WELCOME 1950's Oil Company Road Maps of Pennsylvania WELCOME

The 1950's and 60's were the peak years for oil company road maps. Many small companies still operated and they seemingly all issued maps. Some of the cover designs were nothing to brag about though.




1950 WOLF'S HEAD - RAND MCNALLY. Yes, Little Red Riding Hood, there really was an oil company called Wolf's Head Oil Refining Company, and its lair was in Oil City. They also used the name Wolverine which is a completely different animal; apparently they were species challenged.
1951 QUAKER STATE - H. M. GOUSHA. The Quaker State Oil Company was located in Oil City until it was recently bought out by Pennzoil. They marketed gas under the Sterling brand name, an oil company acquired earlier. Unfolded, the map is 18 x 27 inches.
1952 SPUR - RAND MCNALLY. Spur Distributing Company was headquartered in Nashville and issued few maps of Pennsylvania. They did issue several 'Eastern United States' maps. This map is unusual because of its plain cover.
1953 KENDALL - H. M. GOUSHA. Kendall was based in Pennsylvania oil country and is another of those small oil companies you don't see anymore.
1954 CALSO - H. M. GOUSHA. This map is unusual in that it is a booklet of fifteen 8 x 9 inch pages with quadrants of the state shown across eight pages and maps of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, the US, and other info on the remaining pages. It folds to the standard 9 x 4 inch size of a regular map.
1955 MOBIL - RAND MCNALLY. Mobil was the Standard Oil Company of New York (also called S-o-co-n-y) branch of the Standard tree. It bought Vacuum Oil in 1931 and for a while was known as Socony-Vacuum. The Mobil name was used in the logo and became the name of the company in the 50's. Mobil merged with Exxon in the late 90's. The 'miracle fold' mentioned on the cover was a folding pattern of successively smaller panels which allowed the map to open easily like an accordian (theoretically). This folding system was patented by a European company called Foldex whose history is a story all its own.
1956 CITIES SERVICE - H. M. GOUSHA. This cover has seven separate drawings showing fishing, skiing, etc. This idea of putting multiple scene drawings on a cover was adopted by many companies. The same idea was carried over when photographs began to be used on covers. The company changed its name to Citgo c1965.
1957 AMOCO - RAND MCNALLY. Was the artist pulling someone's leg or did the dopey look of this round headed kid just slip past everyone? He anticipates Charlie Brown. Amoco was the logo for the American Oil Co. headquartered in Chicago and originally the Standard Oil of Indiana branch of the Standard Trust. They dropped the Amoco label and began putting American Oil on their Pennsylvania road maps in 1961.
1958 ATLANTIC - RAND MCNALLY. Atlantic began using the 'Imperial' logo in the 1950's and continued into the 60's. The Map Image illustrates Rand McNally cartography in the 50's. The Atlantic Petroleum Storage Company was founded in 1866 in the Pennsylvania oil fields, one of the earliest oil companies. It became part of the Standard Oil Trust in 1874 and was spun off as a separate company when the Trust was dissolved in 1911, see Thompson.
1959 ROTARY - THE NATIONAL SURVEY CO. The National Survey Co. was from Chester, Vermont, and published oil company maps occasionally starting c1930. Rotary was the trade mark of the Southern Oil Co. of New York, Inc. and holds the American record for best home town name for an oil company. They were from Horseheads, New York, which must be somewhere near Corning judging by this cover. This map is undated and appears c1959, although it has a code 25M 62 which may indicate a 1962 date. The Turnpike is identified as Interstate 80S and Interstate 70S is partially complete from New Stanton to Washington, which dates the map c1959. The Map Image shows the cartography to be similar to the 'big guys'.
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