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    

1940 Original Texaco Fire Chief Porcelain SignVintage 1961 Texaco Toy Tanker, North Dakota Motorized Ship ~ Excellent ConditonVintage Porcelain 42" Double Sided Texaco Gasoline Motor Oil Sign Gas StationRare Near Mint Early 1920s Vintage Texaco 574 Motor Oil Old 1 Qt Tin CanFirestone Gasoline Dealer Sign,gas Station,nos,original,named Sign,1971,metal,4'Vintage 1946 Texaco No Smoking Porcelain Restroom Advertising Sign Gas Ford OilAntique Authentic 1936, Fire-chief, Texaco Gasoline 2-sided Sign, NrRare Vintage Texaco Oil Company Buddy L Service Station Toy Vintage Porcelain Texas Pacific Gasoline Sign Gas Oil Texaco Gulf Mobil SignEarly Texaco Home Lubricant Oil Tin Can Handy Oiler Lead Top 4 Oz. SignN Scale Tractor Trailer Tanker Truck Lot X 10 Mobil Texaco Consolidated Freight+Buddy L Texaco Tanker--near Mint Original--completeVintage Porcelain Texaco Sky Chief Pump Plate 1940 Sign1933 Texaco Agent Gas & Oil Porcelain Sign All Original The Texas CompanyVintage Texaco Porcelain Sky Chief Su-preme Gasoline Pump Sign Dated 3-6-1959 NrOriginal Porcelain Texaco Pump Sign, 1933Danbury Mint 1952 Chevrolet Series 3800 Wrecker- Texaco Brand New In Box #a379The Franklin Mint Texaco Gas Transport Tanker Mack Truck 1/43 Diecast Car1950's Vintage Buddy L Texaco Gas Oil Tanker Toy Truck Original PetrolianaVintage Texaco Sign Porcalen 1933.Embossed Bob's Big Boy Drive In Restaurant Sign Diner Vintage Style Mobil CokeGulf Thermometer Motor Oil Gas Pump Texaco Petroleum Globe Mobil Sign Metal CanIce Cream Sign Embossed Metal Vintage Look Root Beer Float Orange Soda ButtonYale "texaco" Vintage PadlockOriginal Vintage Texaco Fire Chief Porcelain Old Gas Pump Sign 1962 Rare 1950s Texaco "touring Service" Map Holder Display..l@@k!Texaco Hose Clamp Holder Texaco Oil Sign Original1950s Buddy L Texaco Pressed Steel Toy Oil Tanker Delivery Gas Truck Antique Old1959 Petrox Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline Gas Pump Sign Porcelain SignVintage 1960's Texaco Fire Chief Gasoline 16" Metal Gas & Oil SignVintage 1941 Texaco Sky Chief Gasoline Porcelain Pump Sign, Great Condition, NrTexaco Oil Marine Gas Station Flag Star Emblem Logo Mayer China Creamer Vintage Texaco Porcelain Fire Chief Gasoline Pump Sign Dated 3-01-1958 Very NiceVintage Texaco Fire Chief Gas Station Sign 1947 No Reserve Must See!Texaco Porcelain No Smoking SignExcellent Cox Texaco 049 Ff Glow Model Airplane Engine Wtaibi Aluminum Tank1955 Vintage Authentic Texaco Gasoline Porcelain Fire Chief Gas Pump SignRules For Dating Metal Embossed Vintage Look Garage Gas Oil Ford Chevy Dad'sCox Texaco 049 Glow Fuel Model Airplane Engine NibTexaco Fire Chief Helmet 1960's With Speaker & MicrophoneRare 1960's 70' Mopar One Gallon Supreme Motor Oil Can Sae 30Vintage Buddy L Texaco Gmc Truck Toy Gas Fuel Tanker Pressed SteelVintage Texaco Roof Cement Small Can Bucket Gas Oil Advertising 1lb EmptyFender Guitar Sign Electric Stratocaster Case Sunburst Strings 3-d Metal MobilBig 30" Good Quailty Round Metal Texaco Gasoline & Motor Oil SignVintage 1951 Porcelain Atlantic White Flash Sign Gas Oil Texaco Gulf Mobil SignVintage 1936 Furfural'd Film Texaco Motor Oil Sign Advertising MetalThe Twilight Zone Sign Tv Series Metal Embossed 3d Vintage Look Man CaveVintage Zippo Slim Lighter 1965 "texaco " Mint Unfired W/box & PapersTexaco Airplane Die Cast Crop Chevron Air Express Motor Oil Gas Sign Mobil Esso1950s Buddy L Pressed Steel Toy Texaco Oil Tanker Delivery Truck- No Reserve.Texaco Fire Chief 1940 Porcelain SignBig 30" Good Quailty Round Metal Texaco Gasoline & Motor Oil SignMajorette Scania Texaco Super Tanker 1/60 Made In FranceVintage Texaco Marine Motor Oil Can One Quart "full"Original Texaco Fire Chief Sign - 03/10/1947 Remington Thermometer Sign Store Display Man Cave Cabin Garage Art Texaco Porcelain Sign, Skychief Pump Plate, Gas Pump Sign, Vintage Gas Pump, Vintage 1962 Texaco Fire Chief Porcelain Gas Pump Plate Metal Sign 18x12" Nice!Vintage 60's Texaco Toy Fire Chief Helmet Hat W/ Working Microphone - Great