Saturday, February 23, 2008

Texas & Oil

First of all, the 7 dollar ticket for the State History Museum is worth it. My favorite part of the museum was the new exhibit "Eyewitness" that has many audio recordings and manuscripts from events in American history and you really felt like you were getting a first hand perspective on these events. Eventually I made my way to the third floor "Oil!" exhibit and I certainly enjoyed it. Not being from Texas it gave me a better understanding of why Texans relate to oil so greatly and also a better understanding of how oil changed the lives of all the people that wanted to get in on the boom. As Texas begins to accept its role as an energy innovator for the future, it is important to remember and understand how Texas came to be on the energy forefront in the past.


Alix Broadfoot said...

I thought the traveling exhibit was really great too. I was very moved seeing the video of the POW from Vietnam. But about Texas...

I liked the oil exhibit as well. It could have been a bit more informative, but overall I think it did a good job explaining the history. I really liked how they showed the innovation that came out of Texas in production oil, and how that then changed the world wide oil industry. As Texas is creating such a a name for itself in the wind or biofuels industry, I'm excited to see what could come from Texas in new technologies to transform these industries as well. The exhibit made me re-appreciate all of the wonderful resources Texas has, and the wonderful spirit of the Texas people!

Oh and another thing I just thought was great! The Ogallala Aquifer out in West Texas was an important for Texans to get water in a very dry area. To get the water from the aquifer windmills were used, one girl recalled "My job... was to climb the tower when there wasn't no wind. I had to turn the wheel by hand." They were talking about the same problems with wind then that we are now.

ashlynn said...

I agree as well. I feel like the purpose of museums like the Texas State History Museum is to educate the public on a general topic. It seems like some people are disappointed in the lack of detail incorporated into the oil exhibit, but this is not meant to be a dissertation on display. The point is to educate the general public at a level that most people can understand and find interesting.

Oil certainly is a huge part of what Texas has become today. The booming economy and rise and fall of oil towns is truly remarkable - something none of us are able to experience today. And the real sense of ownership over drilling for oil was apparent, especially with the woman turning the windmill by hand. Those that were willing to take the risk and drill for oil saw their efforts pay off, which is pretty much the embodiment of the American spirit.

Along those lines, I was shocked to see the impact oil had on America's pasttime in Texas. With all the boom towns and personnel working the oil fields, baseball teams were born with many of the teams playing others from nearby oil towns. I never thought that oil would lead to the development of the Texas League of baseball. Oil really is a huge defining force in the history of Texas.