Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Note

Content Description

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Administrative Information

Accession Number

Description of Series

Series I: Big Bend and West Texas, 1922-1985

Series II: Alaska and the Yukon, 1950-1986

Series III: Plymouth Oil and Sinton, Texas, 1939-1988

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Will Thompson Photographic Archive, circa 1922-1990



Title: Will Thompson photographic archive
Dates: circa 1922-circa 1990
Abstract: Ranging in date from circa 1922 to 1990, the Will Thompson Photographic Archive focuses on the oil and gas industry and trips around Texas and Alaska. This includes staff and freelance photography of oil wells and refineries, along with other corporate activities.
Identification: camh-arc-004246
Extent: 15 linear feet
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Biographical Note

Will Thompson was an American photographer whose work focused on the oil and gas industry in Texas and Alaska, along with extensive work in the Big Bend region of southwest Texas. Thompson worked as a photographer with the Big Lake Oil Company and then the Plymouth Oil Company. Photographing oil wells, refineries, and corporate events, Thompson's work featured on publicity materials and company annual reports. The Plymouth Oilers, a semi-pro baseball team owned by the company from 1949-1958, also spent a large amount of time in Thompson's viewfinder.

After the sale of Plymouth Oil in 1962, Thompson focused his efforts on freelance opportunities, spending the summers based in Kenai, Alaska, and winters in Temple, Texas. In Alaska, while oil and gas remained a common subject, Thompson also photographed for local businesses, friends, and his trips around the region. Big Bend and the surrounding region was a destination for many of Thompson's Texas-based trips, including floating the Rio Grande a thousand miles from Presidio, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico. During his many journeys, he kept field notes about his trips and work, including the mileage of his million-mile station wagon.

Source:

Johnson, Helen H. "Plymouth Oilers". June 15, 2010. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved September 25, 2018.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xrplv

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Content Description

Ranging in date from circa 1922 to 1990, the Will Thompson Photographic Archive focuses on the oil and gas industry and trips around Texas and Alaska. This includes staff and freelance photography of oil wells and refineries, along with other corporate activities. Thompson's Big Bend and Alaska/Canada trips make up a significant portion of the collection, which features landscape photography of some of America's most remote regions. Articles written by him for The Professional Photographer and Southwestern Image are also found in the archive.

Materials in the archive include negatives, positives, prints, 35mm and 120 film, slides, research notes, field notes, maps, and manuscripts.

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Arrangement

Big Bend and West Texas, 1922-1985
Alaska and the Yukon, 1950-1986
Plymouth Oil Co. and Sinton, Texas, 1939-1988

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Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

A portion of this collection is stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection is open for research use.

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Index Terms

Subjects
Oil industries
Photography
Places
Alaska
Sinton
Texas--Big Bend Region

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Will Thompson Photographic Archive, circa 1922-1990, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Chris Stephensen, September 2018.

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Accession Number

AR 2016-153

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Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Big Bend and West Texas, 1922-1985

Negatives
box
2016-153/1 [22183800] Big Bend trips, 1961-1977
Big Bend, 1980
Pecos, 1984
box
2016-153/2 [22183797] WLT and Big Bend, 1947-1960
Big Bend and Rio Grande trips, 1947-1975
Mexico, 1970s
Texas, 1978-1979
box
2016-153/5 [22183822] Comyn-Dublin, 1922-1923
Big Bend trips, 1947-1974
Cactus Cruise reconnaissance negatives, 1963
Cactus Cruise, 1963
box
2016-153/6 [22183811] Cactus Cruise, 1963
Big Bend, circa 1964-circa 1973
Prints
box
2016-153/4 [22183913] Will Thompson, circa 1946
Mexican natives, circa 1950-circa 1970
WLT, circa 1950-circa 1960
Alpine, Big Bend River Road, 1960s
Texas Explorers Club, circa 1960
Big Bend, circa 1960-circa 1975
Cactus Cruise, 1963
Big Bend, Cactus Cruise, and Texon Reunion photo set information, 1963-1965
Oil Wells, 1968
Big Bend and Cactus Cruise stories and press, 1968-1971
Southern Alaska, 1971
Big Bend 5x5 proofs, 1978
Pecos, 1984
Documents
box
2016-153/3 [22184337] Cactus Cruise, 1963
Cactus Cruise correspondence, 1963-1964
Texas Explorers award, 1965
Mexico trips, 1973-1984
Big Bend, WLT, 1985
List of negatives for Burleson book, 1985
Slides
box
2016-153/7 [22170580] Big Bend, prior to 1961
Big Bend and West Texas misc., prior to 1961
Big Bend, 1961
Mariscal Canyon raft trip, 1964
Mariscal, 1964
Big Bend, 1964-1965
Big Bend misc. transparencies, prior to 1965
Mariscal, Thanksgiving, 1965
Boquillas/Capote, 1965
Douglas Ranch tour, 1965
Guadalupes trail ride with Douglas, 1965
Mariscal Canyon, Mt. Thomas, 1965
Mariscal Thanksgiving, 1965
Big Bend camera club, 1966
Big Bend Thanksgiving 1, 1966
Big Bend Thanksgiving 2, 1966
Del Carmen hike, 1968
Santa Elena, 1969
Mariscal Canyon, 1970
Big Bend Santa Elena rim, 1971
Christmas, 1972
Santa Elena rim hike Christmas/New Year, 1974-1975
Guadalupe Park Thanksgiving, 1976
Big Bend, 1978
Pecos, 1978
West Texas, 1983
Diamond A ranch, 1984
Big Bend set general, various
box
2016-153/21 [22172451] Big Bend slides, circa 1957-circa 1971
Big Bend positives and slides, circa 1963-circa 1972
Big Bend slides, circa 1973-circa 1979
Oversized
box
2.325/BB44.2 [SRH1230002768] Cactus Cruise, 1963-1973

