Jazz-Age Boomtown

Overview

The 1920s oil boom changed every aspect of life in the sleepy town of Breckenridge, Texas—employment, social activities, housing, religion, and education—and with these changes came the beginnings of modern American culture.

Suddenly ranchers became oilmen, public school teachers became oil wildcatters, and enterprising businessmen moved in to provide this small town with sustenance, housing, and entertainment. Within two years, Breckenridge's population grew to nearly thirty ...

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1997 Paperback New 0890967571. Still in shrinkwrap. This book is brand new; never used or opened. No remainder marks.; Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Texas Photography Series; ... 0.51 x 10.14 x 7.07 Inche; 160 pages. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The 1920s oil boom changed every aspect of life in the sleepy town of Breckenridge, Texas—employment, social activities, housing, religion, and education—and with these changes came the beginnings of modern American culture.

Suddenly ranchers became oilmen, public school teachers became oil wildcatters, and enterprising businessmen moved in to provide this small town with sustenance, housing, and entertainment. Within two years, Breckenridge's population grew to nearly thirty thousand, and this roughneck oil boomtown became a vigorous commercial city of schools, churches, and modern housing.

Jazz-Age Boomtown: Basil Clemons's Photographs of Breckenridge, Texas, in the 1920s depicts the social history of small-town America and the oil boom phenomenon in a stunning photographic essay. Photographer Basil Clemons photographed not only the oil fields but also many other aspects of Breckenridge's boom—views of main streets, fires, floods, the circus, movie theaters, sporting events, schools, ranches, shops, and restaurants—capturing the essence of the boomtown atmosphere.

Clemons, the town's only professional photographer and most eccentric resident, traveled to California, the Pacific Northwest, and Alaska before returning to Texas in 1919 and settling in Breckenridge. His pictures reflect the transformation of rural to urban values in the early twentieth century, providing a visual history of modern American culture.

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Meet the Author

Jerry Rodnitzky, professor of history at the University of Texas at Arlington, is the author of many articles on twentieth-century American social, intellectual, and cultural history and popular culture.Shirley Rodnitzky is manuscript archivist in the Special Collections Division, University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. 1 Basil Clemons: The Photographer and the Man 3
Ch. 2 West Texas Crude: Breckenridge as an Oil Boomtown 11
Ch. 3 Bread and Circuses: Entertainment off and on the Road 29
Ch. 4 The First Picture Show: The Impact of Cinema 49
Ch. 5 Sports: Games People Played 69
Ch. 6 Frontier Flappers: Women and Fashion in the Oil Belt 81
Ch. 7 Main Street Breckenridge: Babbitts in Boomtown 95
Ch. 8 Faces Outside the Crowd: The People of Breckenridge 121
Notes 145
Bibliography 149
Index 153
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