Mobil, previously known as the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, was a major American oil company which merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil. Today Mobil continues as a major brand name within the combined company. Its former headquarters in Fairfax County, Virginia, are currently used as ExxonMobil's downstream headquarters.
Following the break-up of Standard Oil in 1911, the Standard Oil Company of New York, or Socony, was founded, along with 33 other successor companies. In 1920 the company registered the name "Mobiloil" as a trademark.
Henry Clay Folger was head of the company until 1923, when he was succeeded by Herbert L. Pratt. Beginning February 29, 1928 on NBC, Socony Oil reached radio listeners with a comedy program, Soconyland Sketches, scripted by William Ford Manley and featuring Arthur Allen and Parker Fennelly as rural New Englanders. Socony continued to sponsor the show when it moved to CBS in 1934. In 1935, it became the Socony Sketchbook, with Christopher Morley and the Johnny Green orchestra.
In 1931, Socony merged with Vacuum Oil to form Socony-Vacuum. In 1933, Jersey Standard (with oil production and refineries in Indonesia) and Socony-Vacuum merged their interests in the region into a 50-50 joint venture. Standard-Vacuum Oil Co., or "Stanvac," operated in 50 countries, including East Africa, New Zealand and China, before it was dissolved in 1962.
In 1955, Socony-Vacuum was renamed Socony Mobil Oil Company. In 1963, it changed its trade name from "Mobilgas" to simply "Mobil," introducing a new logo. To celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1966, "Socony" was dropped from the corporate name.
From 1936 to 1968, Mobil sponsored an economy run each year (except during World War II) in which domestic automobiles of various manufacturers in several price and size classes were driven by light-footed drivers on cross-country runs. The Economy Run originated with the Gilmore Oil Company of California in 1936 (which was purchased by Socony-Vacuum in 1940) and later became the Mobilgas Economy Run and still later, the Mobil Economy Run. The cars driven in the economy run were fueled with Mobil gasoline and Mobiloil and lubricants were also used. The vehicles in each class that achieved the highest fuel economy numbers were awarded the coveted title as the Mobilgas Economy Run winner.
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