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Big Oil, Airplanes and the Automobile – Robert Yarnall Richie Photographs

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  • An Oldsmobile and a Lockheed 10B Electra, for Delta Air Lines, 1940

Robert Yarnall Richie was an amazing talent who worked as a freelance commercial and industrial photographer. He used his artistic talents and the knowledge of photography, light and color along with the human element to produce some extraordinary images. Over the years Richie worked for the press, corporations and businesses between 1932 and 1975 that were located around the world.

This is the first of several sets of his work that we are going to share with you that relate to the transportation and oil industries. His work is some of the best we have seen and now, years down the road it is also useful for the documentary information it contains. All of the photos in this series were taken in the states of Texas and Oklahoma. Images courtesy of SMU Central University Libraries.

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  • Petroleum Engineering Inc., June 1940 – Oldsmobile Series 70, Lone Star Oldsmobile Company, March 1940 – Life Magazine, Texas Oil Story, 1937

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  • Halliburton truck shop, December, 1940 – Port Arthur refinery, The Texas Company, 1943 – Winch Installation, Engineering Laboratories Inc. 1946 

Below three men talking while an oil well fire burns in background, 1940

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3 responses to “Big Oil, Airplanes and the Automobile – Robert Yarnall Richie Photographs

  1. I wonder if this photo was colorized, by hand. The car is either a 1939 series 70 or 80 or a 1940 series 70. Oldsmobile did not offer a red color that bright except in printed ads. In addition, the road wheel should be two-tone. The rim and the outer portion of the fellows should be black. The balance is body color. Other than that, it is a nice photo. By the way, the plane is a Lockeed 10A Electra.

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