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    

(6) Vintage Texaco Motor Oil Cans, Quart SizeVintage Double Sided Porcelain Texaco Motor Oil Flange Sign. Texaco Gas And OilBuffalo Gasoline Porcelain Sign Gas Oil Pump Mobil Texaco Vintage Tonka Aa Wrecker Texaco Metal Tow Truck, Circa 1961 Vintage 1940 Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Original Porcelain Sign Standard Oil Service Gasoline Porcelain Sign Gas Pump Mobil Texaco Texaco 10-6-33 Gasoline Motor Oil Company Porcelain Sign Gas AdvertisingVintage Buddy L Texaco Tanker Truck Pressed Steel 24" No RustOldsmobile Rocket 8 3d Metal Decor Chevy Ford Mopar Usa Race Fuel Hemi Gas Car 1950's Texaco Oil Company Pole Thermometer Morristown Tn S&h Green StampsVintage Texaco Farm Lubrication Porcelain Sign "rare" 1951Texaco North Dakota TankerTexaco Oslo Oil Products Tanker 32" - Handcrafted Wooden Model Ship NewNu In Box Cox Texaco .049 "special Duratuion" Model Airplane EngineVintage 1945 Texaco Fire Chief Porcelain Pump Plate SignTexaco Fire Chief Gasoline Porcelain Pump Plate Sign Texas Company Porcelain Sign Texaco Reg. U.s. Pat. Off. Oil Rack Gas Station SignFranklin Mint The Classic Texaco Tanker With Mack B-61 Tractor 1/43 Scale Vintage Texaco Fire Chief Hat W/original Box 7 Papers Gas Station Premium PromoTexaco Fire Chief Porcelain Oil & Gas Pump SignSuper Dixie Gas Porcelain Sign Gasoline Oil Pump Mobil Texaco SouthernVintage 1950s Texaco Service Thermometer In Original Box/sleeve. Chula Vista, CaVintage 1960's Texaco Teflon Cookware Gas Station 42" SignVintage J Chein Tin Texaco Gas Station Gasoline Oil Toy Pump1950's Original Texaco Fire- Chief Gasoline Porcelain Sign ~ 1969 ~ Vietnam War Era Texaco Gas & Oil Company Enamel Logo Zippo LighterUnion 76 Porcelain Sign Shield Gas Pump Plate Oil Texaco MobilRare Marked Texaco Forks & Spoons Ga Oil Utensils Petroliana1950's Texaco Pole Sign Thermometer Milwaukee Wi Emil's Service Becher Street!Ho 1:87 Die Cast Truck 1940s Texaco Flatbed Truck Missing LoadExtremely Rare Texaco Home Lubricant Counter Display Rack Lube Oil Can Texas Co.Wings Of Texaco / Die Cast Coin BankTexaco 4.30 Porcelain Sign Texas Company Gasoline Gas Oil Mobil SinclairSupreme Motor Oil Porcelain Sign Gas Oil Pump Mobil Texaco Pennsylvania Tootsietoy Vintage Huge Lot Of Six Trucks Texaco And More AtsVintage 1 Pint Green Bottle / Texaco Outboard Motor Oil / 1950'sVintage Original Texaco Sky Chief Porcelain SignTexaco Home Lubricant Oiler Oil Can W Old Long Metal Spout Storage CylinderEvel Knievel Embossed Metal Logo Stunt Man Cave Vintage Look Garage Motocross XHo Vintage Mantua All Metal Tank Car Kit - Texaco Tcx 9340Warning I Get A Little Crazy When People Touch My Tools 3d Metal Decor Rat Fink Tiolene Motor Oil Porcelain Sign Gas Oil Pump Mobil Texaco Pennsylvania Vintage Empty Texaco Qckwork Metal Polish Can/ The Texas CompanyKendall Gas Station Oil Drum Can Barrel Sign Showroom Trash Can Decor Vintage Texaco Soft Paste Wax And Cleaner Can-never Opened-new!Very Large Chevrolet Parts Neon Colors Metal Decor Chevy Muscle Hot Rod Usa Race(2) Vintage Texaco / Havoline Motor Oil Tin Cans, Quart SizeTexaco Skandinavia Tanker 32"- High Quality Handmade Wooden Model Ship NewVery Rare Texaco Valor Motor Gas And Oil Can Must See, Very Cool, Great Piece!!Vintage S.s. Texaco North Dakota Tanker Ship Toy Boat For Parts Or RepairAmt Texaco Fruehauf Semi Trailer Chrome Plated Tanker Model Kit #amt684/06Champion Spark Plug 3d Metal Decor Plymouth Dodge Mopar Chrysler Muscle Car Rod Texaco Flying Wings Oil Gasoline Metal Deco Chevy Ford Mopar Usa Race Fuel Hemi Texaco 9" Heavy Porcelain Metal Sign Gas Oil Service Station Pump Car Auto StarVintage Texaco Thermometer Barometer New Old Stock In BoxBeware Of Wife 3d Metal Decor Happy Wife Happy Life Comedy Fun Boss Trouble UsaGulf Oil Company Gasoline 3d Metal Deco Chevy Ford Mopar Usa Race Fuel Hemi Gas Texaco Mack 1960 B-model Tractor W/tank Steinhagen Oil First Gear #18-2443 1/34L3430- Lot Of Vintage Outboard Oil Cans- Shell, Esso, Texaco, SunocoTexaco Diesel Fuel 2 Porcelain Pump Sign Highway Seed Farm Co-op Tractor Garage