Texaco was an independent company until it merged into Chevron Corporation in 2001. It began as the Texas Fuel Company, founded in 1901 in Beaumont, Texas by Joseph S. Cullinan, Thomas Donahue, Walter Benona Sharp and Arnold Schlaet upon discovery of oil at Spindletop. For many years, Texaco was the only company selling gasoline in all 50 states, but this is no longer true. Its logo features a white star in a red circle (a reference to the lone star of Texas), leading to the long-running advertising jingles "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star" and "Star of the American Road."
Texaco is associated with the Havoline brand of motor oil and other automotive products. It is one of the sponsors of NASCAR. Texaco sponsors Car 42, driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. Havoline has sponsored a NASCAR race car continuously since the early 1980s.
It has also been associated with the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, as well as such entertainment legends as Bob Hope, Jack Benny and Milton Berle (many of their shows were originally sponsored by Texaco - see Texaco Star Theatre, which includes the sponsorship lyrics of the opening theme: "We're the men of Texaco, We work from Maine to Mexico..."). Berle's program was broadcast in the same time slot as Fulton J. Sheen's religious program for a while, thus leading to Berle's oft-quoted quip, "We both have the same boss - Sky Chief!"
In Latin America, Texaco sponsors Brazilian soccer superstar Ronaldinho. In West Africa, Texaco sponsors the soccer-based comic Supa Strikas.
Texaco gasoline comes with Techron, an additive developed by Chevron, as of 2005, replacing the previous CleanSystem3. The Texaco brand is strong in the United States, Latin America and West Africa, and it has a presence in Europe as well.
The current CEO is David J. O'Reilly.
1911 - Texaco purchased from owner of the Red Star Oil Company, one Mr. Dawkins.
1928 - Texaco became the first U.S. oil company to sell its gasoline nationwide under one single brand name in all 48 states (50 states after Alaska and Hawaii joined the Union in 1959).
1931 - The Texas Company (Texaco's corporate name) purchased Indian Oil Company, based in Illinois, a move that expanded Texaco's refining and marketing base in the Midwest and also gave Texaco the rights to Indian's manufacturing processes of Havoline "Wax Free" motor oil, which became a Texaco product and provided the company with a higher quality motor oil product.
1932 - Texaco introduced Fire Chief gasoline nationwide, a motor fuel that met the octane requirements for fire engines, and promoted it through a radio program over NBC that was hosted by Ed Wynn the "Texaco Fire Chief." http://www.nfo.net/graphics/NBCOrchEdWynnTexaco1.jpg
1937 - Texaco commissioned architectual designer Walter Teague to develop a modern service station design. The resulting "Teague" Texaco station design was a functional white building with green trimmings featuring one or more service bays for "Washing", "Marfak Lubrication", etc., an office area with large plate glass window for display of tires, batteries and accessories along with "Men" and "Ladies" restrooms featuring Texaco-green tile walls and floors. The Teague station design was typically built of white porcelain tile but local and regional variations could include painted brick, concrete brick and stucco materials. Other features included red Texaco stars on the upper facade on outer sidewalls and above the service bays, and red lettering spelling out "TEXACO" above the office area. Stations were identified by the street from Texaco's "banjo" sign.
1937 - Texaco unlawfully breaks the US embargo on supplying either side of the Spanish Civil War and begins supplying fuel to Franco's fascists on free credit, fuel which powered the German bombers as they destroyed the civilian population of Guernica and other towns.
1938 - Texaco introduced Sky Chief gasoline, a premium grade fuel developed from the ground up as a high-octane gasoline rather than just an ethylized regular product. Sky Chief was dispensed from a silver gas pump in contrast with the red pump used for Fire Chief gasoline - a move that would last many years until the early 1960s.
1939 - Texaco became one of the first oil companies to introduce a "Registered Rest Room" program to ensure that restroom facilities at all Texaco stations nationwide maintained a standard level of cleanliness to the motoring public. The company hired a staff of inspectors who traveled from station to station periodically to ensure that restrooms were up to standard. The "Registered Rest Room" program was later copied by other oil companies and continued at Texaco until the energy crises of the 1970s.
1941 - Texaco introduced a "24-hour" station program for selected outlets along major highways during the summer months to help ensure that motorists driving at night were no more than a tankful away from a Texaco station.
1947 - Texaco merged its British operation with Trinidad Leaseholds under the name Regent.
1954 - To meet the needs of modern automobiles with higher power engines, Texaco upgrades Sky Chief gasoline by adding Petrox as a new additive to increase octane ratings to levels similar to aviation fuel of World War II vintage.
1959 - The Texas Company changes its corporate name to Texaco, Inc. to better reflect the value of the Texaco brand name, which represented the biggest selling gasoline brand in the U.S. and only marketer selling gasoline under one brand name in all 50 states.
