Exxon is a brand of motor fuel and related products sold by ExxonMobil. From 1972 to 1999, Exxon was the corporate name of the company previously known as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey or Jersey Standard.
Exxon formally replaced the Esso, Enco, and Humble brands in the United States on January 1, 1973. The Esso name was a trademark of Jersey Standard Oil, and attracted protests from other Standard Oil spinoffs because of its similarity to the name of the parent company, Standard Oil. As a result, Jersey Standard was restricted from using Esso in the U.S., except in those states awarded to it in the 1911 Standard Oil antitrust settlement.
In states where it was restricted from using the Esso name, the company marketed under the Humble or Enco brands. The Humble brand was used at Texas stations for decades, as those operations were under the direction of Jersey Standard affiliate Humble Oil & Refining Company. In the middle to late 1950s, use of the Humble brand spread to other southwestern states, including Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
In 1959, Jersey Standard gained full control of Humble Oil and restructured it into its U.S. marketing and refining division, to market nationwide under the Enco, Esso and Humble brands. Enco was created as an abbreviation of the phrase "ENergy COmpany." Humble introduced the Enco brand in 1960 in Oklahoma and surrounding states, to replace Humble's subsidiary Oklahoma and Pate brands. Humble also tried marketing under Enco in Ohio, but Standard Oil Company of Ohio (Sohio) protested that the Enco name and logo (a white oval with blue border and red lettering) too closely resembled that of Esso. Consequently, stations in Ohio were rebranded as Humble, and remained so until the Exxon brand came into use.
After the Enco brand was discontinued in Ohio, it was moved to other non-Esso states. In 1961, Humble stations in Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas were rebranded to Enco. That same year, Enco appeared on former Carter stations in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest.
In 1963, Humble Oil and Tidewater Oil Company began negotiating a sale of Tidewater's West Coast refining and marketing operations. The sale would have given Humble Oil a large number of existing Flying A stations and distributorships, as well as a refinery in California, the nation's fastest-growing gasoline market. However, the Justice Department objected to the sale on anti-trust grounds. (In 1966, Phillips Petroleum Company bought Tidewater's western properties and rebranded all Flying A outlets to Phillips 66.)
Humble Oil continued to expand its West Coast operations, adding California to its marketing territory, building a large number of new Enco stations and rebranding others. In 1967, Humble Oil purchased all remaining Signal stations from Standard Oil Company of California (Chevron) and rebranded them as Enco outlets, greatly increasing Enco's presence in California. Finally, in 1969, Humble Oil opened a new refinery in Benicia, California.
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