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  COTM August: Lion Oil Company (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   COTM August: Lion Oil Company
Gary Drye
Active Member

Posts: 1208
From: Clarksville, Tn. USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 08-01-2004 06:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gary Drye   Click Here to Email Gary Drye     Edit/Delete Message
Well it's a new month and time for a new company profile.The last two months topics are going to be hard to top. What a great job from the guys. This month's feature company is a smaller regional one from El Dorado, Arkansas. So everyone gather up their info and pics and send 'em in. Without further ado, introducing the Lion Oil Company.


Lion Oil Company, El Dorado, Arkansas

Lion Oil was founded in 1921 in the south Arkansa oil fields by Col. T.H. Barton (1881-1960). Primarily an exploration drilling company and an early innovator of petrochemicals, Lion was operating a few service stations by the early '20's. From the 1920's until 1950's, gasoline marketing was limited to Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and northern Alabama and louisiana. Lion Naturalube Motor oils were distributed nationwide however. The company seemed satisfied to just enjoy their regional market share until 1954. That year, Monsanto Chemical Corp. purchased Lion. They began expanding the marketing territory throughout the South Central U'S. In 1959, Lion introduced the "jumping Llion" logo, replacing the "lion on the mound" that had been in use since the 1920's. During the 1960's, the Monsanto name started appearing on gas pump signage along with the Lion name, creating speculation that the Lion name would be replaced. The experiment was short lived as Monsanto sold the petroleum divisions to "Oil Shale Co." (TOSCO). Monsanto retained the petrochemical divisions. Lion branded marketing was discontinued in 1981. Lion Oil still exists today as a petrochemical division of Ergon, Inc. since 1985.

Since Lion Oil was in such a small marketing area, early "Lion on the mound" items are very collectiable with the "jumping lion" gaining in popularity. After WW2, a cartoonish lion named Beaurgard was introduced on their road maps and temporary service station promotional displays.

That's about it, so everyone with Lion items, get'em posted and please add any more info of this company if you have it. Thank you and enjoy.

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Gary Drye
Active Member

Posts: 1208
From: Clarksville, Tn. USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 08-01-2004 06:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gary Drye   Click Here to Email Gary Drye     Edit/Delete Message
I'll start the posts with my Springfield Visible Pump co. pump restored as Lion. The globe is an original on glass body. The signage is repo. Lion used only decals until 1955 when tin brand signage were attached to the pumps

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scootdog
Active Member

Posts: 796
From: Parker, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2002

posted 08-01-2004 11:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for scootdog   Click Here to Email scootdog     Edit/Delete Message
Lion is a great brand I wish they had more signs:

------------------
Scott
www.frontrangegas.com

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Gary Drye
Active Member

Posts: 1208
From: Clarksville, Tn. USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 08-02-2004 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gary Drye   Click Here to Email Gary Drye     Edit/Delete Message
Here are two roadmaps showing the two different Lion logos used. The left one is from 1942 and the right one from 1967.

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roger cherry
Active Member

Posts: 593
From: memphis, tn usa
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 08-03-2004 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for roger cherry   Click Here to Email roger cherry     Edit/Delete Message
I have about 15 pictures to post, but I don't know how. Can I email them to someone?

Thanks

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Oldgas
Moderator

Posts: 3122
From: South of St. Louis, MO USA
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 08-03-2004 11:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Oldgas   Click Here to Email Oldgas     Edit/Delete Message
Roger,
There is a link on the botom left of this page, Help Click on that and you'll find some image posting information, including my email address if you need to send them to me.

------------------
Jim "Oldgas" Potts
Your host and moderator

[This message has been edited by Oldgas (edited 08-03-2004).]

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THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Active Member

Posts: 5342
From: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-04-2004 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for THE AMERICAN GARAGE   Click Here to Email THE AMERICAN GARAGE     Edit/Delete Message
POSTING THESE FOUR NICE LION OIL CO. GLOBES FOR ROGER CHERRY.

