Fullerton College: A Pictorial History

Oil was discovered in Fullerton around 1890, and the revenues from the black gold sustained the city’s government for the next fifty years. More than half the revenue of the high school and college was derived from the assessment of oil lands within the school district. In May 1921, FJC announced that it would be starting an Oil Operations Program open “to any man or boy who had worked for at least a year in the fields or in a supply house.” This January 1922 photograph is a group shot of the first Oil Class. Alexander Anderson (seated on left) was in charge of the course. Anderson, a pioneer in the field of oil well surveying, invented in his home laboratory on Whiting Avenue a number of hole-surveying instruments that enhanced the ability to pull oil from wells. Some of the men in this photograph were employed by the Union Oil Company, the Columbia Oil Producing Company, and the General Petroleum Corporation.