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Historical Information

Imperial Oil Ltd.

1880 - 16 oil refineries pool their resources and form Imperial Oil Company, London, Ontario

1883 - Moves operations to Petrolia, Ontario after lightning strikes refinery

1896 - In need of expansion capital, sell majority interest to Standard Oil, USA

1899 - Takes over Canada's Standard assets and moves to London, Ontario

1907 - Open Canada's first gasoline station in Vancouver

1920 - Discover oil just south of the Arctic Circle at Norman Wells,  Canada's first self-serve gas station was opened.

1936 - Hockey Night in Canada comes to radio with Imperial as its first sponsor.  Games three stars introduced to promote its 3-Star brand of gasoline.

1947 - Make major oil discovery at Leduc, Alberta

1959 - Corporate name becomes Imperial Oil Ltd.

1964 - At Cold Lake Alberta, begin an experimental program to extract bitumen from oil sands.

1970 - Discover Canada's first Arctic oil, Atkinson Point in Beaufor Sea

1978 - Esso Resources Canada Ltd. formed to manage natual resources activities

1981 - Esso Petroleum Canada is formed to manage petroleum-product operations

1985 - Production of bitumen begins at Cold Lake

1989 - Imperial purchased Texaco Canada

1990 - Introduce new environmentally friendly products

McColl Frontenac Texaco

1873 - McColl-Anderson Oil Company formed in Toronto

1876 - Name changed to McColl Brothers Company

1918 - Now McColl Brothers Limited

1925 - Frontenac Oil Refineries Inc. formed

1927 - McColl Bros. servicing Winnipeg with Red Indian Brand.  Merged with Frontenac Oil Refineries to become McColl -Frontenac Oil Company.  Around this time, the Texas Corporation began to buy shares in McColl-Frontenac and within a few years gained controlling interest in the company.  It further strengthened its interest in the company.  McColl-Frontenac then bought Texax Company of Canada.

1932 - McColl-Frontenac Incorporated

1939 - Purchased Empire Oil Winnipeg

1941 - McColl - Frontenac name and Red Indian Products were in use until 1941 when they were replaced by the Texaco name and it Sky Chief products.

1947 - Texaco signs etc. in use

1959 - Name changed to Texaco

1984 - Start of Texaco/Pennzoil lawsuit.  Texaco lost 3 billion dollars.

1998 - Texaco Canada sold to Imperial Oil Ltd. to help pay debt

Gutta Percha Tires

Gutta Percha: a type of rubber obtained from the gutta percha tree, native to Malaysia.


Gutta-percha was produced by evaporating the milky fluid of the gutta-percha tree and coagulating the latex from which an inelastic firm rubber resulted.


In 1839, Charles Goodyear accidently spilled a mixture of rubber latex and sulfur on a hot stove and discovered that when it cooled, the rubber lost its stickiness and retained its elasticity.  The process was named vulcanization after Vulcan, the Roman God of Fire.  Vulcanization improves the elasticity and durability of the rubber.


Although, nowadays, synthetic products are commonly used to manufacture tires, natural rubbers is still incorporated to provide more resilience.  This is particularly true in radial tires and high impact airplane tires.


Royalite Oil

1958 - B/A purchased Great West Distributors (Red Head)

1962 - B/A acquired Anglo American Exploration, 700 Purity 99 service stations and initiated the purchase of Royalite

1963 - B/A acquired major shares of Anglo Canadian Oil

1964 - B/A acquired 96% of the shares of Royalite

1965 - Royalite purchased Purity 99.  These companies continued to see their products under their own name brands.  B/A supplied the product.

1966 - Royalite and Anglo Canadian refinery at Brandon, Manitoba became B/A

1968 - Gulf amalgamated British American and Royalite


Canadian Oil Companies

1855 - James Miller William dug first oil wells

1858 - Built refinery at Oil Springs, Ontario

1868 - Moved refinery to Hamilton and established Canadian Oil Refineries

1898 - James Miller Williams died

1901 - Petrolia, Ontario, the Canadian Oil Refinery Company was formed

1904 - Merged with 8 other companies to form Canadian Oil Company Limited

1907 - Forced into bankruptcy and purchased by National Refining Company of Clevland

1908 - Dec. 4th received its new charter as Canadian Oil Companies Limited

1913 - Branches coast to coast with sales of $2,500,000 per year

1917 - 'Boy and Slate' logo introduced

1927 - Rontenac Oil Refiners merged with McColl Bros to form Frontenac McColl.  Competition to create White Rose logo was awarded to Bill Templeton, artist ties to 'Group of Seven'

1939 - 'Boy and Slate' phased out, replaced with White Rose

1961 - White Rose purchased by Shell Oil

North Star Oil

"From the Head of the Lakes to the Rockies"


1919 - June 23rd North Star Oil began operations.  The company purchased assets of Continental Oil which  also included William Penn Oil.

1928 - Became North Star Oil Ltd.

1938 - Purchased Falcon Oil, Prairie City Oil and brand names Buffalo and Electro

1950 - Fred C. Manning becomes new owner

1955 - St. Boniface refinery built, 2500 barrels per day

1958 - Fred C. Manning died

1962 - Purchased by Shell, renames North Star Oil Division to Shell Oil Co. of Canada Ltd.

1963 - Shell Canada Ltd.

British American Oil Company

1906 - James Leroy Ellsworth founded company

1908 - With 8 shareholders, built refinery in Toronto.  Main product kerosene with useless gasoline being dumped in swamp.

1920 - Purchased Winnipeg Oil Company and expanded into prairies

1922 - First company in Canada to manufacture and sell clear vision pumps

1928 - Ellsworth sketched the bow-tie B/A logo

1939 - Sponsored radio show, "The Adventures of Jimmy Allen"

1944 - Purchased Union Oil - now coast to coast

1947 - Gulf oil purchased 20% interest in B/A

1948 - B/A rounded logo sign introduced, each half represents an oil drop

1957 - Mr. B/A introduced

1962 - Purchased Purity 99, Royalite Oil and Superior Propane

1963 - Purchased Anglo-Canadian and Red Head

1969 - B/A, Royalite and Shawinigan amalgamate under Gulf Oil Canada Ltd. - the end of an era

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