Today, of course, we see a continuation of trends set in motion by big oil -- immigration/population diversity, heavy industrial presence, shipping channel trade, etc. -- over 100 years since Spindletop. A prime microcosmic example of these modern-day demographic and economic trends can be witnessed in Houston, a town that big oil practically made. (For details, see Rice University professor Stephen Klineberg's defining Houston Area Survey.)
I came away from the museum exhibit wondering what Texas would look like today if oil fields never existed beneath its plains. (New Mexico? Louisiana? Montana of the South?) Despite misgivings about this infernal fossil fuel, I doubt the Lone Star State would be as interesting or have as rich and colorful of a history without "that old black magic."