America was on the move, and national television broadcasting made nation-spanning logo identity more important. Increasing effort was placed on market expansion as the Standards grew along with the new Interstate System. A major US marketing territory was sold, much to the chagrin of its hopeful buyer. This precipitated the last great Inter-Standard marketing war, and likely led to the Standard brand's declining use in the United States.
Socony-Mobil dropped its use of the Vacuum name in 1955. The company concentrated on a name it could market across the USA, Mobilgas. Esso stations still served its home territory, making marketing as 'Standard' difficult. General Petroleum and Magnolia Petroleum, a Socony-Mobil affiliate made up largely of former Standard Oil Trust companies, were absorbed into Socony-Mobil in 1959. In 1960, Mobil Chemical Company was formed, marketing various petrochemical products from paints to plastics. The company dropped the Socony name and became Mobil Oil in 1966. Supposedly, the final straw for the Socony name came when Sacony Fabrics sued Socony, saying thier name was registered first (by six months) and there could be confusion. Sacony got a lot of money and Mobil was now the company name. Around this time, the "o" in Mobil went red as a part of an advertising campaign, dropping the pegasus from the signs, adding rounded pumps and pump islands.
Jersey Standard (Esso) added Pate and Oklahoma to it's family of brands in 1956. In 1958, Indiana-based Gaseteria-Bonded was purchased by Oklahoma and many of its stations were rebranded Oklahoma. Humble became the holding company for all downstream operations of Jersey Standard after they brought theremaining stock in 1959. The company invented the Enco (the ENergy COmpany) name in 1960 to allow marketing in other Standard states, and started to use the brand at Pate, Oklahoma, and Gaseteria-Bonded stations. Also in 1960, Sun Flash of Columbus, Ohio was added to Esso holdings and re-branded Enco. Sohio thought Enco was also too close in sound and appearance to Esso, and so Jersey Standard, now commonly called Esso Standard, decided to use their old Texas based Humble name in Ohio. While Humble was appearing in Ohio, it was disappearing in Texas and New Mexico with the introduction of the Enco brand to that market in 1961. The loss of the Kyso marketing area in 1961 to Chevron Standard was a severe disappointment to Esso. Esso made a big push into Kyso territory, placing the Esso brand back in the market by buying local independent chains and adding the Esso name ... since Chevron Standard was not using it. Chevron disagreed, saying the public still equated Esso with Standard Oil. Esso had to de-brand quickly, becoming, briefly 'Tiger' - using the Esso Tiger mascot as a sticker covering the Esso name. The Tiger's popularity soared. Enco even replaced Carter in the west in 1961. In 1967, the Enco name replaced 'Tiger' (Esso) in the former Kyso territory. Also in 1967, Enco came to California with the purchase of Signal Oil of California, formerly a secondary brand of Chevron.
Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) expanded to neighboring states under the extraterritorial name of Boron, one of its grades of gasoline. Boron and Sohio brands received the company's final logo in 1962, the modified light blue oval and bold red lettering. In 1968, the Fleet-Wing brand was sold to another former Standard company, Pennzoil. Sohio announced a merger with British Petroleum in 1969. The merger involved the exploration and development business areas at that time, focusing on Sohio's and BP's new Alaska interests. Clauses in the merger allowed BP to purchase an increasing interest in Sohio over time. BP purchased Sinclair's divested east coast operations from Arco in 1969.
Standard Oil of Kentucky (Kyso) was acquired by Standard Oil of California (Chevron) in 1960. This cost Esso (Jersey) a large market for its products. Esso had been planning on purchasing Kyso themselves if it ever came up for sale. The Standard Oil signs changed from 1950's era white letters on a dark background to dark letters on a white background. They also used big blue signs bearing the word "Standard". Esso countered the Chevron purchase with a massive re-marketiing push of Esso into Kyso territory. Chevron sued over use of Standard Oil (Esso) and won. Esso finally had to use Enco in the southeast. The former Kyso changed to the Chevron logo in 1971.
Standard Oil of Indiana decided on a common logo in 1946, combining the oval shape from subsidiary Amoco and the torch from Indiana Standard. All stations were to use the new logo style, with different text for each unit. Pan-Am Petroleum became Pan-Am. Utah Oil Refining became Utoco, and Indiana Standard / Standard Service and Nebraska Standard became simply Standard. International sales used Amoco, but the US Amoco domestic branch resisted adding the torch to its famous oval and held off till 1954, when Amoco Torch and Oval signs started appearing.In 1956, the Pan-Am brand was replaced by Amoco. Indiana Standard purchased True's Oil Company (Rainbow stations) in 1960, trying to add to its weaker west coast presence and started to re-brand them to Utoco. In late 1960, Indiana Standard decided to tweak its marketing strategy. Amoco and Utoco became American, leaving Standard in the midwest and American for the rest of the USA. Between its Standard and American brands on the Torch-and-Oval sign, Indiana Standard was the first "Standard" to expand its operations to the 48 contiguous US states. The energy crisis of the 1970's forced Indiana Standard to pull back from many states where it had only a marginal presence, largely abandoning the south central and southwestern US.
Standard Oil of California (Socal) started moving towards its own identity in the 1940's and 1950's, adopting the Chevron name as a fuel brand. The V in Chevron acquired 'victory' wings during WW2 and kept them into the 1960's. Chevron expanded, acquiring Standard Oil of Kentucky in 1960. The Standard name was maintained in the new territory as well as the old, with the addition of a Chevron logo in the former Kyso territories by the late 1960's. You can often spot old Socal stations in the background of Adam-12 reruns. The Caltex brand was discontinued in Europe in 1967. The stations were split between Chevron Europe, Texaco, and a few local companies. Caltex continued to market in Africa, Asia and Australia.
Among the other former Standard companies:
Standard Oil pre-1911 . Standard Oil in 1911 . Standard Oil in 1941 . Standard Oil in 1961 . Standard Oil Today . Standard Oil Worldwide
If you any have thoughts, comments, additions, or suggestions, Click here to E-mail Robert V. Droz, who maintains this site.
page first posted July 12, 2001.
This page last edited Thursday, February 15, 2007
"Travel the route of friendly service." - Standard (New York) slogan
LEGAL NOTE: The use of oil company logos and names on this website is meant to educate, illustrate and clarify, and is not meant as a challenge to the copyrights of the companies represented on this site, their predecessors, or their successors. Research and commentary © 2004 R.V. Droz.