THE GOLDEN DRILLER – TULSA, OKLAHOMA – 1953
It is thanks to the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth that we have the largest freestanding statue in the world, the “Golden Driller.” They first introduced the 76 foot giant at Tulsa’s annual International Petroleum Exposition in 1953. In 1959 he was temporarily displayed again for the show. But it wasn’t until 1966, after he was slightly remolded –he no longer looks like a giant academy award wearing a hard hat saying “how sweet it is,” that he was permanently posed in Tulsa at 21st Street and Pittsburg Avenue.
Over the years he has been ravaged by sleet and snow, battered by tornadoes, shot, graffittied and stabbed in the back by a bow and arrow. But thankfully he remains. He is indeed the symbol and the icon of the exposition, and not surprisingly, the most photographed man in Oklahoma.
Tulsa was known for its oil even before Oklahoma became a state. In 1905, drillers hit a gusher south of town and soon the city was flooded with prospectors and speculators trying to get rich quick. Many did. By the 1920’s Tulsa was promoted as the Oil Capitol of the World.
Cheers to Americana and The Golden Driller