Vintage dated 1947 Mobil Gas MOBILGAS Special Porcelain Enamel on Iron 12" Sign. It is marked in the lower right corner IR 47. It measures about 12" x 12" and has a good amount of edge wear and flaking - check my photos. We feel it displays great with nice vivid colors; it certainly is guaranteed a genuine authentic 1940's gas station pump sign.
In Greek mythology, the Pegasus was an immortal creature. As the story goes, the Pegasus sprung from Medusa’s neck when the Greek hero, Perseus, cut off her head. The flying horse was tamed and given his name by Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
Athena presented Pegasus to the Muses, where he was placed at the service of the poets. Legend has it that the Pegasus struck the ground on Mount Helicon with his hoof, and a spring sprouted from that location, giving inspiration to those who drank its waters.
In the earliest days of oil refineries and filling stations, the Pegasus symbol was used by the Standard Oil Company of New York. The logo first appeared in 1911 on their gas pumps and petroleum products. When the Standard Oil Trust was broken up by the Supreme Court (1911), two of its divisions – the Standard Oil Company of New York and the Vacuum Oil Company – merged. The former brought with it the Pegasus logo, the latter brought the Mobilgas name.
The Pegasus was also used on Mobiloil and Mobil Tires.
The Pegasus appeared on Mobilgas products during 1911, but it was in 1931, with the forming of Socony-Vacuum, that it was officially adopted as a trademark. The flying horse was first colored red by an artist at the Mobil Sekiyu division in Japan. A major makeover was done in the 1930s by the commercial illustrator Robert “Rex” Elmer. Not only was it given a cleaner and more graphic appearance, but the horse now flew from left to right, as opposed to from right to left.
Through the years there have been gradual changes to the rendering of the red horse, but the symbol itself has stood strong. The Pegasus symbol is still used today by ExxonMobil, symbolizing imagination, power and speed.
The bulk of vintage collectibles adorned by the Mobilgas Pegasus are gas station signs and oil cans, but many take-home items were produced, including ashtrays, license plate toppers and coffee mugs.
Mobil, previously known as the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, was a major American oil company which merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil. Today Mobil continues as a major brand name within the combined company, as well as still being a gas station sometimes paired with their own store or On the Run. Its former headquarters in Fairfax County, Virginia, are currently used as ExxonMobil's downstream headquarters. Following the break-up of Standard Oil in 1911, the Standard Oil Company of New York, or Socony, was founded, along with 33 other successor companies. In 1920, the company registered the name "Mobiloil" as a trademark.
Henry Clay Folger was head of the company until 1923, when he was succeeded by Herbert L. Pratt. Beginning February 29, 1928 on NBC, Socony Oil reached radio listeners with a comedy program, Soconyland Sketches, scripted by William Ford Manley and featuring Arthur Allen and Parker Fennelly as rural New Englanders. Socony continued to sponsor the show when it moved to CBS in 1934. In 1935, it became the Socony Sketchbook, with Christopher Morley and the Johnny Green orchestra.
In 1931, Socony merged with Vacuum Oil to form Socony-Vacuum.
In 1933, Socony-Vacuum and Jersey Standard (which had oil production and refineries in Indonesia) merged their interests in the Far East into a 50–50 joint venture. Standard-Vacuum Oil Co., or "Stanvac," operated in 50 countries, including East Africa, New Zealand and China, before it was dissolved in 1962.
In 1935, Socony Vacuum Oil opened the huge Mammoth Oil Port on Staten Island which had a capacity of handling a quarter of million gallons of petroleum products a year and could transship oil from ocean going tankers and river barges
The Mobil Economy Run generated publicity and promotions such as this 1962 advertisement by Champion spark plugs with a Rambler American.
In 1955, Socony-Vacuum was renamed Socony Mobil Oil Company. In 1963, it changed its trade name from "Mobilgas" to simply "Mobil," introducing a new logo (created by a prominent New York graphic design firm, Chermayeff & Geismar). To celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1966, "Socony" was dropped from the corporate name.
