210 Southwestern Historical Quarterly October Weaver enhances the story with photographs of oil wells and boomtowns, and he adds a chapter titled “A Language of Their Own,” which enriches the book with explanations of oilfield slang and terminology. For example, he tells how the term Oil Patch evolved, and explains the history of the valve system called a “Christmas tree” that sits atop wells to prevent a blowout. The glossar y is a great aid for anyone who is not familiar with the oil industry and is an item often forgotten by writers who themselves emerge from the industr y. In writing Oilfield Trash: Life and Labor in the Oil Patch, Weaver set out to tell the story of often forgotten oilfield laborers, and he explains that most jobs in the oilfield were open only to white workers. Weaver synthesizes many of the stories, and he never notes which stories were told by whites and which by blacks, if any. In combining the stories, he loses individual narratives, and as he merges the stories he makes one oilfield sound much like another oilfield and loses the individuality of each field. Nevertheless, this is an important book. Most written accounts
Southwestern Historical Quarterly – Texas State Historical Association
Published: Oct 15, 2011
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