OT: Gas Stations

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Location: Oak Grove, Oregon

OT: Gas Stations

Post by StoreLiker2006 »

Where do I go, if not here, to discuss all about pre-1990 gas station architectures, for stations like Texaco, Union 76 and Shell?

The reason I am bringing this up is because I want to talk about Union/Unocal 76 gas station designs through the years.

I know their famous motorized sphere sign was first launched in 1962, and their current logo (then orange and blue, not today's red and blue) was introduced in 1967. Two of their famous jingles were "The Sign of the 76" and then "Go with the Spirit ... the Spirit of 76."

Some other burning questions I might want to ask the Union 76 experts here (but not Earl Ma, who died in 2007):
1. What was the first year that Union/Unocal 76 came out with those convex-shaped motorized signs, which among others, reads "Fast Serve" on the blue square?
2. When did Union/Unocal first switch from the motorized sphere sign to the semi-round and fully flat circle signs?
3. What year did Union 76 establish its first auto/truck stops?

Thank you,

Ben Edge
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Joined: 07 Nov 2005 16:10

Re: OT: Gas Stations

Post by jamcool »

The truck stop operation actually began with Pure Oil, which was bought by Union 76 around 1965. Pure was a major operator of auto/truck stops in the Midwest and South, Union expanded the concept to its own marketing areas. In 1970 the Pure brand was finally replaced by 76 and the auto/truck stops expanded nationwide, putting the 76 brand into areas that Union never sold fuel in.

The "half-circle" 76 signs were originally in the former Pure Oil areas - they obviously used the circular Pure logo frames. The square signs came out in the 80s - about the time many cities outlawed rotating signs.
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Joined: 06 Nov 2008 21:31
Location: Kernersville, NC

Re: OT: Gas Stations

Post by carolinatraveler »

Union's Truck Stop network was indeed inherited in the 1965 purchase of The Pure Oil Company. The Union 76 brand began replacing the Pure name in 1968, with a complete conversion by 1970. In turn, Pure had inherited the truck stop network from a Toledo based company known as Hickock Oil, operating under the Hi Speed brand. Hickock was founded in 1917 and 51% was purchased by Pure in 1928. In 1935 an enterprising Hi Speed dealer in Imlay City, MI opened the worlds first gas station specifically designed as a truck stop. Hi Speed had built up a chain of 28 truck stops when the remaining portion of the company was purchased by Pure in 1951. Pure took the truck stop network and quickly grew it throughout their marketing area.
For more information about all things petroleum, check us out a http://www.pcmpublishing.com. We have put out Petroleum Collectibles Monthly, a magazine serving the hobby, monthly for the past 16 years. Over the years there have been several articles about Pure, Union, and the truck stops.

Wayne Henderson
PCM publisher and senior editor
Kernersville, NC
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