In the 1890s, the small town of Los Angeles (population 50,000) began a transformation driven by the discovery and drilling of some of the most productive oil fields in history. By 1930, California was producing nearly one quarter of the world’s oil output, and its population had grown to 1.2 million.
Here are some photographs of California during oil boom in 1920s-30s.
Long Beach Oil Field, 1926
A forest of oil derricks sprouts up on the Signal Hill oil field, Long Beach, California, in 1937.
Oil wells in Venice, California, bringing oil up from beach area in 1952.
The forests of oil derricks dotted California’s beaches.
Huntington Beach Oil Deckers
Oil derricks towered over homes, schools, golf courses, and even orange groves across the Los Angeles Basin.