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Huntington Beach oil wells

Huntington Beach oil wells

Jan. 28, 1940: The Huntington Beach coastline in 1940 was a forest of oil derricks. Oil discoveries in Huntington Beach, Long Beach and Santa Fe Springs in 1920 and 1921 drove massive drilling.

This photo by former Los Angeles Times staff photographer Ted Hurley was published in the Jan. 28, 1940, Sunday Rotogravure Section. The short caption reported “Huntington Beach oil wells form background for storm-hurled waves,” indicating this image was taken as a weather front moved through the Southland.

This photo has been republished numerous times, including in two Los Angeles Times books: “Images of Our Times: Sixty Years of Photography” (1988) and “Imaging Los Angeles: Photographs of the 20th Century City” (2000).

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  1. April 19, 2011, 8:49 pm

    I do not want fossil fuel consumerism to continue on into the future. To do this would be a failure to every living being on this planet for generations to come… It is the sort of thing you might find in hell…__

    By: Tiger8Prowess
  2. April 25, 2011, 7:08 am

    "Fossil Fuel" is an inaccurate term. The tale we were all taught, that oil came from dead dinosaurs, is laughable. When we die we don't turn into petroleum. Dead plants, dinosaurs and other 'fossils', even if it were true, wouldn't have been able to produce anywhere near the petroleum we've already used. The truth is, there is an abundant supply of oil. Just search on the term 'abiotic oil'. BTW, gasoline in some mideast countries is 49/61 cents a gallon. That having been said, I agree with your opinion. We cannot keep going on this way. There are plenty of ways to get our energy from cleaner sources – cold fusion and Nikola Tesla's work with Free Energy sources are two ways we ought to be going.

    By: Patrick

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