Editor's note: Indian Territory Illuminating Oil
Co., formed in 1901, held the rights to the immense Osage Oil Lease
in Oklahoma. Founder H.V. Foster split the huge parcel into hundreds
of subleases which were farmed out to a large number of smaller
companies, many of which became extremely successful and also enriching
ITI. ITI also made huge discoveries in Oklahoma City and Seminole.
ITI was sold for $64 million to Cities Service Oil Co. in Bartlesville,
Okla. in 1935.
Perhaps a review of the past may make us
better geologists in the future.
In 1953, the Journal of Geology published a review
by M. King Hubbert of the first publication of "Introduction to
Geophysical Prospecting," by Milton Dobrin. The grudging compliments
by Hubbert provide insights of the reviewer, as much as to Dobrin's
"As to breadth, the book does in fact cover fairly
comprehensively all the major subdivisions of geophysical prospecting.
The style is facile, and almost every page contains citations of
original literature, often with reproductions of original figures.
"Throughout, the text is replete with physical equations
whose validity is affirmed but which are without the support of
any semblance of derivation or proof."
In August 1953, the BULLETIN reported that John Inkster
became exploration manager of the Tulsa area of Shell Oil, replacing
R.E. McAdams. Later, John was in charge of technical recruiting
for Shell and was responsible for hiring many of Shell's key staff.
I remember meeting with John at a conference table
containing a brass plate grandly noting its origin from ... the
Indian Territory Illuminating Oil Co. (ITI).
I do hope that table -- that piece of our history
-- survives somewhere in the office of a fortunate geologist.