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preserving the past for our future

Oil wells pump next to the municipal cemetery near Signal Hill on May 29, 2003

A fenced-off pumpjack operates behind the Signal Hill PetSmart, near Home Depot.

Pumps draw petroleum from oil wells near a home and a limousine in Signal Hill, California, on March 6, 2008.

Pumpjacks in the parking lot of the

famous Curley's Cafe, Signal Hill, CAhttps://www.theatlantic.com/

An oil well pumps next to yard containing junked hearses and ambulances near Signal Hill in Long Beach, California, on May 29, 2003.

An oil well pumps in a newly constructed neighborhood near

Shell Oil Company Alamitos No. 1 discovery well on Signal Hill...

In the 1890s, the small town of Los Angeles (population 50,000) began a transformation driven by the discovery and drilling of some of the most productive oil fields in history. By 1930, California was producing nearly one quarter of the world's oil output, and its population had grown to 1.2 million. In the decades that followed, many wells closed, but even more opened, surrounded by urban and suburban growth. Machinery was camouflaged, loud noises were abated, methane pockets were vented, as residents learned to live side-by-side with oil production facilities. To this day, oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin remain very productive, and modern techniques have centralized operations into smaller areas or moved offshore. Gathered here are images of some of the sites and machinery still in use among the homes, golf courses, and shopping malls of Los Angeles.

The Signal Hill Oil Field, now known as the Long Beach Oil Field, had the world's highest oil production per acre by the mid-twentieth century. Hundreds of companies and individuals became rich on minute leases, some locations so close that derrick legs overlapped. New housing and stores are now being built among operating oil wells.  Alamitos No. 1 was created in 1921 and helped establish California as one of the world's major oil-producing states

{}The Urban Oil Fields of Los Angeles

          ALAN TAYLOR AUG 26, 2014

This article is from The Atlantic magazine online and has been edited to refer to Signal Hill only and is for historical reference only. The Article can be read in it's entirity at: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/08/the-urban-oil-fields-of-los-angeles/100799/

Pumpjacks operate [in Signal Hill] near an on-ramp leaving Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach.