Like Gulf Oil, Texaco was founded in 1901 after a major oil strike at Spindletop near Beaumont, Texas. The company was officially incorporated as The Texas Company in 1902 and the word Texaco was first used as a brand (for asphalt, not gasoline) in 1903. The Texaco logo, a red star with a green capital “T” inside it, first appeared in 1909, but it would take another 50 years before Texaco would become the name of the company itself.

Texaco’s history is often intertwined with that of the Indian Refining Company, which The Texas Company bought in 1931. That purchase included the rights to Havoline Motor Oil, which has since become one of Texaco’s most recognized brands. Indian gasoline would be marketed until 1943 as an economy brand of Texaco. During this same period, in 1930, Texaco’s premium Ethyl brand was introduced before being renamed as Fire-Chief in 1932. A second premium blend called Sky Chief was introduced in 1938. Until the 1960s, Fire-Chief pumps were red while Sky Chief pumps were silver.

The green “T” inside the red Texaco star can help date Texaco-branded products. The earliest “T”s featured descending cross bars that turned up at their ends, as well as a pair of serifs at the base of the letter. By 1915, the “T” had taken on its more familiar shape, with the base of the letter mortised by two of the star’s inward-pointing edges. As for the top of the “T,” the bars were now fully horizontal, with stubby, descending serifs on each end. But the biggest clue to a Texaco product’s date is the letter’s outline, which was black until the late 1930s and white thereafter.

This star logo appeared on porcelain signs, tin signs, gas globes, and all sorts of promotional items, from cigarette lighters and ashtrays to ink blotters and pens. Naturally the star also turned up on the various oil and lubricant cans made for Texaco products, most of which featured a green background, the same color as the “T” inside the star.

Signs bearing the Indian brand are also collected by Texaco enthusiasts, especially the pump plates featuring an abstract figure rendered in what looks like beadwork. Other signature signs include those advertising Fire-Chief, which have a red fireman's helmet on them; Sky Chief, which are marked by a trio of red chevrons (ironically, Texaco is now a part of Chevron); and Diesel Chief and Fuel Chief, which commonly came in red and green, but rarely in yellow.

As with other petroliana, aviation and marine products are generally tougher to come by. Especially handsome, and prized by collectors, are the pump plates advertising Texaco Marine White Gasoline (Gulf also sold a Marine White brand), in which the Texaco logo was set within a ship’s wheel and the words “Marine White” were written in a script that appears to be made of white rope. Texaco also made a Marine line of china, which were decorated with a small Texaco flag.

Other Texaco related brands to look for include Havoline, whose logo featured a large red disc outlined by a white circle and a blue one; that graphic was eventually replaced by the Texaco star, although the Havoline name persisted. Caltex (a 1936 partnership with Chevron to develop oil resources in Bahrain and Indonesia) products sometimes have a red star on them, while in other cases the word is accompanied by the Havoline name and its pre-star logo. And then there’s McColl-Frontenac, which was acquired by Texaco in 1941 and sold its products under the Red Indian brand.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Primarily Petroliana

Primarily Petroliana

Jim Potts’ site for petroliana collectors, featuring image galleries and community features such as a discussion … [read review or visit site]

Alan Chandler’s impressive collection of early British and European petroliana, including galleries with beautifu… [read review or visit site]

Petromobilia Switzerland

Petromobilia Switzerland

Alex Wyler’s site is mostly in German, but the collection and images speak for themselves. You’ll find old gas … [read review or visit site]

