Golden Driller

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Golden Driller
Coordinates36°08′01″N 95°55′52″W / 36.133638°N 95.931158°W / 36.133638; -95.931158Coordinates: 36°08′01″N 95°55′52″W / 36.133638°N 95.931158°W / 36.133638; -95.931158
LocationTulsa, Oklahoma, United States
Height23 metres (75 ft)
Completion date1953

The Golden Driller is a 75-foot-tall (23 m), 43,500-pound (19,700 kg)[1] statue of an oil worker, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was built from a steel frame, covered with concrete and plaster.[2] It is the sixth-tallest statue in the United States and has been located in front of the Tulsa Expo Center since 1966.


A version of the Golden Driller was originally built in 1952 by the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth as a temporary feature of the International Petroleum Exposition. Six years later, one was erected again for the 1959 show. Due to the positive attention it attracted, the company donated the statue to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority which had it anatomically redesigned [3] and permanently installed in front of the Tulsa Expo Center for the 1966 International Petroleum Exposition. The statue's right hand rests on an oil derrick which had been moved from a depleted oil field in Seminole, Oklahoma.

An inscription at the base of the statue reads: "The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God's abundance a better life for mankind."

In 1979, the Golden Driller was adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature as the state monument.

As part of an online promotional contest sponsored by Kimberly-Clark in October 2006, the Golden Driller was named the grand prize as a top ten "quirkiest destination" in the United States, winning its nominator a $90,000 international vacation for two.[4]

His stats are said to include: Belt size - 48 ft in circumference, Shoe size- 393DDD, and Hat size - 112 hard hat.[5] His belt originally read "MID-CONTINENT", but was changed in 1979 to the current buckle that says "TULSA".[6]


Golden Driller statue with Elon Musk's face, and Tesla logos replacing "Tulsa" text

On May 20, 2020, as part of Tulsa's bid for Gigafactory 5 construction by Tesla, Inc., the original "Tulsa" on the statue's belt buckle was replaced by the world "Tesla," to create a caricature of Elon Musk. This was the first time wrap advertising had been applied to the driller's face.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Expo Square History". Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2006.
  2. ^ Michael A. Martin (2002). Oklahoma: The Sooner State. World Almanac Library. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-8368-5142-7.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Tulsa's Golden Driller Honored". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 25, 2006.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Mummolo, Burt (2020-05-20). "Golden Driller transformed into Elon Musk". KTUL. Retrieved 2020-05-20. at the Golden Driller... "Hey Kurt, we have some people who want to wrap the Driller!" That's the phone call Kurt Stenstrom of Meeks Group received over the weekend … "This is the first time the face has ever been wrapped," he said.

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