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  July C.O.T.M. "McColl Frontenac" ~ (The Red Indian Brands) Ver2.0 (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   July C.O.T.M. "McColl Frontenac" ~ (The Red Indian Brands) Ver2.0
PogoGas.com
Active Member

Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-08-2005 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message

Its my privelage to be asked to host July's C.O.T.M. I'll be covering one of the greatest companies in Canadian Gas & Oil History, McColl Frontenac, and their famous "Red Indian" brands. I'll start with a company history later today, and then lots of pictures throughout the month. If anyone has pictures, stories or suggestions, please email them to me at pogogas@telus.net . I'm not sure I can match Rex's awesome job last month, but I'll do my best to come close!

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-08-2005 10:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
As promised, my first submission, the companies history. Special thanks to my daughter Bridgette for composing this for me, the information is the best compiled history I've ever come accross, it is taken from "The Garage Door News" Fall 2002, which is the quarterly magazine published by the Canadian Service Station Memorabilia Association.


The company had its origins at the beginning of Canada’s oil history in the Ontario oil fields of Oil Springs and Petrolia where it started as McColl and Anderson in 1873. That was when Jon B. McColl and William Anderson formed a partnership to go into the lubricating oil business in Toronto. The company name was changed in 1876 to McColl Brothers and Company and the McColl family continued to operate under this name until the end of the first world war.

The McColl Brothers and Company primarily provided oils, greases, paints and varnishes to the railways presently under construction. As the Grand Trunk, Michigan Centre and later the Canadian Pacific, moved westward, McColl built plants at Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver as well as to the east at Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. Realizing the potential of the fast growing gasoline market, the company reorganized and re-capitalized and in 1916, began importing gasoline from the United States to supply to motorists through its marketing network.

On December 12, 1918, the old McColl Brothers and Company partnership of John W. McColl was converted into a private limited liability company under Dominion charter effective January 1, 1919. The company’s new name was McColl Brothers Ltd.

In the early 1920's the company’s gasoline marketing business was confined to Ontario and Quebec. In 1925, a new refinery was built in Toronto which started operations on August 1, and by 1927, had expanded gasoline sales to Winnipeg. Lubricants were marketed across Canada under the brand name “Red Indian.”

Early in 1927, the Montreal financial house of Nesbitt, Thompson and Company purchased all the outstanding stocks of McColl Brothers, and in late 1927, merged the company with Frontenac Oil Refineries of Montreal, a company they also owned which had emerged from the bankrupt Nation’s Oil Refineries. The company’s newly acquired Nation’s Oil Refineries of Montreal was the second largest in Quebec, and crude oil was supplied from Trinidad through a wholly-owned subsidiary Antilles Petroleum Company. In 1929, the company purchased perfection Petroleum company of Toronto.

During the depression and because of stiff competition in Quebec from B-A and Shell, the company began to struggle, and in 1936, the predatory Texas Corporation of the United States secretly began buying up shares of McColl Frontenac. By 1938, the company owned enough shares to muscles out the McColl Frontenac board of directors and set up its own slate of directors.

Through this new board of directors, the Texas Corporation purchased the Texas Company of Canada, a company which had been marketing in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. At this same time the company purchased the Empire Oil Company of Winnipeg. The company furthered its position in British Columbia by buying, in 1940, the majority interest in BC. Fuel Co. Ltd. had changed its name to McColl Frontenac Oil Co. (BC) Ltd.

McColl Frontenac marketed gasoline and other products across Canada through some 4,000 retail outlets of which 85% were owned by others. In 1941, “Sky Chief” was the first Texaco brand name introduced and gradually the “Red Indian” and other McColl Frontenac brands were replaced by those of Texaco.

In 1957, McColl Frontenac sold its Antilles Petroleum Co. to the Texas Corporation for $11 million and at the same time, purchased a refinery in Toronto from Regent Refining in exchange for a block of shares worth some $15 million. Since Texaco had previously purchased Trinidad Laeseholds Ltd., the parent company of Regent Refining, it received most of the shares issued by McColl Frontenac for the Toronto refinery, further increasing its own partnership of McColl Frontenac.

In 1959, McColl Frontenac changed its name to Texaco Canada Limited.

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-08-2005 10:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
We'll start out with the most common Station ID signs. These signs came in various sizes from 24" all the way up to 60". The main difference you'll see is the variation of the indian head, the earlier version (Pre 1927, McColl Bros I believe) had black braids, black reliefs in the headress, and a white eye.

