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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Port Arthur in Jefferson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Early Oil Tanker Service

 
 
Early Oil Tanker Service Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, October 12, 2008
1. Early Oil Tanker Service Marker
Inscription.  Part of the huge transportation complex that moves petroleum to world markets. Traffic in oil tankers and barges in Texas mushroomed two months after the state's first oil gusher, "Spindletop," roared in. On March 11, 1901, the first boat to transport the Spindletop product, the "Atlas," left Sabine Pass with about 3,000 barrels of crude oil.

Port Arthur exported one of the earliest large shipments of oil about April or May, 1901, on the "Atlas," and two other vessels. The cargo was bound for the refineries of Standard Oil Company of Philadelphia to be tested for "illuminating" purposes. Many persons then scoffed at the idea of using oil as a fuel.

One year after Spindletop, Texas commerce, formerly based on cattle and cotton had been vastly changed by petroleum. More than half of all ships entering Sabine Pass and Port Arthur were connected with the oil industry. By April of 1902, shipments had already exceeded the 1,750,000 barrels exported in 1901.

By 1902, steamers were burning Texas oil as fuel and the Guffey Petroleum Company had begun to build Texas' first tanker fleet - five ships.

Today the value to
Early Oil Tanker Service Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, October 12, 2008
2. Early Oil Tanker Service Marker
Texas' economy of crude oil alone totals more than three billion dollars yearly.
 
Erected 1968 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 10548.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 29° 50.9′ N, 93° 58.347′ W. Marker is in Port Arthur, Texas, in Jefferson County. Marker is on State Highway 87 1.4 miles south of State Highway 82, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Arthur TX 77640, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Port Arthur Refinery (approx. ¾ mile away); The Kansas City Southern Railway in Port Arthur (approx. 2½ miles away); Port Arthur-Beaumont Interurban Railway (approx. 2.8 miles away); South County Office Building (approx. 2.8 miles away); Francis John (Frank) Trost (approx. 3 miles away); Gates Memorial Library (approx. 3.4 miles away); a different marker also named Gates Memorial Library (approx. 3½ miles away); Port Arthur College (approx. 3½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Port Arthur.
 
Oil tanker at dock image. Click for full size.
By Dawn Bowen, October 12, 2008
3. Oil tanker at dock
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 11, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 24, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,310 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on June 11, 2018, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 24, 2008, by Dawn Bowen of Fredericksburg, Virginia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 10, 2020