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Tank Wagons and Trucks
Tank Wagons
Storage Stations
Wagon Builders, Tank Fitters
Early Conveyances
Early Tank Trucks
Tank Trucks, 1921-1941
Manufacturer's Advertising
Tank Makers and Fitters
Tank Truck Town
World War II

Manufacturer’s Advertising

The tank truck handled the extremely important task of delivering the product to the gasoline stations which now were proliferating across the U.S. and around the world. In other words, the tank truck handled the final link in the transportation of products from the refinery to the pumps where the motorists purchased it. Oil companies of any size bought trucks in quantities. For instance, Gulf Refining Company had 879 White trucks by January, 1920, and their fleet was growing rapidly (National Petroleum News, 1920).

There was high powered competition among the many companies that offered tank trucks to this booming and lucrative market and this struggle spilled over into their advertising. In the 1920’s ads for a large number of tank truck brands in the National Petroleum News followed the same philosophy which implied that their tank trucks were the best. A few had a special gimmick like Clydesdale which claimed an automatic controller, also called a "Driver Under the Hood", which kept the truck at the same speed uphill, downhill.

Many truck companies fell by the way or were absorbed by others during the 1921-41 period, leaving behind their quaint names and a file or two in automotive history. Perhaps the unlucky ones didn’t advertise enough. The survivors are still around today.

Ruggles of Saginaw, Michigan, offered trucks of various tonnage from 3/4-ton to 2-1/2-ton, also sightseeing buses. Their one and two ton tank trucks probably had 32 HP engines. The company advertised that they were the "World’s Greatest Truck Value". Ruggles went out of business in 1928. Ad from National Petroleum News, April 26, 1922.

A selection of tank truck ads which appeared in print from 1920 to 1925 are listed below with a quote from their "pitch":

Jan. 21, 1920 White

Cleveland, Ohio

"Each year White output leads the industry in number of high grade trucks produced."

That Good Gulf Gasoline

Gulf Refining Company

Jan. 28, 1920 Federal (1910-1959) Detroit, Michigan

"Another Oil Company that Has Proved Federal Reliability." (refers to Texaco)

Texaco Petroleum Products

The Texas Company

Jan. 28, 1920 Stewart

Buffalo, NY

"Stewarts pay daily profits on work like yours. Stewarts more than pay for themselves."

Kendall Refining Co.

Gasoline of Quality

Feb. 24, 1920 Gramm-Bernstein

Lima, Ohio

"Truck saving that never ends"

Purol Gasoline
Pure Oil Company Division The Ohio Cities Gas Co.

May 3, 1922 GMC

Pontiac, Michigan

"GMC Trucks Reduce Delivery Costs"

White Eagle Oil & Refining Co.

Jan. 1925 Ford

Detroit, Michigan

"Gasoline, oil and kerosene are delivered by these trucks to retailers within a radius of approximately 50 miles. The average mileage of each truck every day is 50 miles. The usual load weighs 2362 pounds or 370 gallons of gasoline and kerosene."

Blackburn Oil Co.

Kerosene and Gasoline

No date Patriot

Hebb Motors Company
Lincoln, Nebraska

"Patriots are strong, sturdy-tough. All through the oil fields of the West and South, they are building up a great reputation."

National Refining Company

© 2004, Samuel T. Pees
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