When I was a young lad, Pennsylvania Motor Oil, was green and came in a glass bottle. Do you remember "back in those days" there always was some of these bottles on the fuel island.
Mohawk Motor Oil
I believe the term is generic, not a brand name, and applies to any oil from Pennsylvania. Some of the brands are Pennzoil, Sinclair, Quaker State, and Mohawk. In fact, a lot of companies sold oil from Pennsylvania and other places as well. A couple that dressed in green were Quaker State and Sinclair.
It is interesting how many references you see to Pennsylvania oil on old signs and cans. I'm from Pa and I've never seen anything related to oil production in the state. Coal, yes.
Long before Texas gushers and offshore drilling, and a century before oil wells dotted Arabian sands and rose out of Venezuelan waters, the center of petroleum production was western Pennsylvania. In the middle of the 19th century two developments occurred that guaranteed Pennsylvania’s dominance: The construction, in Pittsburgh, of the first still to refine crude oil into kerosene for use in lighting, and the drilling of the first oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania.
Steve, do you remeber those glass bottles on the fuel islands?
Dan, On August 28, 1859, George Bissell and Edwin L. Drake made the first successful use of a drilling rig on a well drilled especially to produce oil, at a site on Oil Creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania.
A name like "Quaker State" might suggest southeastern Pennsylvania, but Pennsylvania oil comes from the west. In the rural areas south and west of Pittsburgh where I used to spend some time (and also in eastern Ohio), there are lots of areas where you will find little oil wells on family farms. You can easily overlook them, as typically, they aren't large installations and aren't clustered together. I have lived in both western and south central Pennsylvania, and they are very different places.
Oops, George beat me to it!
Brad Penn is an old school Pennsylvania oil, Green and is great for all cars I use it in my 64 Vette and my 25 model t coupe
"PA" oil was not the same as other oils. It was discovered in Tuitsvill PA and there is a town in PA called Oil City.
If I remember correctly (it was over 50 years ago when I looked at Oil for racing etc.) it was different because it came from a wax based crude instead of asphalt bested.
This may be an appropriate time to discuss the bitimus whatever stuff which most likely came from the Callifunny tar pits and contains the souls of dinosaurs and old Chebbies.
Some other PA brands were Wolf's Head, Keystone, Silencer, Koolmotor, Hi-Test Tydol, Emblem, Sonoco, Uncle Sam,
Socony-Vacuum, and Atlantic.
It had a green tint instead of yellow.
When I was driving my first car a31 Model A Fordor in the early fifties, those green bottles held re-refined oil and was .25 a quart, great stuff, good oil came in cans.
Well I certainly don't remember the glass bottles (other than the ones the boss hung onto to drain every drop out of the cans)...But I do remember the &*(&^ leaky spouts you used to open the oil cans and pour them into a greasy engine then have the owner ask you to wipe up what you spilled!
Rick - You reminded me of something. When I was a kid, growing up in suburban Chicago, we lived next door to a fellow and his nephew who had a business that produced, or maybe I should say, "processed" "re-refined" oil. I remember him telling me that there was a good market for re-refined oil, and that Greyhound, the bus company, used a lot of it. He said that re-refined oil had a desirable quality about it that new oil didn't have, and that Greyhound (and other companies) liked, and the word he used was that the re-refined oil was "tempered". I didn't know what that meant at the time, and I still don't! (???)
Fred, & Rick, thank you for your informative information. Now that I think about it, those glass oil quarts did not have any labels and everybody got their oil while at the gas station back then.
Harold, I hope to read an answer to your question about "tempered oil". When I was an OTR truck driver I worked for Bekins Van Lines and was based out of Hillside, IL. I got to think of Chicagoland as my 2nd home, Go Cubies!!!!
Craig, green is my favorite color, as you can see with my'26 couple
Warren - My wife and I grew up in Franklin Park, which is just a good "walk" from Hillside. Also, my wife's uncle owned and operated Hartley Moving & Hauling in Franklin Park, and was a agent for Bekins Van Lines. Does the name Walter Hartley or Hartley Moving & Hauling on Franklin Avenue in FP "ring any bells" with you? Small world, huh?
Harold, I'm sorry to say they do not ring any bells. I was in the Bekins Metro division, I was what they called a "shuttle driver", I picked up loaded trailers and drove them across the country. I use to listen to WMAQ clear signal station out of Chicago all the time while driving through the mid-west. In 1975 the first song played under the new country format was "Your Cheatin' Heart" by Hank Williams, Sr. The station's fortunes were helped in no small part by the infamous "WMAQ is Gonna Make Me Rich!", do you remember that? It was a great way to see this beautiful country that we all live in.
