Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

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Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Crown Central Petroleum Corp. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Crown Central Petroleum Corp.

List of Deals

The Crown Oil and Refining Company succeeded in striking oil in 1917. The proceeds from this success enabled the company to build its own refinery. The refinery, one of the first built on the Houston Ship Channel, opened in 1920 with lube oil as its only product. At that time, the majority of Crown Oil and Refining Company's stock was held by White Oil Corporation. In 1923 White Oil was acquired by United Central Oil Corporation; therefore United Central gained control of Crown Oil. The company began producing gasoline in 1925. The same year, United Central changed its name and was incorporated as Crown Central Petroleum Corporation.

Crown Central went public in 1935 and was listed on the Curb Exchange. The company pioneered the manufacturing of 100-octane aviation gasoline, which the U.S. Navy used in its airplane engines in World War II. The company benefited greatly from the boom in its business during the war, and Crown Central branched out into the retail gas business. It opened its first stations in 1943 and began an extensive marketing and distribution chain spanning from Texas to Maryland. By 1968 the company's products included gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, diesel fuel, fuel oils, lubricating oils, and petro-chemicals.

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