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This image is credited as being PLUME in the 1970s and understood to have been owned by Strides' yard. It has a loosly attached wheelhouse taken from an unknown vessel being broken up by the yard.

Vacuum Oil Company Pty Ltd

American, 1906 - 1931

Mobil Oil Australia was the first oil company in Australia, operating for over 115 years. Mobil's predecessor company, Vacuum Oil, first opened its Queen Street, Melbourne branch in February 1895, selling petroleum lubricants.

In March 1904, Vacuum Oil was officially incorporated under Victorian Law as a proprietary company. In 1906 the company issued Australia's first ever chart of "Recommendations to Motorists" covering about 200 makes of car and highlighting the increasing range of lubricating products Vacuum Oil had available. By 1908, Vacuum was growing rapidly and merged with the Colonial Oil Co, a company marketing kerosene and motor spirit, adding to Vacuum's specialty lubricant products. In 1916, Vacuum introduced its popular "Plume" (petrol) and "Laurel" (kerosene) brands to the Australian market which would develop the operations significantly. A year later, Vacuum brought its first 100 gallon, horse drawn tank wagon into service.

As motor vehicles became more popular in Australia, Vacuum expanded its operations. In 1924 Vacuum opened its first bulk petroleum products terminal at Pulpit Point in Sydney and took delivery of its first imported bulk oil products cargo, a 1.5 million gallon shipment carried from the United States by the tanker "HT Harper".

A decade later, Vacuum introduced "Ethyl", Australia's first Super grade motor spirit. Around the same time in the US, Vacuum's parent company, Vacuum Oil Inc, merged with the Standard Oil Company of New York to form Socony Vacuum in 1931, which subsequently became Socony Mobil in 1955 and ultimately, Mobil in 1963. Socony Mobil introduced the Flying Red Horse (Pegasus) logo which first appeared in Australia in 1939 and became one of Australia's best recognised corporate symbols.