Interesting Historical Facts
The company's rich history began in 1859 with a small marketing company that produced petroleum products to lubricate steam engines, machinery and wagons. In 1913, Chicago entrepreneur and stockbroker Charles Pape brought together 19 small oil companies in Oil City, Penn., to create a new corporation, Quaker State Oil Refining Corporation.
As the nation entered the mechanical age, oil became the lifeblood of industry and transportation. Companies such as Quaker State found consumers clamoring for its products. The invention of the "horseless carriage" resulted in specific product innovations required by the new internal combustion engines.
Automobile makers quickly discovered that engine efficiency increased with high operating temperatures, yet no oil on the market could handle the heat. The Franklin Automobile Company was desperate for a quality motor oil for its cars. Quaker State sent the company samples of its new, high-quality oil and it proved so successful that from 1914 on, every Franklin leaving the factory was fitted with a custom five-quart can of Quaker State motor oil under the front seat.
With a focus of staying ahead of industrial developments and continually making product improvements, Quaker State set the stage for rapid growth. In 1936, the Standard Oil Company (now Exxon) became the exclusive Quaker State sales agency in the Midwest. Soon after, all Standard Oil stations across the nation exclusively offered Quaker State motor oil. World War II caused the demand for Quaker State products to reach new heights. The military favored the Quaker State brand because the company had already begun to develop and use additives to make improved and special blends that provided superior performance.
In 1940 and 1941, the company introduced Stabilized Quaker State Motor Oil and Quaker State HD High Detergency Oil. Advertisements to consumers touted Quaker State as the "the champagne of motor oils."
After the war, automakers began to increase horsepower and the size of cars. Keeping pace with these developments, Quaker State products included a combination of anti-wear, anti-rust, anti-corrosive and high detergency properties. During the mid-'50s, Quaker State began marketing its products through the burgeoning mass merchandise retailers. Supporting this broad new base of distribution, the advertising slogan "Quaker State your car" made the brand a household name.