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Series II: Alaska and the Yukon, 1950-1986

Negatives
box
2016-153/2 [22183797] Alaska, circa 1950-circa 1970
box
2016-153/6 [22183811] Alaska trips- Rollei, 1967-1971
box
2016-153/8 [22184461] Alaska trips- Rollei, 1967-1971
Kenai, 1968-1970
Southern Alaska, 1971-1975
Alaska, 1978-1979
box
2016-153/9 [22184440] Commercial work, 1968-1969
Commercial work, 1974-1975
box
2016-153/13 [22184519] Assorted Alaska negatives and proofs, 1974-1986
Alaska trips, 1975-1976
Work and personal, 1976-1977
box
2016-153/14 [22183775] Commercial stock, including Tesoro, 1969-1974
Work and personal, 1976-1977
box
2016-153/15 [22183764] Commercial stock, circa 1969
box
2016-153/24 [22172430] Test negatives, 1947
Alaska, 1952-1958
Landscapes and flora, 1959-1974
Oil field, 1961
Will Thompson, 1974-1985
box
2016-153/26 [22184520] Vahlsing, 1952-1954
Alaska, 1969-1986
Alaska landscapes, 1969-1980
Homer spit, 1974-1978
Seward, 1974-1981
Seldovia, 1978
Kalgin Island, circa 1979
Kenai life, 1980-1981
Seward, 1981
Clippings
box
2016-153/10 [22184530] Kenai work and information
The Professional Photographer magazine, March 1974
Southwestern Image magazine, Spring 1976
Southwestern Image magazine, Spring 1979
Newspaper clippings, 1968-1979
box
2016-153/11 [22184494] Maps, 1974-1981
Field notes, 1974-1982
Sales books, 1975-1978
box
2016-153/12 [22184508] Assorted newspaper clippings, 1951-1976
Memo file, 1979
Newspaper clippings, circa 1986
box
2016-153/16 [22183753] Alaska memo books, 1968-1974
box
2016-153/17 [22181940] Address labels, circa 1960-circa 1990
Prints
box
2016-153/4 [22183913] Barrow and Kotzebue Eskimos, circa 1950-circa 1970
Kenai, 1969
box
2016-153/16 [22183753] Kalgin Island, Miller's, 1980-1983
Yukon canoe trip, 1982
box
2016-153/17 [22181940] Illustrating an Annual Report story, 1958
Alaska, circa 1970-circa 1980
Slides
box
2016-153/17 [22181940] IPEX, 1957
Alaska landscapes, circa 1960-circa 1980
Assorted Alaska, 1968
Alaska slides, 1976-1977
Oil platforms, 1981
box
2016-153/19 [22170627] Alaska 1, 1956
Alaska Bendum Well and Koyukuk set 4, 1959
Alaska extras, 1959
Alaska extras 2, 1959
Alaska Stikine river boat trip set 3, 1959
Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, 1960
Wilderness canoe trip Christmas week 2, 1965
Alaska ferry down and pacific coast, 1967
Alaska panhandle to Ft. Yukon 1, prior to 1967
Alaska 2, 1969
Alaska with Adkins, 1971
To Alaska, 1982
Alaska the Arctic Kotzebue Barrow set 2, all years
Empty 35mm slide holders
Empty 120, 35mm slide holders
Alaska 2 work
Kenai and Yukon
box
2016-153/19 [22170627] Top O' World Highway, 1982
Brown Construction and Resurrection Pass aerials, 1981
Resurrection Pass, 1980
Ninilchik
Chickaloon
Halibut Cove, Homer, 1982
Denali (Mount McKinley) and Mount Healy, 1982
Loose slides
Alaska and others mounted slides to file
box
2016-153/19 [22170627] Athabasca, 1958
Loose slides
Mounted transparencies
box
2016-153/31 [22170682] Alaska, circa 1955
Canada and Northwest with A. and P., 1956
New York City, 1957
Canada and Northwest with Buzz, 1958
Gemounts, 1959
Amistad Dam, 1970
Lower Canyons Run, 1973
Pecos and Big Bend, 1978
To Yukon Glacier, 1982
Alaska extra mounted transparencies, all years
box
2016-153/31 [22170682] Down. Ferry Winter - Eagles
Loose slides
Alaska extra slides, 1959
box
2016-153/31 [22170682] Anchorage to Fairbanks (Train) and Fort Yukon
Barrow
Barrow point
To Barrow No. 2 and Barrow
Fairbanks (FBK) to Barrow (BRW) No. 1
To Fort Yukon and in Fort Yukon
Juneau (JNU)
Juneau (JNU) to Anchorage
Juneau
Ketchikan, 1959
Ketchikan
Ketchikan to WRA
River
River - Near TC
River at rocks in channel
River last day and to Juneau
River midway up
River return near WRA
River WRA and first day
Seward and Anchorage
Seward and Juneau to Anchorage
Stikine 'snag crew', 1959
Alaska extra slides, 1967
box
2016-153/31 [22170682] No. 2 on alcan, May 1967
No. 3 on alcan, May 1967
Matanuska-Moose and Seward Highway, June 1967
Portage Glacier, Lake Nancy, Talkeetna, June 1967
Lake Nancy, July 1967
Portage Glacier, July 1967
Portage - Alaska, Lake Nancy, July 1967
Loose slides

