A PURE History
Celebrating more than 20 years as a Cooperative, and more than 100 years as a leading independent American petroleum brand. The history of the PURE brand started in 1914 with Ohio Cities Gas Company and extends to today, as the PURE Oil Jobbers Cooperative.
Ohio Cities Gas Company
The foundation of PURE Oil began with the Ohio Cities Gas Company, which was founded in 1914.
The Ohio Cities Gas Company changed its name to Pure Oil.
Move to Chicago
The company moved to Chicago to establish its headquarters. They operated refineries located in Ohio, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas.
New Research Lab
The company opened a new research lab in 1950. As a result of this and other factors, the PURE band saw major growth in the 50s into the 60s. This growth coincided with the popularity of stock car racing.
Annual sales had grown to $700 million, as PURE Oil ranked among the 100 largest industrial corporations in the United States, with more than 1,000 employees in the Chicago area alone.
The Union Oil Company of California (Unocal) purchased PURE Oil, converting PURE branded sites to the Union 76 brand.
Unocal announced it was pulling out of the Southeast
Following the negotiations between Unocal and the oil jobbers it left behind in this region, the Southeastern Oil Jobbers Cooperative, Inc. (SOJC) was born.
The SOJC consisted primarily of smaller operators who established a true cooperative “of marketers, by marketers, for marketers.” Members founded the Co-op on the principle of autonomy for its members, trusting their judgment and expertise in their respective markets on issues such as purchasing volumes and imaging site locations.
The SOJC had changed its name to the PURE Oil Jobbers Cooperative, Inc., in celebration of its 15th anniversary as a group of highly principled petroleum marketers.
Their talents now oversee a petroleum brand – PURE – that has come full circle, with tremendous brand equity garnered through nearly a century’s worth of business history.
Note: sources for this history of PURE include the Encyclopedia of Chicago and The Journal of Petroleum Marketing.