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    

Vintage 1930's Texaco Motor Oil 2 Sided 23" Porcelain Metal Flange SignTexaco Porcelain SignOld Vintage Porcelain Texaco Aircraft Engine Oil Enamel Sign2 Texaco Porcelain Stars Gas Station Real Deal No ReserveOriginal Double Sided 42" Texaco Porcelain Gas SignRed Indian Oil Sign Gasoline Porcelain Enamel Heavy Mccoll Frontenac TexacoAntique En-ar-co Oil Tin ,cup Grease Canadian Oil Companies Vintage 1957 Tonka Pick Up Truck (custom Sky Chief Texaco Service Truck!Old Original Dx Motor Oil Porcelain SignLtd Toy Stamp & Vintage Texaco North Dakota Battery-op Ship Nm In Box1930's Era Texaco Porcelain Sign Neon1940s Buddy L Large Custom Texaco Parts Truck1949 Buddy L Large Custom Texaco Tow TruckFender Guitar Sign Electric Stratocaster Case Sunburst Strings 3-d Metal MobilTexaco Porcelain Letters Gas Station Vintage Large Gas Pump No ReserveTexaco Diesel Chief Porcelain Sign Plate Gas Station AdvertisingBuddy L Texaco Petroleum Tanker--mint In Box--1950's--mint In Box--Lot Of 12 Danbury Mint 1:24 Scale Gas Pumps Sunoco Texaco Shell Rare Items!!! Vtg Texaco Porcelain Metal Sign 11 3/4" No Reserve Gas Pump OilVintage 1955 Texaco Sky Chief Gasoline Gas Pump Plate 22" Porcelain Metal SignVintage Buddy L Pressed Steel Texaco Tanker Truck TrailerTexaco Gas Oil Paper Shop Towel Dispenser Garage Service Station Store DisplayVtg Org Federal Fertilizer Texaco Thermometer 12" Dia/petroliana,farmHolley High Performance Carburetors 3d Metal Sign Gasser Drag Strip Race Hemi Rt1940's-50'era Wayne Gas Pump Texaco Gulf WalcoTexaco Gas Oil Paper Shop Towel Dispenser Garage Service Station Store DisplaySuper Rare 1960's Get The Milk Bank Boost Kraft Kraylets Pig Hog Embossed !!!!!!Aurora Afx Tomy Ho Scale Slot Car G-plus F-1 Indy #11 Texaco Marlboro RedVintage 1947 Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Gas Pump Plate 18" Porcelain Metal SignMetal Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Arrow Sign Petroleum Motor Oil Gas Pump MobilAmf Wen-mac Motorized Texaco North Dakota Tanker Toy Ship - Box, Booket 1961Theatre Sign Cinema Theater Poster Ticket Drive In Neon Look Game Room Mobil1959 Petrox Texaco Sky Chief Su-preme Gas Pump Plate Porcelain Sign Near Mint BOriginal Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Gas Pump Porcelain Sign By P&m Orillia 54Vintage Texaco Hose Clamp Display Service Station Advertising Gas Pump SignLarge Cornered Chevrolet Genuine Parts Super Service 27"2 Sided Metal Sign Texaco #1 1913 Model T Van Ertl 1984 Die Cast Bank "very Rare"Home Cinema Large Sign Chalkboard Theater Coke Popcorn Drive In Speakers Coin Op1959 Petrox Texaco Sky Chief Su-preme Gas Pump Plate Porcelain Sign Near Mint ATexaco Sky Chief Petrox SignVintage/antique "texaco Cycle Gas Pump"vending Gumball Machine,cola,peanut,candyFirst Gear Texaco Replica 1960 Mack B-61 Tandem Lowboy Pipeline TruckHuge Wood Ford Sign Mustang Cars Trucks Tractors Shelby Cobra Gt Mobil TexacoTexaco Sky Chief Gasoline Metal Sign Auto Shop Standard Motor Oil Can Rack Vintage 1959 Porcelain Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Gas Pump Plate Metal Sign-18"Vintage Texaco Black Tee T 15 Inch Diameter Lubester Gas Pump Porcelain SignGto Emblem Vintage Look Embossed 3d Metal Sign Pontiac Goat 64 65 66 67 68 69 70Texaco Pipeline #4 / 1957 Int R-200 Gin Pole Winch Truck First Gear 19-20158 Texaco Motor Oil Can Rack Gas Pump Outboard Aircraft Engine Sign Globe MobilTamiya Texaco Marlboro M23 1:12 Scale ReadDodge Parts Arrow Tin Signs Garage Man Cave Repair Shop Metal Signs Sold Here1:34 First Gear Dodge Power Wagon Express Truck Nib 18-2482 Cromwell Oil TexacoEmbossed Dad's Garage Sign Ford Chrysler Chevrolet Motorcycle Gas Oil Filter CanEmbossed Sinclair Gasoline Sign Gas Pump Petroleum Motor Oil Globe Dino MobilRare Antique 1/2 Gallon Texaco Easy Pour Black T Motor Oil Can No ReserveLarge Ford Oval Double Sided With Hanging Bracket Metal Sign Mustang Hot Rod Vintage 1950's Texaco Gas Station Men's & Ladies Porcelain Restroom SignsVintage Pressed Steel Buddy L Texaco Promo Gasoline Truck TankerMopar Parts Vintage Looking Neon 3d Metal Sign Petty Chrysler Dodge Plymouth UsaOfficially Licensed Good Year Tires 3d Metal Sign Gasser Drag Strip Race Hemi Rt