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Falvo Collectables Gallery

Ralph and Carol Falvo's excellent collection of automobiles, petroliana, jukeboxes, soda, and general store items. … [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Texaco Distributor Porcelain Gas SignVintage Mid 1920s Texaco Marine Lubricants 30" Porcelain Sign Gas & Oil GarageVintage Tonka Aa Wrecker Texaco Metal Tow Truck, Circa 1961 1950s Texaco Tanker ,buddy L,oil,gm,gmc Texaco Toy Truck Pressed SteelVintage Texaco Oil Metal Flange Sign 15" X 12" Double Sided Metal Sign GasVintage 1950's Buddy L Pressed Steel Texaco Gas Oil Tanker Truck NiceVintage Texaco 574 1 Quart Oil Can In Excellent Condition!!Large Ford Marquis Crest 3d Decor Mustang Boss Mach One Classic Neon Logo TruckTexaco Gas & Oil Pump Porcelain SignCox .049 Texaco Model Airplane Engine Control Line Free Flight With SparesTexaco Oslo Oil Products Tanker 32" - Handcrafted Wooden Model Ship NewFirst Gear Tread Marks Series Texaco Marfak 1960 B-61 Mack Wrecker 1:25 ScaleVintage Texas Company Texaco Motor Oil Lubricant Can Large Square Thurban Vintage Watt Cream Pitcher Tear Drop 62 Texaco Oil Hospers Iowa AdvertisingVintage 1950's Buddy L Pressed Steel Texaco Gas Oil Tanker TruckVintage 1959 Texaco Home Lubricant Oil Handy Oiler Metal Tin Can Sign~nice-nr !!Texaco Sky Chief Sign 1962Tamiya Texaco Marlboro M23 ☆marlboro Mclaren M23☆ 1/121961 Texaco North Dakota Oil Tanker Ship Boat No ReserveVtg 50's 60's California Bowling Shirt Co. C.h. Mathwin Texaco Distributor MTexaco Porcelain Enamel Gas Oil Pump Sign No Reserve AuctionVintage 1950's Texaco Kerosene Gas Oil 20" Metal SignGift Card $500 For Fuel Chevron And Texaco Stations Us- NationalwideJunk Drawer Ford Brass Keys Tags Texaco Tin Bank Confederate Lighter Knife DiceTexaco 9" Heavy Porcelain Metal Sign Gas Oil Service Station Pump PetroleumSunoco Full Service Sign Gasoline Service Station Garage Gas & OilMobilgas Pegasus Gasoline Porcelain Sign Gas Oil Pump Mobil Texaco TexasDads Garage 3d Embossed Metal Deco Father Dad Chevy Ford Mopar Chrysler Hemi UsaVintage Blue Shelby Cobra Ford Racing 10" Wall Clock (hard To Find)Lot Of 7 1 Quart Motor Oil Cans Shell Valvoline Penn Master Pennzoil Texaco OldSunoco Air Service Sign Gasoline Service Station Garage Gas & OilSpec Cast Peterbuilt 385 Texaco 1/64 Scale Wrecker Texaco Heavy Porcelain Sign Gas And Oil 1946 Cardboard Calendar Sign Texaco Sky Chief Gasoline Sexy Nude Pin-up Girl Vintage Texaco Fire Chief Bennett Gas Pump - Restored (no Internal Pump Parts)Rare Texaco Kerosine Metal Sign 6-57 Made In UsaMeyer Texaco China Bowl. 9-inches WideVintage Texaco Diesel Gas Pump Plate 26" Metal SignO Scale Trains Lionel Texaco Single Dome TankerExtremely Rare Texaco Home Lubricant Counter Display Rack Lube Oil Can Texas Co.Texaco Service Station Wasroom Multi Fold Paper Towel Dispenser Windshield Box Texaco Filling Station Tow Truck - Refurbished TonkaAmf Wen-mac Motorized Texaco North Dakota Tanker Toy Ship -1961Corvette Street Blvd 3d Metal Zr1 Z06 Stingray Usa Chevy Vette Summer Sting Ray1920's Texaco Upper Cylinder Lubricant Oil Glass Bottle The Texas Company Early Mib 1993 Tamiya " Newman Haas " K-mart - Texaco - 93 Indy Champion CarVintage Original Texaco Sky Chief Porcelain SignVintage 1940 Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Original Porcelain Sign Texaco Peterbilt Tanker Tractor Trailer Semi Truck Custom 1/25 Heavy DutyVintage 1950s Texaco Service Thermometer In Original Box/sleeve. Chula Vista, Ca Texaco Verticle Outboard Motor Oil Service Sign Gasoline Service Gas & OilVintage Texaco Soft Paste Wax And Cleaner Can-never Opened-new!First Gear Texaco Havoline Racing Mack Vision Tractor Trailer 1:54 2002 Adult 1937 Texaco Stinson Reliant Sr-9 Die Cast Airplane Bank W/ Special Edition Plane3 Texaco Chrome And Metal Polish Cans Gas Station Display.Vintage, Texaco, 1# Metal Grease Can, Early, Oil CanSunoco Racing Gasoline 3d Metal Decor Chevy Ford Mopar Usa Race Fuel Hemi Gas Davey Allison #28 1993 Ford Thunderbird Texaco / Havoline "last Ride 1 Of 600"Wings Of Texaco / Die Cast Coin BankTexaco Original Sky Chief Super Charged Petrox Porcelain Sign