the Southwest. He remained active in the industry after his resignation as president of Texaco. Eventually he founded ten companies involved in the exploration, production, refining, and marketing of Texas petroleum, and he was instrumental in developing oil deposits in the Sour Lake, Humble, and East Texas oilfields.

Cullinan served as president of the Houston Chamber of Commerce from 1913 until 1919 and supported development of the Houston Ship Channel. He also constructed the North Side Belt Railway around the city in 1922. During World War I he was special advisor to the Food Administration under Herbert Hoover. He was a patron of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and the Houston Negro Hospital. From 1928 to 1933 he was chairman of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Committee. He married Lucy Halm on April 14, 1891; they had five children. Cullinan died of pneumonia while visiting his friend Herbert Hoover in Palo Alto, California on March 11, 1937.

Rarity: No copies found in OCLC, no dealer records of prior sales.

References: Bulletin of The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Vol 19, No. 1 (January 1935). Handbook of Texas Online:, Joseph Cullinan. Giant Under the Hill, A History of The Spindletop Oil Discovery, Judith Walker et. al., TSHA, 2008