The Union Oil Company of California was a major petroleum producer, refiner, and marketer incorporated in Santa Paula,
California, on October 17, 1890. The company, later reorganized under the Unocal Corporation, remained one of America's oldest
and largest independent enterprises, with operations throughout southern California, the United States, and Southeast Asia,
up until its 2005 merger with the ChevronTexaco Corporation. Photographs, negatives, and employee publications comprise
the bulk of the collection, but the records also contain early field and gauge reports, financial ledgers, correspondence
to and from the company's founders, lease and stock agreements, annual reports to stockholders, speeches and remarks by company
executives, films, and various memorabilia.
The Union Oil Company of California was incorporated on October 17, 1890, in Santa Paula, California, after founding members
Lyman Stewart, Wallace L. Hardison, and Thomas Bard merged their respective California oil interests: Hardison and Stewart
Oil, Sespe Oil, and Torrey Canyon Oil. Union's early years were marked by struggle and infighting between the company's founders;
nonetheless, its first producing wells accounted for nearly one-fourth of California's oil production. By 1900, Lyman Stewart
remained the sole founder still with the company, and under his auspices, and those of the Stewart family, Union Oil began
its first real era of rapid growth. In late 1900, Stewart moved the company's offices to Los Angeles, and from there Union
Oil quickly expanded south through Los Angeles County and beyond. In response to the popularization of the automobile and
the demand for motor oil, which the company itself had helped to foster by marketing oil fuel as a viable energy source, Union
began to open service stations up and down southern California, augmenting these stations with twenty established ones acquired
from the purchase of Pinal Dome Oil in 1917. With this distribution network and the introduction of its iconic 76 retail brand,
Union Oil, or Union 76 as it came to be known, helped to shape both southern California's landscape and its history.
90 boxes (45 linear ft.)
68 oversize boxes
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