Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review---"Houston The Bayou City"

"Houston The Bayou City" by David G. McComb
This is a book that gives the straight forward history of Houston, Texas. It is a quick read, interesting, and entertaining. The biggest draw back to this book is it was published in 1968. Houston has obviously grown and made changes since then. The writer gives a full history from its pioneer outpost days until 1968. At the time the book was published the Houston Astrodome had only been open a couple of years, this was Houston's newest gem.
My dad worked and retired from Tenneco Oil Company in Houston, in the beginning years it was named Tennessee Gas and Transmission. The company was formed in 1944, and in 1966 it claimed 1 billion in revenue. My dad said he remembered that time and that the company celebrated. My dad went to work for Tenneco in 1958, and he retired in early 1985. Most of those years he worked in the Tenneco building in downtown Houston. For a few years he worked in the Post Oak area of Houston.
Houston was a focal point in the oil industry. Oil was struck near Beaumont on January 10, 1901. This place was called the Spindletop.
Shell Oil moved its offices to Houston in 1933. In the year 1930 there were 8 refineries on the ship channel.
Businesses were created and flourished in making drill bits, and other oil refinery machinery and tools. One of the more famous businesses was "Hughes Tool Company." The company is more famously known by the original and now deceased owner Howard Hughes Jr. the Hollywood producer and eccentric wealthy man. I can still hear my mother tell me in referring to him, "you know he doesn't take a bath or cut his nails." My mother was always horrified by this.
Even though I was born in 1964 in Houston, Texas and raised there until I was 21. I knew very little about the history of Houston. I must say I am proud of my Houston heritage, and I am always proud to be a Texan!

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