Gulf Oil “Stop at the Sign of the Orange Disc”
Gulf Oil was established in 1901 by a group of investors after a discovery of oil at Spindletop, Texas. The largest investor in the company was William Larimer Mellon, who became the head of the corporation and continued in that position for 45 years. In 1907 several oil companies combined to form the Gulf Oil Corporation.
Gulf Oil opened up the first ever drive-in service station in 1911. In addition to offering complimentary road maps, Gulf was a pioneer in the early days of product branding by selling gasoline from gas pumps with their logo on them. It not only helped to create a brand identity, it also assured the customer that the gas they were purchasing was a quality product. This was at a time when many businesses were offering gasoline of an inconsistent quality, or that was possibly even contaminated.
In 1917, the Gulf Oil tanker fleet went into military service during WWI. In 1928 Gulfpride Oil was first introduced. Gulf Oil had become a major US corporation by the early 1930’s. In 1934, with British Petroleum (BP) as an equal partner, Gulf formed the Kuwait Oil Company.
Gulf Oil continued to grow and expand into new ventures. In addition to oil refineries and exploration, Gulf Oil produced plastics, and agricultural, industrial and household chemicals. In the 1960’s the Gulf logo was redesigned to make it easier to identify. Around 1970 Gulf Oil reached the peak of its success. But a downturn occurred in 1974 when the Kuwait National Assembly acquired 60% of the Kuwait Oil Company, with Gulf Oil and BP sharing the remaining 40%. By 1974 Kuwait had total ownership.
Gulf Oil merged with the Standard Oil Company in 1984 to protect itself from a buyout. The newly formed company became known as Chevron. This was the largest corporate merger to have occurred up until that time. In 1985 Chevron sold Gulf’s gas stations, a refinery and some of their international operations to BP and Cumberland Farms of Canton, Massachusetts. Both still use the Gulf name on their gas stations, as do some independently owned stations. The Gulf Oil Limited Partnership in Massachusetts bought the rights to use of the Gulf brand from Chevron, although Chevron still owns the Gulf brand.
Gulf Oil Company Limited Partnership
275 Washington Street
At Retroplanet.com we offer reproduction Gulfpride motor oil cans and a vintage-style steel Gulf sign. We also have loads of other automotive signs and other products to add to your garage, home or office.
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