One of the most recognized symbols in the gasoline and oil industry throughout the past century has been the Pegasus. The Pegasus branding really began to flourish in the 1930s through the 1960s. The big question is where did it come from? The flying red horse is definitely rich with history and it all started in the early 1900s.
In 1911, the Vacuum Oil Company trademarked the Pegasus logo. Although they did not initially use it, as they had the Gargoyle, a variation of their original logo emerged as the Vacuum Oil Company merged with Socony, Standard Oil Company Of New York, to form the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Socony was a product of industrialist John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. In 1931, at the time of the merger, they trademarked this new Pegasus logo and it was featured on everything from oil cans to signs and everything in between.
The Pegasus really got its big break when a 35’x40’ neon Pegasus was built to be placed atop of the Magnolia Building in Dallas, Texas. The Magnolia Petroleum Company was previously purchased by Socony in 1925 and included in the list of acquired assets was their headquarters in downtown Dallas. This colossal Pegasus sign could be seen for miles. In May of 2015, this sign was restored to its original glory and displayed in front of the Omni Hotel in Dallas.
In 1955, the name was changed to the Socony Mobil Oil Company and again in 1966 to the Mobil Oil Company. There were many other mergers and events which took place over the years as this was just a brief history. There area also many transitional pieces out there showing overlap in the logos. No matter the name one thing really stands out, everyone remembers the Pegasus.
In honor of their 107th anniversary this year, we would like for everyone to share a piece from their collection. It can be anything related to the brand especially if it has the Pegasus on it. Feel free to share on our social media with the #celebratethepegasus. Also, please tag Route 32 Auctions so we can see all your great pieces! It would be a great tribute to the company as well as a chance for everyone to see how diverse the brand actually is.