From 1936 to 1968, Mobil sponsored an economy run each year (except during World War II) in which domestic automobiles of various manufacturers in several price and size classes were driven by light-footed drivers on cross-country runs. The Economy Run originated with the Gilmore Oil Company of California in 1936 (which was purchased by Socony-Vacuum in 1940) and later became the Mobilgas Economy Run and still later, the Mobil Economy Run. The cars driven in the economy run were fueled with Mobil gasoline and Mobiloil and lubricants were also used. The vehicles in each class that achieved the highest fuel economy numbers were awarded the coveted title as the Mobilgas Economy Run winner.
During US involvement in WW II, April 29, 1942, Socony's unescorted tanker, named Mobiloil, was sunk by a German U-boat (U-108 captained by Klaus Schlotz), and all 52 people survived after 86 hours adrift in lifeboats.
Through the years, Mobil was among the largest sellers of gasoline and motor oils in the United States and even held the top spot during the 1940s and much of the 1950s. Various Mobil products during the Socony-Vacuum and Socony-Mobil years included Metro, Mobilgas and Mobilgas Special gasolines; Mobilfuel Diesel, Mobil-flame heating oil, Mobil Kerosine, Lubrite, Gargoyle, Mobiloil and Mobiloil Special motor oils; Mobilgrease, Mobillubrication, Mobil Upperlube, Mobil Freezone and Permazone antifreezes, Mobilfluid automatic transmission fluid, Mobil Premiere tires, Mobil Stop-Leak, Mobil Lustrecloth, among many others.
In 1954, Mobil introduced a new and improved Mobilgas Special in response to trends toward new automobiles powered by high-compression engines that demanded higher and higher octane gasolines. The newest formulas of Mobilgas Special was advertised as offering "A Tune-Up in Every Tankful" due to a combination of chemicals known as the "Mobil Power Compound" which was designed to increase power, check pre-ignition ping, correct spark plug misfiring, control stalling and combat gumming up of carburetors. Later Mobil campaigns advertised Mobilgas as the "New Car Gasoline" following extensive testing during the annual Mobilgas Economy Run.
Antique pumps, manufactured by Tokheim, using the pre-1962 "Mobilgas" product name
In 1962, the gasoline product lines marketed as Mobilgas and Mobilgas Special were rebranded as Mobil Regular and Mobil Premium in a move to emphasize the shortened brand name "Mobil" in promotional efforts although Mobiloil continued as a single word term until the 1970s. After a few years of advertising Mobil gasolines as "Megatane"-rated and as "High Energy" gasolines, Mobil began, in 1966, to promote both its Regular and Premium fuels as "Detergent Gasolines," due to the inclusion of additives designed to clean carburetors and various internal engine parts. During the early 1970s, Mobil ran a TV commercial featuring a character known as "Mr. Dirt" to show the ruinous effects that dirt had on automotive engines for which a tank of Mobil Detergent Gasoline could provide a cure and preventive medicine against damage that could lead to costly repairs.
As automakers were switching en masse from carbureted to fuel injected engines during the early to mid-1980s, the detergent additives that existed in most available gasolines proved not to be enough to prevent injection clogging, leading to drivability problems, Mobil received accolades from General Motors and other automakers for increasing the detergency of its Super Unleaded gasoline in 1984 to prevent formation or deposit build-ups of the injectors but also remove existing deposits as well in normal driving. At the end of the 1980s Mobil sold its fuel stations in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark to Norsk Hydro, who converted them into Hydro stations.
William P. Tavoulareas was President of Mobil Corporation until succeeded by Allen E. Murray in 1984.
Mobil gas station in the Lower East Side section of New York City
Mobil moved its headquarters from New York to Fairfax County, Virginia in 1987.
In 1998, Mobil and Exxon agreed on a merger to create ExxonMobil, which was completed on November 30, 1999. Lou Noto was Chairman of Mobil at the time of the merger and Walter Arnheim was treasurer.
When Exxon Corporation merged with Mobil Corporation in 1999, the newly merged company ended enrollment in Mobil Corporation's domestic partner benefits for same-sex partners of employees, and it rescinded formal prohibitions against discrimination based on sexual orientation by removing it from the company's Equal Employment Opportunity policy.