Warren, we left the Chicago area in 1972 for 10 years in Montana, and then the last 30+ years out here in the Seattle area. As a teen-aged kid in the '50's, I listened constantly to WJJD in Chicago while working on my '28 Model A Ford Coupe in the garage of the home where I grew up. I can still sing that stupid "jingle" that I must have heard ten thousand times on WJJD,....."Clark Super, one hundred gasoline. Thousands say it's best,...the largest selling independent gasoline, in the mIddle west. Fill up today,...you'll know just what we mean! Buy Clark Super One Hundred Gasoline!"
Actually, I think I used "Purple Martin Ethyl" I guess maybe I probably thought that purple stuff would make my Model A run better! (:^) (:^)
.....and by the way, getting back to oil, I always used Wolf's Head motor oil in the Model A, because that what my Dad used!
I live just at the top of the Oil City hill. Unfortunately, Oil City is a dinosaur of the past and is typical of early boom towns that "dried up". Pennzoil was the last operating refinery here but it closed about 15 years ago after 100 years of operation. Oil is still pumped from local wells but there are also a lot of old abandoned ones scattered around from early oil leases.
The bottles were usually generic but some did have names on them. The tops also had the brand on them, such as Mobiloil, but many were also generic.
Years ago I got "re-refined" oil for my Model A. I had it in a 5 gallon can and I used an old milk bottle to transfer it to the car. I never washed the milk bottle, just refilled it every time I put oil into the Model A. Over a period of a few months the inside of the milk bottle got full of something like varnish! I get the same thing in a tin can which I place under my carburetor when the T is parked to catch the few drops of gas which leaks out.
I have heard the claim that re-refined oil is better than the original because the weakest molecules had already broken down in prior use and was removed during the processing. How much truth there is in this, I don't know, but it makes a catchy sales pitch. A lot would depend on the additive package added back in after processing. When driving a Volga (GAZ21) taxi in Oslo back in 1960-62, the owner used re-refined oil.
It was well known in the auto industry that kerosene based crude, as in Pennsylvania crude, made more sludge in an engine, than oil refined from asphalt based crude.
There is a small independent chain of gas/oil/mini-market stations around parts of Califunny called Rotten Robbie. They used the glass bottles to sell re-refined (used) oil well into the 1970s. I think they quit using the bottles about the time they became collectible, and customers would buy the cheap oil, then keep the bottles!
I never did buy that re-refined oil. I knew then what few people ever did. Given the refining processes of the day, it was a bad idea to mix the asphalt/ash based oils with the paraffin based (Pennsylvania) oils. Used oil, by its very nature, was almost impossible to separate, and therefore risky. It really didn't make a lot of difference. Used oil was generally run in older high-mileage cars. If the engine sludged up and failed, the failure was usually blamed on the age and mileage.
One of the first engines I ever reworked (definitely not a rebuild!) had thrown a rod bearing due to the sludge had gotten so bad the flow of oil to that one rod stopped. The sludge inside that engine was so thick, that the crankshaft and rods had carved their pathways into the standing mass of gook. (It looked like licorice Jello!)
Modern oil refining is superior to that of a half century ago. Mixing of those two types of oil (I have been told) is no longer nearly as serious a problem. I still prefer to not mix them. And now, you have a few types of "synthetic" that should not be mixed with certain types of other oils.
Harold S! Your comment reminded me. Rotten Robbie also sold a couple different gasolines, with odd names. I had been trying to remember what the alien sounding one was? It was "Purple Martin". I wonder if it could have been the same thing? (Given the distance, a namesake?)
Harold, maybe you used "Purple Martin Ethyl", because you thought that it would make your A fly like a bird! !>)
It's my understanding that the"green" Pennsylvania oils have a parafin base structure while most othe oils have a asphalt based structure. The Pennsylvania oil I remember most is Amalie. My uncle was always pleased to show you how nice and green the oil stayed in his Desoto. Of course had he used a detergent oil he would have a clean engine rather than clean oil.
My Dad used Amalie products..."better than it has to be"....He used it buy it in the 5 gal metal cans, which we used for everything afterward: kerosene for the space heaters, Amoco "white" gas for the plumbers furnaces, gas and #2 oil motor fuel. Had to learm them all by smell, look, and feel because the cans were all the same!
Mark and Justin - You make the point I've always made which is that the western part of PA is like a different state! I will look for wells the next time I'm out that way.
"Purple Martin" is the name of a bird which nests in colonies. back around 1891 my grandfather and great grandfather built an apartment house for Purple Martins. The man on the left is my grandfather and the one on the right with the beard is my great grandfather. I never knew that they were in the motor oil business!
Norman, that was "back in the day", when no self respecting man would go without a hat or cap on, your grandfather and great grandfather are wearing great looking hats.
The guy that posted Clark supper 100 gasoline made me remember Kansas City Mo sold it and advertised on WHB radio Someone said Chicago had a boomen station, but where we lived Del Rio Texas had the boomer, transmitter in Mexico and ran way over the legal watts they could run in USA