After the creation of McColl Frontenac in 1927 the logo became more stylized with white braids, white reliefs in the headress and a black eye.

The earlier signs read GASOLINE ~ MOTOR OILS as shown above. The later versions read both GASOLINE ~ MOTOR OILS or McCOLL FRONTENAC PRODUCTS as shown below.

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

[This message has been edited by PogoGas.com (edited 07-08-2005).]

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-08-2005 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
Today we will look at keyhole signs. I only have a few photos of 2 variations, McCOLL FRONTENAC PRODUCTS & McCOLL FRONTENAC OIL CO LTD. I'm quite sure these also came with the dealer's name on them, if anyone has a photo of one, please send it to me to post pogogas@telus.net

Everyone have a great 4th of July and we'll see you again tommorow, I'm off to finish building my sundeck.

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

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buytex
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Posts: 324
From: derry n h
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 07-08-2005 05:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for buytex   Click Here to Email buytex     Edit/Delete Message
hi lance who is the owner of the keyhole sign?

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

posted 07-08-2005 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for THE AMERICAN GARAGE   Click Here to Email THE AMERICAN GARAGE     Edit/Delete Message
AS PER LANCE'S REQUEST...THIS RE-POST:

THE ONLY THING I CAN POST IN RELATION TO THE THREAD IS MY OWN HANDPAINTED 26" X 72" REPRODUCTION OF THE SELF-FRAMED PORC 1930'S SIGN. GRAPHICALLY SPEAKING ANY SIGNS HAVING THE INDIAN LOGO IS RIGHT UP THERE ON THE TOP OF MY LIST!

DOC @ THE AMERICAN GARAGES

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-08-2005 11:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
Great job on the sign Doc! Here are some originals to compare it too. This is the most common Motor Oil sign, but still very rare and commanding big money these days, wish I'd kept a few of the ones I've had through the years. This sign measures 26 x 72 and is a cookie cutter style.

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

[This message has been edited by PogoGas.com (edited 07-09-2005).]

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
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posted 07-08-2005 11:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
Here is the accompanying Aviation Motor Oil Sign. This sign is the same size but even rarer............

I'll finish with signs early next week, then we'll move on to globes, product containers, maps and smalls etc, and then finish off the month old photos of stations (My personal favorite).

[This message has been edited by PogoGas.com (edited 07-08-2005).]

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
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posted 07-09-2005 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
This morning we will look at some more Motor Oil Signs. These are 4 early signs, the first one is painted tin sign and is a direct copy of the 1 gallon oil can of the same period, also very rare and the artwork is quite primative. The other three show porcelain signs of the same period, pre McColl/Frontenac.

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

[This message has been edited by PogoGas.com (edited 07-09-2005).]

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-09-2005 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
When the company merged as McColl Frontenac, the artwork was re-stylized and became more uniform, these signs all date from the late thirties, early forties.


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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

[This message has been edited by PogoGas.com (edited 07-09-2005).]

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PogoGas.com
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From: British Columbia
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posted 07-11-2005 10:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
Here is a very early lubester sign.......

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

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+Chris Holt
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From: St. Clair MI USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 07-12-2005 05:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for +Chris Holt   Click Here to Email +Chris Holt     Edit/Delete Message
Nice Job lance.

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-12-2005 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks Chris, Its a great brand!

Here is another dealer sign, at least part of one. I've included a couple artistic renderings from other literature to show the complete signs. I've owned one Indian Head and seen one other, but have never seen the panels with the lettering.

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

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minuteman
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From: Big Sky Country
Registered: Apr 2003

posted 07-12-2005 10:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for minuteman   Click Here to Email minuteman     Edit/Delete Message
Looks like that sign was cut out of a 5 footer and a frame stuck on it Lance.

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PogoGas.com
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Posts: 866
From: British Columbia
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 07-13-2005 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PogoGas.com   Click Here to Email PogoGas.com     Edit/Delete Message
Onto the globes now. This is an early globe used by Frontenac Oil Co, circa 1925-27. Frontenac merged with McColl Bros to form McColl Frontenac as noted in the company history above.

If anyone has pictures they would be willing to share, thats why we are here. Send them to me and I'll be happy to post them.....

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Good Luck on the Hunt
Lance / The Pogo Man

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