Amoco Corporation and its logo

person Trude Meland, Norwegian Petroleum Museum
A refinery outside Whiting, Indiana, founded in 1889as Standard Oil Company (Indiana) and part of John D Rockefeller’s Standard OilTrust, was the origin of what became Amoco Corporation.
— Old Amoco logo
© Norsk Oljemuseum

The trust had to be dismantled following a judgement from the Ohio supreme court in 1892, and its 20 companies became subsidiaries of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey).

Standard Oil (Indiana) began acquiring other oil companies, and had grown by 1901 into an enterprise represented in 11 US states.

The growth in motoring prompted the company to commit in 1910 to petrol deliveries, and it accounted within a year for 88 per cent of sales of this product and paraffinin the mid-western USA. It opened its first service station in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1912, and moved outside the mid-west the following year with a facility in Chicago.

Standard Oil (Indiana) became independent from the Standard Oil group in 1911. It acquired market share across most of the mid-west and the exclusive right to the “Standard Oil” name in that region.

American Oil Company was absorbed by Standard Oil (Indiana) in 1922, and a share swap took place in 1923 with Pan American Petroleum & Transport in exchange for guaranteed oil deliveries.

Standard Oil (Indiana) established several refineries and drilling facilities during the 1920s and 1930s. Along with new oil refining processes, it developed Stanolind in 1931 asa prospecting and production arm. This was followed by a period of intensive prospecting and exploration, with the company drilling more than 1 000 wells in 1937 alone.

Joseph Christian Leyendecker (1874-1951) created during World War 2 a poster series commissioned by Amoco Gas. The first in the series, In the Nation’s Service was published shortly after the United States entered World War and and shows a baby with army cap, saluting in support of the war effort.  Speed the Victory  was published, showing a baby flying an airplane and equipped with weapon, hoping for quick victory and a speedy end to the war. By early 1944, a parachuting baby is hoping for a Happy Landing : a peace dove holding an olive branch in its mouth symbolizes yet more hope for an end of the war.

In 1947, Standard Oil (Indiana) became the first company to drill offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. It also developed Hydrafrac – hydraulic fracturing – as a new drilling method.

Standard Oil (Indiana) ranked as the USA’s largest domestic oil company by 1952. Nine years later, in 1961, it launched a total reorganisation of its corporate structure. American Oil Company became responsible for all US retail sales, under the Standard name in the mid-westand as American in the rest of the country. Both organisations used the same logo, differing only in the wording.

Amoco became the designation for the company outside the USA and on certain American Oil Company products, and expansion continued.

This initially took it to Canada, thereby becoming an international enterprise. Further growth carried it to more than 30 countries and created one of the world’s biggest oil companies.

Its name was officially changed to Amoco Corporation in 1985.

Read more about the merger with BP.


The first Standard Oil (Indiana) logo was adopted after a competition in 1926. It comprised two nested circles, with the outer one symbolising strength,stability and reliability.

“Standard Oil Company (Indiana)” was inscribed in red letters inside this circle, and the inner circle symbolised service to the customer with the word “service”emblazoned within it.

Also decorated with a burning torch as a symbol of progress, the logo was largely used on service station buildings. On the roadside stood a rectangular blue sign with the words “Standard Service” in white capitals.

A new logo introduced in 1932 was the first to feature the Amoco name. Shaped as an oval,it was divided horizontally into three sections.

The top and bottom fields were red, with the central stripe in black with the name in white letters. This device was used in the north-eastern USA.

Standard Oil (Indiana) developed another logo in 1946 where the torch was combined with anoval Amoco badge. The colours were changed, with red on top, then white and blue at the bottom.

This new emblem was called the “Torch and Oval”, or T&O. In those parts of the USA where the Standard name could not be used, the text read “Utco” or “Pan-Am”. When the latter was replaced by Amoco, it marked the first time the T&O was used with that name.

The T&O was redesigned in 1961 to produce a flatter oval shape and a more up-to-date torch design. Standard was used as the US name and Amoco in the rest of the world.

In the final adjustment, introduced in 1971, all the lines were enhanced. The names Standard or Amoco were given a more italicised form and thicker letters were used.

Published 12. July 2019   •   Updated 2. September 2020
© Norsk Oljemuseum
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