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    

Texaco Jack Tanner's Marion, Ill. License Plate TopperLarge C.1930 Texaco Gasoline Motor Oil 2 Sided 42" Porcelain Metal SignAntique Vtg Service Station, Texaco Star Porcelain Enamel Advertising SignVintage Double Sided Porcelain Texaco Motor Oil Flange Sign. Texaco Gas And OilRare 1940s Gilbarco Air Meter Wall Mount Restored/working Original -not Eco AirOld Vintage Caltex Super Porcelain Gas Pump Plate Sign Enamel Texaco AdvertisingGulf Mobil Shell Texaco Good Year Non Porcelain Tire Rack Sign A-m 1960 Rare!!!!Vintage 1940's Texaco Marfak Lubrication Grease Oil 30" Metal SignVintage 1940**rare**texaco Service Station Hat Gas Oil Sign. Mint & Never Used1963 Ford Pressed Steel Vintage Buddy L Texaco Tanker Truck W/box-new Old StockAlemite Pennsyivania Motor Oil Porcelain Double Sided SignOriginal Porcelain Texaco Sky Chief Gas Pump Plate SignAntique Vintage Gas Pump Texaco Sky Chief Supreme Petrox Gasoline Porcelain SignTexaco Porcelain Sign (dimensions 21 1/2" X 8 1/4") - Not ReproOriginal Vintage Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Porcelain Station Pump Plate Sign Original Vintage Texaco Sky Chief Su-preme Gasoline Porcelain Pump Plate Sign American Flyer Des Plaines Hobbies Texaco Tank Car #3276Vintage 1970s Old Texaco Antique Gas Station Pump Transistor Radio Exterior PumpAntique Brass Texaco Visible Gas Pump Lock Padlock Wb Wilson Bohannan With Key1950s Buddy L Toy Texaco Gas Tanker Truck + Deluxe Cab NiceAntique Brass Texaco Visible Gas Pump Lock Padlock Wb Wilson Bohannan W / KeyVintage 1950's Buddy L Texaco Tanker TruckVintage Texaco Gas & Oil Zippo Lighter - MibOriginal Vintage Texaco Diesel Chief Porcelain Gas Station Pump Plate Sign 1960Presentation Le Coultre Atmos Clock 1962 For 30 Years With Texaco 1955 Texaco "fire Chief" Gasoline Porcelain Sign...nice!!Sunoco Racing Gasoline 3d Metal Decor Chevy Ford Mopar Usa Race Fuel Hemi Gas Buddy L Texaco Tank Truck Model 5603 With Original Box Moline Pressed SteelAntique Texaco Porcelain Sign18 Lot Toy Truck Diecast Banks Scale Models Ertl Liberty Specast Texaco Crown15 Inch Round Texaco Porcelain Pump SignSunoco Service Station Lock Box Steel Key Cabinet Mechanic Keys Gas Pump OilVintage Buddy L Pressed Steel Gmc Texaco Tanker TruckVintage Wen Mac S.s. Texaco North Dakota Ship Toy Oil Tanker For Parts / Repair#1 Usa Red White Blue Display Evel Knievel Harley Davidson Motorcycle Vintage Cox 049 Texaco Model Glow Engine Lrg. Texaco 3-30 15" Gasoline Porcelain Truck Gas Sign Chevy Ford Texas DxVintage Texaco Sky Chief Original Gas Pump Sign Beautiful!!1950s Buddy L Texaco Tanker TruckLarge Bait And Tackle Coca Cola 3d Metal Decor Soda Pop Pepsi Pepper Drink Coke1959 Gmc 24" Buddy L Texaco Tanker Pressed Steel Toy Truck Excellent ConditionWhitaker Automotive Cables Sign Gas Oil Station Texaco Mobil Pure Sunoco Shell Texaco Star Gas Pump Porcelain SignVintage 1930's Texaco Gasoline Gas Pump Plate Sign Porcelin Round Curved MetalVintage Plastic 33" Round Texaco Star ,gas Station Sign Road Champs Tow Truck & 1940's Texaco Gas Station,plasticville 1960-7 Pcs.totalVintage Porcelain Texaco Outboard Motor Oil Sae 30 23.5" X 16" Enamel SignTexaco Fire Chief Porcelain Pump SignDavey Allison #28 Texaco / Havoline 1/24th Scaleteam Caliber Owners SeriesLarge Chevrolet Parts Arrow 3d Metal Decor Chevy Muscle Car Hot Rod Service UsaTexaco Truck 3d Metal Decor Chevy Ford Mopar Usa Race Fuel Hemi Texas Gas Chief Pure Oil Gas Station Wiper Cabinet Sign Windshild Box 76 Sunoco Mobil Texaco Vintage Texaco Fire Chief Fireman Toy Helmet Hat 18" Texaco Fire-chief Porcelain Sign Texaco Free Air Sign Gasoline Service Station Motor Oil Gas Pump Tire Eco MeterAction 1956 Dale Earnhardt #8 Main Texaco Ford 1/24 1 Of 3000First Gear 1953 Texaco Aviation Tanker Red White Diecast 1/34 Scale 19-2202 MintCorgi Mack B Series Wrecker Limited Edition Diecast Tow Truck Texaco 1:50 Gulf Mobil Shell Texaco Sinclair Porcelain Gas Pump Plate Sign Contains Lead!!! Very Scarce—texaco Motor Oil Handy-grip Tin