Vacuum Oil Company of South Africa Ltd

Vacuum Oil Company of South Africa Ltd

Vacuum Oil was founded in 1866 by Matthew Ewing and Hiram Bond Everest, of Rochester, New York. Lubrication oil was an accidental discovery while attempting to distil kerosene. Everest noted the residue from the extraction was suitable as a lubricant. Soon after, the product became popular for use in steam engines and internal-combustion engines. Ewing sold his interest to Everest, who carried on the company. Vacuum was bought by Standard Oil in 1879.

It originated the Mobil trademark in 1899. When Standard Oil was broken up in 1911 due to the Sherman Antitrust Act, Vacuum became an independent company again. Vacuum Oil and Standard Oil of New York (Socony) merged in 1931, after the government gave up attempts to prevent it. The newly-combined entity, Socony-Vacuum Corp., was the world’s third-largest oil company.

In 1955, the company became Socony Mobil Oil Company. In 1966, it was renamed Mobil Oil Corporation, later shortened to Mobil Corporation

In 1881, German immigrant Johann Gottlieb Schade introduces Vacuum Oil products to South Africa and by 1897, Vacuum Oil, backed by J.D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company, opened a branch in Cape Town to service Southern Africa. Joint ownership of the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company is brought to an end in 1960. Vacuum’s international interests are transferred to the Mobil Petroleum Company and the Standard Oil business is transferred to Esso Standard Eastern. In South Africa the company was renamed Mobil.

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