Indian Territory was not known for much more than Native Americans, cows and prairie land before it struck oil in the late 1800s. Word quickly spread around the nation and oil companies flocked to the land that would become Oklahoma in 1907.

In 1901, a huge gusher was discovered near Tulsa making it the “Oil Capital of the World.” The Sooner State quickly became famous worldwide for its “black gold” and was the top U.S. oil producer (along with California) until 1930. The oil industry changed Oklahoma by creating jobs and wealth for many, but it didn’t come without a price. Many lives were lost from fires, accidents and a host of other problems that came from the industry.

Here are 24 rare photos that show Oklahoma’s oil history like never before. (Original captions and dates included when provided from source.)

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If you enjoy vintage photos of Oklahoma, make sure you check out these 10 Vintage Photos Taken During WWII In Oklahoma.

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