Interesting Historical Facts
Sinclair Oil Corporation is an American petroleum corporation, founded by Harry F. Sinclair on May 1, 1916 as the Sinclair Oil & Refining Corporation by combining the assets of 11 small petroleum companies. Originally a New York corporation, Sinclair Oil reincorporated in Wyoming in 1976. The corporation's logo features the silhouette of a large green dinosaur.
History - Sinclair has long been a fixture on American roads with its dinosaur logo and mascot, an Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus).
Sinclair, A Great Name In Oil (1916–1969)
During September 1919, Harry F. Sinclair restructured Sinclair Oil & Refining Corporation, Sinclair Gulf Corporation, and 26 other related entities into Sinclair Consolidated Oil Corporation. In 1932, this new entity was renamed Consolidated Oil Corporation. In 1943, it was renamed Sinclair Oil Corporation.
Near the beginning of the Great Depression, Sinclair sold the remaining interest in its pipeline subsidiary to Standard Oil Company (Indiana) for US$72.5 million (Standard Oil had purchased a 50% interest in the pipeline subsidiary in 1921). With these funds, including an additional US$33.5 million from an additional common stock issue, Sinclair retired a number of promissory notes and prepared to weather the Depression with the remaining supply of cash.
During the Great Depression, Sinclair saved a number of other petroleum companies from receivership or bankruptcy, and acquired others to expand its operations. In 1932, Sinclair purchased the assets of Prairie Oil & Gas's pipeline and producing companies in the southern United States, and the Rio Grande Oil Company in California.
The purchase of Prairie also gave Sinclair a 65-percent interest in Producers & Refiners Corporation (or Parco), which Sinclair subsequently acquired when Parco entered receivership in 1934. Lastly, in 1936, Sinclair purchased the East Coast marketing subsidiary of Richfield Oil Company, which had operated in receivership for several years.
Richfield then reorganized, resulting in the creation of the Richfield Oil Corporation. Sinclair was instrumental in transferring capital and managerial assets into Richfield. Thirty years later, Richfield merged with Atlantic Refining, located on the East Coast, forming Atlantic Richfield.
Sinclair Dinoland plastic Brontosaurus, 1964, in the collection of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis At the Chicago World's Fair of 1933-1934, Sinclair sponsored a dinosaur exhibit meant to point out the putative correlation between the formation of petroleum deposits and the Age of Dinosaurs.
The exhibit included a two-ton animated model of a brontosaur. The exhibit proved so popular it inspired a promotional line of rubber brontosaurs at Sinclair stations, complete with wiggling heads and tails, and the eventual inclusion of the brontosaur logo. Later, inflatable dinosaurs were given as promotional items, and an anthropomorphic version appeared as a service-station attendant in advertisements. Some locations have a life-size model of the mascot straddling the building's entrance.
At the New York World's Fair of 1964–1965, Sinclair again sponsored a dinosaur exhibit, "Dinoland," featuring life-size replicas of nine different dinosaurs, including their signature brontosaurus. Souvenirs from the exhibit included a brochure ("Sinclair and the Exciting World of Dinosaurs") and molded plastic figurines of the dinosaurs featured. After the Fair closed, Dinoland spent a period of time as a traveling exhibit.
Two of the replicas are still on display to this day at Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose, Texas.
In 1955, Sinclair ranked 21st on the Fortune 500; by 1969, it fell to 58th.