A history of the Union Oil Company of California which is representative of the history of oil in this country from the unpredictable excitement of its beginnings to the vast profits it later involved. Union Oil's story is largely that of Lyman Stewart, a veteran operator who went to California in 1882 where oil had been overlooked for gold, was off to a bad start with seven dry holes in a row. Some years later Union was to merge with three other companies, Stewart was to clash on policy with Bard, the President, whom he eventually dislodged, until finally through bigger and better years Union was to drill some 8000 wells between the Equator and the Arctic Circle. Considered here also is the competition of coal, the pyramidding problems of financing, the scientific extension of prospecting and refining, and there is appended a chronology of its wells and their production. An industrial biography, this is chiefly a business man's book though the spectacular, speculative nature of this field lends a certain drama.