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hawkike, SandPCollector, Sierra Tango Golf, Trevor
Total Likes: 9
Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Sierra Tango Golf
Sierra Tango Golf
Kunz Oil Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota was founded in 1888. They originally manufactured and distributed lubricants for mills and of course Minneapolis is a historic milling city. They transitioned to automotives as that industry evolved. In 1937 they became local distributors of Diamond D-X products. Their early pump globes and signs featured a car speeding by some saw-tooth pine trees with the slogan: Best for the North.

I'm mainly interested in finding color images of more recent Kunz retail gasoline stores, signs, and logos for their service stations. I'm looking between about 1964 and 1989 when they went through a series of rebranding phases.

Their service stations were known as KO or KO Gasoline from 1964. But the name KO was getting confused with a Conoco brand called Kayo.

So they changed their name again to just K in 1978. They might have been called K-Gas sometimes. But this was getting mixed up with K-Mart and Kerr McGee. The letter K just wasn't giving them the distinctive draw they needed with major petroleum companies moving into their local market.

In 1989 under pressure from competition and other trademarks they rebranded all of their service stations one last time to Peoples Plus. They had 31 stations in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area in 1989 and 1 more in International Falls, MN on the Canadian border.

I'm pretty sure it was the following year, 1990, that Kunz's Peoples Plus chain was bought up by Fina. And that was probably the end of the Peoples Plus identity.

I found some newspaper clippings that feature the K logo for their K Stations and Peoples Plus in the 1980s. One announcing their transition in February 1988 is attched to this post. I'm hoping to find color images of their stations, their store signage, and other branding for KO, K, and Peoples Plus.

I'm especially interested in their "K" period.

Of course, this should not be confused with Circle K which is an entirely different entity. smile

Any suggestions or any collectors with anything they can help me with, I'll be indebted. I'm working on a little local history piece that features one of their stations and it's changing name over the years.
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by advertologist
advertologist
a couple examples of the kunz logo .. ... cool
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2 members like this
by Sierra Tango Golf
Sierra Tango Golf
Originally Posted by Trevor
I don’t know the time frame of this one but I’ve never seen another

That's a beauty. Do you own this? Just gorgeous.

I can't be sure of the date, but I'll take a stab at it.

That's harness oil for horse harnesses. Possibly pre-automobile era.

Kunz Oil Company began making oil for sawmills on Nicollet Island on the Mississippi River in Minneapolis in 1888. This can shows the name KUNZ stylized as cut logs. I've never seen that before.

I've also never seen the fox crest.

The K imposed on the B brand I have seen before in very old sperm oil and grease cans. You'll see them in Google Images searches.

I think this is possibly pre-incorporation for Kunz which happened in 1905. It's just a guess. It could be a little more recent than that, but it looks very different than anything you see from the 1920s onward. I think the cut log lettering is telling.

Beautiful artwork on that can. If it's yours you might want to hold onto that one and have somebody more knowledgable look at it. I'm really just beginning to learn about this company.
2 members like this
by advertologist
advertologist
another example: .. ... cool
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2 members like this
by mapper
mapper
Great info on the People's Plus. I knew about the rebranding, but always thought the company was more about distribution. I didn't realize they had stations that late. I'll do some digging and see what I can find to help.

I'd love to learn more about their history.
1 member likes this
by Trevor
Trevor
I don’t know the time frame of this one but I’ve never seen another
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1 member likes this

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