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]

Petroliana.co.uk

Petroliana.co.uk

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    

1920's Texaco 42" Gasoline Filling Station Porcelain Sign Excellent Rare VersionRare One Side 42' Texaco Porcelain Sign 1940's ; Great Shape Vg+++ Garage SignStandard Oil Co. Vertical Porcelain Sign Not Shell Sinclair Texaco No Reserve1963 Texaco Diesel Chief Porcelain Gasoline Sign~original Gas Station Sign!Vintage Original Texaco Motor Oil Clean Clear Golden Porcelain SignNos Antique Gas Pump Globe Sign Milk Glass ... Mobil..sinclair....texacoVintage 1940 Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Gas Pump Plate 18" Porcelain Metal Sign1950s Buddy L Pressed Steel Toy Texaco Oil Tanker Delivery TruckVintage 1947 Texaco Marfak Lubrication Gas & Oil 30" Metal SignTexaco The Quality Line Car Care Products Gas Station Display Rack With CansVintage 1959 Texaco Sky Chief Gasoline Gas Pump Plate 18" Porcelain Metal SignVintage Texaco The Texas Company Cast Iron Sign Base Gas Station Porcelain SignVintage 1930's Texaco Motor Oil 2 Sided 30" Porcelain Metal Sign1959 Texaco Porcelain Gas Sign~sky Chief Su-preme Gasoline Supercharged PetroxLighted Texaco Advertizing Globe Works Perfect 17" Across Really Nice PieceOld Porcelain Texaco Sign Oil Gas Station Advertising Enamel Pump Can CurvedEarly Texaco Motor Oil Porcelain Sign, 30", Double Sided1963 Texaco Porcelain Gas Sign~fire-chief Gasoline Fireman's Helmet Ex Cond!Embossed Ford Genuine Parts Arrow Shop Sign Mustang Truck Shelby Cobra Mobil 3 Old Texas Company Green Service Station Cans Tin Advertising Texaco Cup Grease1936 Texaco Credit Cards Honored Sign - Nice!1960's ~ Texaco - Fire Chief Hat ~ Replica ~ Bat- Operated ~ In Box - Unused1959 Texaco Enameled Porcelain Fire-chief Gasoline Sign~original Gas Station!Texaco Gasoline Porcelin Gas Pump Sign...... Texaco Sky Chief 1960 Porcelain SignEarly Vintage Original Texaco Certified Lube. Porcelain Sign No Reserve!!Texaco Oil Rusty Porcelain Gas Pump SignVintage Texaco Outboard Oil Metal Sign Original Allen Morrison Dated 195950s Buddyl Gmc Texaco TruckAuthentic Vintage 1960s *buddy L* Texaco Gasoline Tanker Truck Sound Your Horn Big 30" Good Quailty Round Metal Texaco Gasoline & Motor Oil SignVintage Texaco Porcelain Fire Chief Gasoline Pump Sign Dated 3-01-1951 Very NiceHuge Exit Way Out Metal Sign Home Theater Cinema System Signal Street Mobil Led Vintage Texaco Motor Oil Double Sided Porcelan Metal Sign Gas StationDodge Charger Rt Embossed 3d Metal Sign Daytona Petty Hemi Cuda Challenger MoparHuge Arrow Sign Rusted Exit Theater Drive In Game Room Mobil Texaco Coin CokeVintage Original Texaco Fire Chief Porcelain Pump Plate Ok Used Cars Authorized Dealer Chevrolet Lighted Sign Led Chevy Gm VintageVintage Texaco Outboard Motor Oil Can One "full" Quart Dated 5/1959Huge Exit Way Out Metal Sign Home Theater Cinema System Signal Street Mobil Led Texaco Tanker - Refurbished StructoBeautiful Original Texaco Fire Chief Porcelain Pump Plate Rare 15 X 10 SizeRare Near Mint Early 1920s Vintage Texaco 574 Motor Oil Old 1 Qt Tin CanVintage 5 Gallon Texaco Motor Oil CanNo Hunting Unless Its For Wabbit Metal Sign Vintage Look Ratrod Remington Vintage S.s. Texaco North Dakota Toy Oil Tanker Ship By Wen Mac Made In UsaBig 30" Good Quailty Round Metal Texaco Gasoline & Motor Oil SignVintage 1960s Texaco Fire Chief Pump Plate Porcelain Sign,"aviation Fuel SignRoad Runner Coyote 3d Metal Sign Super Bird Plymouth Petty Dodge Mopar ChryslerTexaco 6' Porcelain Metal Gas & Oil Sign Dated 1959 In Great Condition!!Original B.o. Texaco North Dakota Tanker Model Ship W/boxTexaco Oil Salesman Sample Kit.Registered Texaco Rest Room Dealer Service Plate Sign Mobil Gas Oil VintageTexaco Multi Fold Paper Towel Dispenser Service Station Garage Winshield Box Raceway Replicas 1993 #28 Davey Allison Texaco Havoline Ford Thunderbird CarTheatre Sign Cinema Theater Poster Ticket Drive In Neon Look Game Room MobilTexaco Gas Pump Price SignVintage Texaco Porcelain Sky Chief Su-preme Gasoline Pump Sign Dated 3-5-1960 NrSingle Round Texaco Glass Lens 13 1/2" Convex Advertising Globe Gas & Oil Sign Exit Way Out Metal Sign Garage Man Cave Theater Movie Cinema Body Shop Bar Retro