Views of Khūzestān Province and Esfahan (Isfahan) Persia, circa 1916. (The southern part of Khuzestan was also known as "Arabistan.") Rugged hills and dunes in desert region. A single dirt road through part of the area connecting some clusters of dwellings. Water splashing from the rear driving wheel of a Stern wheeler river boat underway on the Karun River. Black smoke billowing from the boat's stack. It appears to be towing a barge. Several long wooden passenger boats tied up at riverside, near building. Palm trees in the background. Closeup of the dome of the Safavid-era Shah Mosque in Esfahan (aka Isfahan). Front of the mosque, with minarets. A man herding some livestock and Merchants bringing goods to market on donkeys. Some men and a girl walking through the town. Two men smoking hookahs. A sandal maker at work. A local bazaar, lined with merchants selling their wares. People walking through the bazaar, including one who appears to be a British Colonial Officer in the South Persian Rifles.
Newsreel titled, 'Persia and the Oil Fields." Narrator chronicles discovery of oil in Persia, benefits of oil to the local economy, and British involvement via the Great Oil Company (now British Petroleum). View of barren lands in Persia (now Abadan in Iran). Oil drillers at work in a refinery amidst the barren lands. Construction of oil refinery at Abadan. Oil revenue brings benefits to the people, as shown by new bridges, school buildings, young students in classroom, and college students studying technical subjects. Professor instructs in front of a blackboard filled with mathematical formulas. Workers at metal shop machines applying new technical knowledge. Oil pipe lines laid across stretches of undeveloped land near Abadan, Iran. Crude oil bubbling from the ground. View of several British oil transport ships at a dock in the Persian Gulf, including the "British Guardian" and the "British Virtue." Narrator eludes to the then current difficulties in relations between Iran and Britain, due to the British oil embargo following Mossadegh's nationalization of Iran's oil reserves.
Workers on camels transport dates to Persia and Arabian Desert. Arab local lifting water from 'charad' (a native water lift) with the help of a cow. Workers cultivate date garden and cut date offshoots in Basra. Packing offshoots for shipment to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Activities of George B. Reynolds and his team operating an oil drilling mechanism in Masjed Soleyman, Iran. Reynolds, representing the Anglo-Persian Oil Company or APOC, (which later became British Petroleum in 1954, or BP), studies maps while smoking a pipe. An oil rig set up in the desert at the location Masjid-i-Sulaiman. Workers and mechanics working at the rig. Close views of the diary records of George B. Reynolds. Men work on oil rigs under intense sun. The oil rig working and striking oil; a cloud of smoke and fire from the ground. Close views of a binder holding letter from Lewis Mallet to the British foreign office announcing the successful oil discovery. A seemingly unrelated two-second view of 1908-era motor cars on a street follows.
After years of exploration, British engineers and geologists strike oil while working in Khuzestan,Iran,under the D'Arcy Concession, signed in 1901 between William Knox D'Arcy and Mozzafar al-Din Shah of Persia. After unsuccessful drilling at Mamatain and Shardin, they concentrate their final efforts, at Maydan-i-Naftun, in 1907. Views, from a mountainside, of rugged topography in foothills of the Zagros Mountains. Men and horses move up a slope. The Karun River flows at the foot of the hills. Men and pack animals appear ready to ford the river. Scene shifts to the hands of British Chief Engineer, George B. Reynolds, holding open his hand-written journal with a photograph of himself inserted between the pages. View shifts back to the rugged landscape, where a small waterfall is emptying into a pool in the river below. More views of the terrain and of camels being herded by men, moving past grazing sheep being tended by a shepherd. George B. Reynolds, is seen on horseback. In the background workers are busy setting up camp at Maydan-i-Naftun. (The overall project camp was at Masjid-i-Suleiman AKA Masjed Soleyman.) A woman draws water from an overflowing pool on a hillside,and pours it into a large desert water bag. Men dig up earth to prepare for oil drilling at Maydan-i-Naftun. Men assembling an oil derrick and commencing to drill for oil. View of the successful well being pumped at Maydan-i-Naftun. Well-dressed man checks drill before it is lowered into hole. Men and mules move up a slope and rugged hills.
Events related to Lend Lease program by America to aid war supplies to Russia. Group of American and Russian officers walk down a street and climb onto a platform. The officers include Brigadier General D G Shingler, USA; General S L Scott, Persia; Major General D H Connolly, USA; A Smrnov, Russia; Major General A N Korolyov, USSR; Colonel CP Porter, Iran; Major General II Obrazkov, Russia and Major J Tchernowitz, USA. Colonel Porter and General Connolly make their speeches. Officers on platform listen to the speeches. Russian and American flags on end of the platform. A group of Russian and American officers celebrates USA Day at Borghi Airport in Tehran, Iran. The group listens to the speech by General Obrazkov. FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and reporters at the scene. Officials on stand applaud, shake hands and salute. Officers in audience salute. Close up of Audrey A Smirnov, Russian Ambassador to Iran.