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Series III: Plymouth Oil and Sinton, Texas, 1939-1988

Negatives
box
2016-153/18 [22181962] Commercial, 1939-1940
Sinton and Plymouth people, 1950-1951
box
2016-153/20 [22180369] Annual report photographs, 1954-1957
Annual report, 1956
Annual report, Louisiana, 1957
Annual report, West Texas, 1957
Plymouth employees, 1957-1962
Arts and crafts show, 1959
box
2016-153/22 [22172462] Plymouth Oilers, 1950-1957
box
2016-153/23 [22172440] Plymouth Oilers, circa 1948-circa 1958
Plymouth Oilers, 1949
Plymouth Oilers, individual and group, 1950
Plymouth Oilers, 1950-1957
Plymouth Oil Co., circa 1950-circa 1965
Sinton, Texas, circa 1959-circa 1961
box
2016-153/25 [22172473] Sinton, 1942-1960
Plymouth Oilers, 1950
Plymouth office and employees, circa 1950-circa 1960
Thompson personal, circa 1950-circa 1960
Plymouth Oilers, Individual and team, 1951
Kokernot Well, 1954
West Texas, 1954-1955
Plymouth passport negatives, 1957-1961
box
2016-153/27 [22183742] Thompson personal, 1949-1950
Thompson personal, 1950
Thompson personal, 1951-1952
Thompson personal, 1952
box
2016-153/28 [22183786] Thompson personal, 1952
Thompson personal, 1954
Thompson personal, 1955
box
2016-153/29 [22181973] Thompson personal, 1956
Thompson personal, 1957
Thompson personal, 1958
box
2016-153/30 [22181984] Thompson personal, 1959
Thompson personal, 1960
Thompson personal, 1962
Thompson personal, 1964
Thompson personal, circa 1950-circa 1965
Prints
box
2016-153/16 [22183753] Plymouth, circa 1951-circa 1988
Plymouth Oil Co. and Alaska, circa 1959
Personal prints, circa 1959
Oversized
box
2.325/BB44.2 [SRH1230002768] Plymouth Oilers, 1951
Film reels
box
2016-153/31 [22170682] Lackland Medics - Oilers Oiler Park (16mm), 1951
Unloading-moving big plant engine (16mm), 1951
Plymouth Oil Co Box 968 Sinton, TX (16mm), circa 1950
Plymouth Oil Co. Sinton, TX (1) (8mm), circa 1950
Plymouth Oil Co. Sinton, TX (2) (8mm), circa 1950
Plymouth Oil Co. Sinton, TX (3) (8mm), circa 1950
1.0, undated
2.0, undated

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