Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in HK from 1895
HF and Elizabeth Ride (ER) New information in red.
Linda Granfield left the following comment in November 2022:
Hi–Re 1896 for your earliest mention of the Vacuum Oil Co. in Hong Kong–I found an 1895 Jurors’ List that list a fellow as an assistant at the Vacuum Oil Co, Kowloon Hotel. Same info in the Carl Smith Collection, Government Records Services, Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region–“1895, assitant, Vacuum Oil Co. Kln Hotel.’
Perhaps this info will help you? Hope so! Thank you
The article 1941 Report – Future Control and Development of the Port Of Hong Kong mentions the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.
The first Hong Kong mention I can find is about the Vacuum Oil Company from The Hongkong Government Gazette of 23rd May 1896.
Then this from the Hongkong Government Gazette of 13th Dec 1907
WW2 in HK “As with many other oil companies at the time Socony-Vacuum tankers were recruited to transport oil for the Allies during World War 2. This caused a temporary drop in business and expansion overseas. Socony-Vacuum employed special transport companies in Hong Kong and Canada during the war to oversee the transport of their American products through war zones and dangerous ports”.
Certainly not during the Japanese occupation of HK Dec 1941 – Aug 1945 so if this statement is true it must refer to pre Dec 1941 – more information about this would be useful.
see: www.aukevisser below.
1943 ER. BAAG Waichow Intelligence report #27 14.4.43
1944 ER. The BAAG Kweilin Weekly Intelligence Summary #77 of December 1944 reports:
“Socony Oil Installation, Laichikok. This is now known as the Kawakami Oil Company Factory (Japanese characters). Three oil tanks are still standing, but are empty. There are over 300 50-gallon drums of petrol and kerosene in camouflaged dugouts in the area”
In 1946 the Standard Vacuum Oil Company had an office in the Hung Long Bank Building (address?).
General History – Vacuum Oil Company was an American oil company known for their Gargoyle 600-W Steam Cylinder Oil. Vacuum Oil merged with Standard Oil Co of New York, commonly known as Socony Oil to form the Socony- Vacuum Oil Company.
Vacuum Oil was founded in 1866 by Matthew Ewing and Hiram Bond Everest of Rochester, New York state. The lubrication oil was an accidental discovery while attempting to distil kerosene Everest noted that the residue from the extraction was suitable as a lubricant. Soon after, the product became popular for use in steam engines and the internal-combustion engines. Ewing sold his interest to Everest, who carried on the company. Vacuum was bought by Standard Oil in 1879. It originated the Mobil trademark in 1899. When Standard Oil was broken up in 1911 due to the Sherman Antitrust Act, Vacuum became an independent company again.
Vacuum Oil and Standard Oil of New York merged in 1931, after the government gave up attempts to prevent it. The union, as Socony-Vacuum Corp., made them the third largest (at the time) world oil company. Everest was given a salary job as President and remained with the company.
In 1955, the company became Socony Mobil Oil Company. In 1963 it was renamed Mobilgas then just Mobil.
Exxon Mobil Corp. was formed in 1999 by the merger of Exxon and Mobil.
This article was first posted on 26th July 2014.
- http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/ HKU library HK Government Reports Onlne 1842-1941 for both extracts above
- http://gwulo.com/node/18195 Gwulo – brief details about American Norman Briggs who was sent to HK by Standrd Oil in Aug 1941
- http://www.aukevisser.nl/others/id961.htm Socony- Vacuum Oil Company – general history
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_Oil_Company general history
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