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THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Active Member

Posts: 5342
From: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-04-2004 09:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for THE AMERICAN GARAGE   Click Here to Email THE AMERICAN GARAGE     Edit/Delete Message
POSTING FOR ROGER CHERRY - HIS ROUND PORCELAIN SIGNS:

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THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Active Member

Posts: 5342
From: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-04-2004 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for THE AMERICAN GARAGE   Click Here to Email THE AMERICAN GARAGE     Edit/Delete Message
ROGER CHERRY ASKED ME TO POST THESE LION OIL CO FLANGE SIGNS:

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THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Active Member

Posts: 5342
From: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-04-2004 09:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for THE AMERICAN GARAGE   Click Here to Email THE AMERICAN GARAGE     Edit/Delete Message
THESE FLAT LION OIL CO SIGNS ARE ALSO FROM ROGER CHERRY'S COLLECTION:

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THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Active Member

Posts: 5342
From: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-04-2004 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for THE AMERICAN GARAGE   Click Here to Email THE AMERICAN GARAGE     Edit/Delete Message
LET'S NOT FORGET THESE VERY GRAPHIC QUART CANS....ALSO FROM THE ROGER CHERRY COLLECTION:

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roger cherry
Active Member

Posts: 593
From: memphis, tn usa
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 08-05-2004 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for roger cherry   Click Here to Email roger cherry     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks alot Doc for the help. Hope all enjoy the pictures.

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Gary Drye
Active Member

Posts: 1208
From: Clarksville, Tn. USA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 08-05-2004 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gary Drye   Click Here to Email Gary Drye     Edit/Delete Message
Great pics Roger. Some really rare items there. Roger has one of/if not the finest Lion Oil collection in the country. I will try to talk him into relating an "alley Find" story he has... for those that had not heard about this find.

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THE AMERICAN GARAGE
Active Member

Posts: 5342
From: LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-05-2004 03:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for THE AMERICAN GARAGE   Click Here to Email THE AMERICAN GARAGE     Edit/Delete Message
GARY - I ALREADY WAS EMAILIN' ROGER TO RATTLE HIS BRAIN AS TO WHEN HE SOLD ME THE LAST 6' LION SIGN (WHICH I STILL HAVE). IT WAS PRETTY ROUGH BUT THE PRICE WAS REASONABLE EVEN WITH SHIPPING.
THAT WAS AND STILL IS A COOL STORY. I'LL GUESS 1997? ON THE BAD SIDE OF THE TRACKS IN MEMPHIS?
WE'LL SEE!

DOC @ TAG/WEST
drcoke@optonline.net

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roger cherry
Active Member

Posts: 593
From: memphis, tn usa
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 08-05-2004 07:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for roger cherry   Click Here to Email roger cherry     Edit/Delete Message
Everyone wants to here the story so here it goes. One fall evening in 1997 I was talking to one of my older street-rod buddies who knew I was into collecting Lion oil stuff. He went on to tell me of a fence of Lion signs right here in Memphis. I thought he was crazy as I thought I had covered every square inch of my home town. So I asked him to show me where they were so I could see them. The next Saturday we drove down to the location and turned down a street I had never been down and then turned down an alley off the street. Wholy s$#t!!! There they were all in a row buried 1 to 2 feet in the ground and tack-welded together. 30 6-foot double-sided porcelain Lion signs!! I was in collectors heaven. The signs had been taken down in 1959 when Monsanto introduced the "leaping lion" logo. They had all been hauled to this one-time scrap yard and saved when the owner needed a perimeter fence for the yard. This part of Memphis is what most of us would call "The HOOD" and was not real safe. All the businesses around were closed and boarded up including the scrap-yard which had been out of business for many years. I contacted the owner of the property and made a deal on the fence. Now the hard part, getting them apart and dug up. 2 weeks later I arrive with a trailer and tools. First of all, I had to get all of the overgrowth from around the signs to get in there and get them apart and dug up. Turns out the overgrowth was poison ivy and I got a first hand dose of it! Then comes taking up the signs, well, a cold chisel and alot of pulling, tugging and sweat. But the best part of the story never told in public but I figure Old Gasers can take and feel my pain. Little did I know, but in Mempis at this particular date I was in a bad part of town getting down the signs, alot of people were celebrating Martin Luther King day in Memphis. For those of you who don't know, Memphis is where he was shot. Back to the story, also, the Evansville chapter of the KKK was in town marching to protest King day. I was about 6 blocks from down-town in an alley in a bad part of town taking down some signs when I heard on my truck radio that a RIOT was happening between the KKK's and the blacks downtown. The protest had gotten out of hand and the radio DJ told everyone listning to stay away from the area. I hope all reading this can visualize how this little cracker felt and the feeling that went over me when I heard that! I was shaking in my shoes thinking some rioters would come around the corner and kill the first white person they see! Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time! Anyway, I got out alive and with 29 of the 30 Lion signs. Number 30 is still there today with the same tree growing around it and looking as pretty as ever. Any one of my buddies out there that ever will come visit me I will be glad to take and show them the sign if they feel up to cutting down the tree. I hope all enjoyed this story as it will be one I will never forget and remember, the stuff is still out there!!!!!

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