Oil, Not Hollywood, Built Los Angeles

California is one of the nation’s largest energy producing states and a lot of that energy comes from the oil fields in or adjacent to Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city.

Indeed, it is oil — not entertainment, aerospace or other industries that grew in its wake — that made the emergence of Los Angeles as a world city possible. This story was told recently on NPR station KPCC in a segment entitled “Before Hollywood, the oil industry made Los Angeles.” As the segment noted:

“Los Angeles is a world center for transportation, fashion, manufacturing and above all entertainment. In the heart of this metropolis, oil is hidden in plain sight. If you go on a walk to clear your head at NPR’s Culver City studios, cross the street and you’re in one of the largest producing urban oil fields in America.”

The entire segment can be listened to, or read, here.

  • Dr Tom Williams
    Posted at 11:44h, 09 May Reply

    Actually it wasn’t the oil…but it was the San Pedro Bay…before oil was discovered 1895…railroads and shipping was coming to LA or at least San Pedro district of now LA…before oil there was coal…and the RR/Ships ran on coal delivered to LA for the railroad locos, ship boilers, and coal gasification plant next to the LARiver under the Now US101 bridge….and the latter gave light/life to the original and developing Downtown LA…pre-1900 oil was primarily rendered to kerosene and tar for waterproofing…but when the Railroads and Ships converted to oil-fuelling…the presence of known oil in LA gave the revolution its base….a LA, especially Wilmington, gave LA the REFUELING point for both the west ends of the Railroads and the east ends of the Pacific Shipping and US Naval power…the coincidence gave LA its biggest boost…NOT jut oil…

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