1959 - Texaco acquires McColl-Frontenac Oil Company Ltd. of Canada and changes its name to Texaco Canada Ltd.
Late 1950s - Bought Paragon Oil, a major fuel oil distribution company in the northeastern United States.
1962 - Texaco introduces the "You Can Trust Your Car To The Man Who Wears The Star" campaign. Both Fire Chief and Sky Chief gasolines are promoted as "Climate Controlled" as various blends of both gasolines are distributed to Texaco stations in various parts of the country.
1964 - Texaco introduces the "Matawan" service station design at a station in Matawan, New Jersey. Features include mansard roofing design, service bays moved to the side of station and sheetrock covering over most exterior walls.
1966 - Texaco replaces the long-running banjo sign with a new hexagon logo that had previously been test-marketed with the "Matawan" station design introduced two years earlier. New logo features red outline with TEXACO in black bold lettering and small banjo logo with red star and green T at bottom. Texaco also enters agreement with Howard Johnson for Texaco credit card to be honored for charging of lodging and food at HoJo hotels, a widespread trend of the time among major oil companies that would last until the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo.
1967 - Regent name replaced by Texaco at British petrol stations.
1970 - In response to increasingly stringent federal emission standards that would ultimately lead to mandating of unleaded gasoline in 1975 and later model cars and trucks, Texaco introduced Lead-free Texaco as the first regular-octane lead-free gasoline at stations in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California. Lead-free Texaco would become available nationwide in 1974 in time for the introduction of 1975-model vehicles.
1978 - Texaco Canada Ltd. merges with Texaco Explorations Canada Ltd. to form Texaco Canada Inc.
1980 - Texaco replaces Sky Chief gasoline, a leaded premium grade, with new Super Lead-free Sky Chief. Following an industry trend of oil companies retrenching from operating service stations nationwide by pulling out of marginally-profitable or unprofitable regions that began with the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, Texaco also ends its 50-year-plus commitment to 50-state marketing of gasoline by pulling out of Montana and several other states in the North Central and Midwestern U.S.
November 21, 1980 - Lake Peigneur/Jefferson Island disaster
1982 - Texaco replaces 1966-vintage hexagon logo with a new rendition of the old banjo sign in red and white featuring the star and "T". New service station design emphasizes use of dark colors including, black, red and gray. Gasoline products receive name changes with the advent of self-service including Lead-free Texaco to Texaco Unleaded, Fire Chief to Texaco Regular, and Super Lead-free Sky Chief to Texaco Super Unleaded.
1984 - Bought Getty Oil (including Tidewater Petroleum). The Getty name and stations in the Northeastern United States were sold to Power Test and are now owned by Lukoil. Getty's Skelly stations in several Midwestern states rebranded as Texaco stations, including a few states in which Texaco returned after withdrawing a few years earlier.
1985 - On November 19 Pennzoil won a US$10.53 billion verdict from Texaco in the largest civil verdict in US history (Texaco established a signed contract to buy Getty Oil after Pennzoil entered into an unsigned, yet still binding, buyout contract with Gordon Getty). To obtain the billions required to pay the verdict, Texaco sold 50% of its interests in marketing east of the Mississippi and Texas and its three Gulf Coast refineries to Saudi Aramco which in turn formed a holding company called Saudi Refining that held the 50% ownership in the new venture called Star Enterprise. Texaco also withdrew from marketing gasoline in the Chicago area by selling its service stations and distribution facilities to Mobil in an exchange agreement for which Texaco acquired former Mobil outlets in the Oklahoma City area.
1987 - Texaco files for bankruptcy; company continues trading under protection of US bankruptcy laws.
1989 - Texaco sells its Canadian refining and marketing operations to Imperial Oil, the Canadian subsidiary of Exxon Corp. Service stations in Canada rebranded from Texaco to Esso.
1989 - Texaco introduces System3 gasolines in all three grades of fuel, featuring the latest detergent additive technology to improve performance by reducing deposits that clog fuel injection systems.
1994 - Texaco's System3 gasolines replaced by new CleanSystem3 gasolines for improved engine performance.
1996 - Texaco pays over $170 million to settle racial discrimination lawsuits filed by black employees at the company. It was the largest racial discrimination lawsuit settlement in the United States at the time, and was particularly damaging to Texaco's public relations when tapes were released containing ethnic slurs used repeatedly by company officers at high-level corporate meetings.
1998 - Formed joint venture Equilon with Shell Oil Company, combining their Western and Midwestern U.S. refining and marketing.
1998 - Formed joint venture Motiva with Shell Oil Company and Saudi Aramco, a joint venture combining their Eastern and Gulf Coast U.S. refining and marketing businesses.