A portable steam engine that the Union Oil Company used on their wells in the Santa Paula oil district of the Ventura Basin, which sits just over the hills to the southwest of the San Joaquin Valley.
A portable steam engine at McKittrick field in the San Jaoquin Valley. It is very similar to the Union Oil boiler above, except that the smokestack is on the opposite end.
The cost for drinking water delivered by mule & wagon to the west side of the San Joaquin Valley between 1903 and 1907 was $1.25/bbl, whereas crude oil was selling in Bakersfield for just 8 to 10 cents a barrel. Once the water was delivered, the same wagon probably hauled a load oil back to town, using water barrels that had been delivered on the previous trip.
As the industry on the Westside of the Valley evolved, operators realized that it was more efficient for the mule teams to hauthier crude into town in tanks rather than barrels.
A teamster at Kern River field on the east side of the valley at the turn of the century getting ready to haul a tank of oil into Bakersfield.
When the Kern River field starting producing in 1899, the Reed Crude Oil Company had a fleet of tankers based in Bakersfield, and they used twenty-mule teams to transport Kern River crude to the Santa Fe railroad depot in town.