Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,968 pages of information and 233,612 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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Advertising Plaque.
Advertising sign.
Advertising Plaque.
Advertising Plaque.
Advertising plaque.
December 1933.
October 1936.
October 1937.
March 1939.
April 1939.
June 1939.
May 1949.
October 1949.
April 1950.
December 1950.
May 1951.
1951. Oil Refinery at Fawley.
1951. Fawley Oil Refinery.
April 1952.
October 1952.
October 1952.
March 1953.
October 1953.
October 1953.
October 1953.
April 1954.
July 1954.
October 1954. Esso Blue.
March 1955.
April 1955.
October 1957. Extra Motor Oil.
1959. Milford Haven Refinery.
March 1960.
July 1960.
July 1961.
1961. Plymouth area dealers.
February 1962.
March 1962.
December 1962.
November 1963.

of 36 Queen Anne's Gate, London, SW1. (1951)

Also Esso A.G. of Germany

Esso is an international trade name for ExxonMobil and its related companies. The name is derived from the initials of the pre-1911 Standard Oil Co which was split into 34 separate companies [1] after anti-trust action by the U.S. Government including:

  • Standard Oil of New Jersey - later became Exxon Mobil
  • Standard Oil of Ohio - Sohio
  • Standard Oil of Indiana - Amoco
  • Standard Oil of California - Chevron
  • Standard Oil of New York - Mobil

1888 Anglo-American Oil Co was established as the UK distributor of the products of Standard Oil Company of America.

1921 Refinery opened at Fawley, Hants[2].

1938 Anglo-American Oil Co acquired a majority interest in Cleveland, an independent company. Cleveland's products included a benzole blend and an alcohol blend called Discol developed by Distillers Co. The Cleveland name continued in use until 1973, when the Cleveland filling stations were re-branded as Esso.

1951 Anglo-American Oil Co changed its name to Esso Petroleum Co Ltd.

1954 Esso increased its holding in Cleveland.

In the UK, Esso Blue was the brand name of Esso's paraffin oil (kerosene) for domestic heaters. Their TV advertising song from the 1950s through to the 1970s was the famous "Bom, Bom, Bom, Bom, Esso Blue!" A later campaign used the well-known song tune of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" cleverly reworded as: They asked me how I knew, it was Esso Blue, I of course replied, with lower grades one buys, smoke gets in your eyes. ... The non-smoking paraffin.

1958 Esso acquired the remaining shares in Cleveland Petroleum Products Co [3].

1964 Opened refinery at Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire[4].

In 1973, the brand was largely replaced in the US by the Exxon brand, while Esso remained widely used elsewhere.

1999 Exxon took over Mobil to form ExxonMobil. In most of the world, the Esso brand and the Mobil brand are the primary brand names of ExxonMobil.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Standard Oil [1]
  2. The Times, 19 November 1973
  3. The Times, 23 January 1958
  4. The Times, 19 November 1973