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Oil museum will feature East Texas Oil Field photos by Jack Nolan, lecture by Jeff Spencer

In an effort to continue sharing East Texas Oilfield and Texas History, the Kilgore College East Texas Oil Museum will exhibit 17 real photo postcard (RPPC) enlargements by Jack Nolan (1889-1972), a prolific photographer of oil boom communities.

The exhibit, which will run from Aug. 9 to Dec. 10, includes photos of the East Texas Oil Field taken by Nolan in the 1930s.

This exhibition will be accompanied by a lecture at the museum – set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15 – by Jeff A. Spencer.

Spencer is a petroleum geologist and oilfield historian who has authored several papers using vintage postcards to illustrate the petroleum industry’s history and growth.

He is also the author of “Texas Oil and Gas History.”

“In 1931, Jack Nolan visited East Texas and documented the early days of the oil boom with stunning photographs, many of which were made into real photo postcards,” Spencer said. “These highly collectible postcards captured spectacular oil gushers, the bustle of the boomtown of Kilgore, oilfield workers and camps, and oilfield fires. Many of the first photographs of the early East Texas oil boom, that reached people throughout the United States and the world, were probably Jack Nolan postcards.”

The exhibit and lecture are made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas.

The museum’s hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information or to schedule a group tour, call the ETOM at (903) 983-8295 or visit

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