Originally called the Texas Fuel Company, Texaco was founded in 1901 in Beaumont, Texas, by Joseph S. Cullinan, Thomas J. Donoghue, Walter Benona Sharp, and Arnold Schlaet after the discovery of oil at Spindletop.
Its current logo features a white star in a red circle (a reference to the lone star of Texas), leading to the long-running advertising jingles “You can trust your car to the man who wears the star.”
In 1928, Texaco became the first U.S. oil company to sell its gasoline nationwide under one single brand name in all 48 states.
During 1931, Texaco purchased Indian Oil Company, based at the time in Illinois. This expansion gave Texaco the rights to Indian’s Havoline motor oil, which became a Texaco product.
The following year, Texaco introduced Fire Chief gasoline nationwide and promoted the brand through a radio program over NBC hosted by Ed Wynn, called the Texaco Fire Chief.
A less fortunate (and humorous) business decision led Texaco to supply Nationalist rebels in Spain with a total 3,500,000 barrels of oil to support their war effort.
In 1940, the CEO of Texaco, Torkild Rieber, resigned when his connections with German Nazism, and his supply of oil to the Fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War were made public by the Herald Tribune.