Oil at 40 cents a barrel ($8.36 USD 2006), overcrowded jails, a road from the San Gabriel Valley to Long Beach (the stirrings of a freeway, perhaps?), a near-lynching and a lady of the stage who had led a colorful life. A gritty portrait of life in Los Angeles a century ago.
With regards to Bakersfield crude oil being priced at 40 cents a barrel ($8.36 in 2006) by Standard Oil.
Standard Oil had a dominant market position that was a virtual monopoly in the United States on crude oil refining and pipeline transportation that would be ended in 1911 in a decision by the United States Supreme Court on a lawsuit by the Federal Government that the Standard Oil Trust violated the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.
It would be broken up into smaller companies by the U.S. Government, the largest of which would become Exxon, currently the second largest business entity in the world.
In 1908, petroleum production, refining, and marketing was overwelmingly a business dominated by the United States, unlike 2008.