Opportunity Knocks At Your Door! -- Will You Be In Or Out?
Previously unknown variant edition of this exceptional oil investment promotional map of Texas, promoting investment in the oil boom in Eastland County, Texas, "one of the best known oil districts in the world."
The map is a remarkable graphic example of promoting investment schemes in Texas Oil which was then being conducted all around the United States. Dated April 1, 1921, the map identifies in red overprint the location of 12 oil fields, with the remaining two red lines highlighting "the location of the land that you are given a privilege to buy and interest in." For $250.00, investors are promised:
A Warranty Deed
To an undivided interest in 100 acres of land, together with all the oil, gas, or other minerals produced therefrom. NO MATTER WHERE THE WELLS ARE DRILLED YOU HAVE YOUR INTEREST IN ALL WELLS.
YOUR MONEY IS PAID DIRECT TO YOU
from the Pipe Line Company who come right to the well for the oil and does not come through [Murphy's] hands or any one else's hands connected with this enterprise, and they make a sworn statement to the State of Texas of the amount which must check with the meter as well.
EVERYONE IS ON AN EQUAL BASIS
NO MATTER WHETHER HE OWNS 1 UNIT OR 1000 UNITS There cannot be any assessments upon you. . . .
The verso is packed full of a similar style of testimonials from all sorts of responsible third parties -- "Over 200 Bankers, Lawyers, Doctors, Merchants and Other Such Business Men Have Said This Is The Cleanest Proposition They Had Ever Seen . . . At Today - Tomorrow May Be Too Late." At the center of the verso is an image of W.J. Murphy, who would "Like to meet you and give you face to face, give you a glad handshake and invite you personally to come along with us."
The edition of this map was produced for sale ($15.00 mounted) in May 1920 by the Standard, Blue Print, Map & Engineering Company, 515 Main Street, Fort Worth, and advertised for sale in the Oil Trade Journal. This example has all of the text from the first edition removed, except for the geological color coding at the bottom right, with the text completely replaced by promotional text encouraging investment in with W.J. Murphy of San Francisco.
Eastland County Texas Oil Boom
In 1917, a major discovery of oil occurred at Ranger, on land leased from the Texas and Pacific Coal and Oil Company by William K. Gordon. The discovery touched off a spectacular oil boom that lasted into the 1920s. The county produced twenty-two million barrels in 1919, the peak year. Thousands of expectant workers and investors flocked into the county, among them George L. (Tex) Rickard, the boxing promoter, Jess Willard, the heavyweight champion, and novelist Rex Beach, who set his novel Flowing Gold in Ranger. The boom faltered after oil production tapered off after 1922.
The present map is unrecorded, with no locations in OCLC or otherwise.
The first edition, without Murphy's promotional information is also extremely rare, with OCLC locating only 1 example at Southern Methodist University, DeGolyer Library. We also note an example at the Museum of the Big Bend.
Old World Auctions offered for sale a copy of the 1920 first edition of the map in 2011, which sold for $5,750.00.