||John Gordon Thompson was born in Alymer , Ontario
and was educated in Corunna and London Ontario .
|J. Gordon Thompson served with the Canadian Expeditionary
Force and reached the rank of Sergeant . Upon returning from the Great
War , and two years as an industrial survey officer for the Soldier's
Civil Re-establishment Commission , he found employment as an instructor
for drivers licences . He then opened and operated a shop on King
Street in London , called Sudden Service Shops. Beginning in his
youth he was very active in the YM -YWCA and remained so until his
passing . As well , he was involved in the Kiwanis and during World War
Two , he became very active in the Red Cross and its 'Prisoner of War Parcel
Operations' , as well as being the Chairman of the London Citizens Auxiliary
War Services Committee , which organized and ran an active service club
with live stage shows and other recreations for Canadian and Allied Service
Personnel . Later he served as Honorary Colonel of the 1st Hussars . It
was very common for him to be addressed "Colonel Thompson ".
|1920||June 26 -- J. Gordon Thompson and Charles E. Norris
form the Canada Vulcanizer and Equipment Co. Ltd. to manufacture tire repair
equipment and eventually visible gasoline pumps . In 1920 this company
operated from a machine shop at the rear of 88 King St. , London
. After 1937 they operated from a larger plant at 1109 York Street.
It was often referred to as CVE. They also manufactured waste oil burning
furnaces. This company was still operating as late as 1959. It was eventually
sold and is now part of Keep-Rite in London .
|1923||March 13 -- J. Gordon Thompson and James D. Good
form London Automotive Service Ltd . The former a small manufacturer and
jobber of service station equipment and the latter a manufacturers agent.
They purchased the assets of the Energy Oil Company for $10,000.
These assets included a run - down station on Dundas St. E. in London
, Ont. , a small bulk storage plant just east of Quebec Street in London
, and two fuel delivery tank trucks with hard-rubber tires. J. Gordon Thompson
was elected president and James D. Good was named vice - president
and secretary / treasurer. A single room office was located on Richmond
Street in London.
Supertest is the trademark name of their gasoline .
|1923||May 23 -- Supertest opens it first gasoline station
at 362 Dundas Street E. in London , Ont. This station was formerly owned
by the Energy Oil Company.
( The following observations were noted in a friends photo showing an Essex touring car with a 1923 licence plate .)
Two attendants wear white neck-ties and dark shirts with "Supertest " in large letters across the chest . Leather 'putties' complete the look . (Uniforms later switched to a khaki colour with black leather bow ties) While one handles the gasoline sale , the other checks the oil, radiator and air before cleaning the windshield .The true service station is born. Gas sold for 31 cents/gallon (other photos show 32, 29 & 19 cents/gal.) A sign above the canopy read " Supertest Gasoline " . A rack of oil bottles in front of the station says "Mobiloil", and a group of oil lubesters have Mobiloil markings on them . I believe they had not yet designed their own lubricant packaging. The new company was not a refiner and sourced their gasoline and oil from Imperial Oil Ltd . This explains their oil bottles being of the same fluted design as Imperial Oil's. All that was needed was a Supertest logo bottle cap. They had not switched to the pumps manufactured by J. Gordon Thompsons' Canada Vulcanizer and Equipment Co. Station # 1 , in 1923 , had two - 5 gallon visible pumps manufactured by Philip Geis - Kitchener Ontario. One of these pumps had a one piece - chimney top globe with the words "Guaranteed Measure" as supplied with Philip Geis pumps . The other had a one piece "Visible Measure" globe , the type supplied with Canada Vulcanizer pumps. This suggests that while they had registered a name for their gasoline they hadn't yet designed or ordered their own logo on a globe. -another photo , taken soon afterwards , in front of this same station shows a fleet of seven tank trucks ( 3 with hard rubber tires ).
|1924||developed subsidiary companies in Hamilton and Ottawa
, known as Supertest of Hamilton and Supertest of Ottawa.
|1925||On Dec. 17th Supertest Petroleum Corporation
, Limited is incorporated under the laws of the Province of Ontario
. A subsidiary was formed in St. Thomas , known as Supertest
of Elgin . Also opened bulk distributing plants in Glencoe
, Wingham and Seaforth . W. L. Baragar , a 12 year employee of General
Motors of Canada was taken into the company and became
the General Manager. Supertest acquired a building at Richmond and Pall
Mall streets in London , for a retail outlet and offices . Products
include Gasoline , Kerosene , Motor oils , Greases . The slogans on the
signs read "Fill Up At The Orange Pumps" and "Costs No More Than The Ordinary
Kind" Globes on the gas pumps say :
|1926||bought a small jobber in Montreal , known as the Ensign
Oil Company and opened a bulk distributing plant at Port Robinson , Ontario
In this year all the subsidiaries companies were amalgamated into one major company known as "Supertest Petroleum Corporation Limited" .
Registered the trademark "Hi Compression" for their new gasoline
|1927||Registered the trademark "Hi Compression" for
their new gasoline .
Bulk distribution plants were established at Leamington and Dunnville .
W.H. Vance Kennedy became manager of the Hamilton Division .
|1928||A division was opened in Toronto .
Bulk plants established in Tillsonburg , St. Catherines and Carleton Place .
A tank ship , the M.S. Supertest was put into operation . This vessel was built in New York and is rumoured to be the first all welded ship. It consisted of four large tanks , welded together plus the bow , stern and wheelhouse and measured 100 feet . It made deliveries to Kingston , Ottawa and Montreal until it was sold shortly after WW2.
(the Ottawa terminal was directly across from the Parliament buildings)
|1929||A division was established at Kitchener .
Bulk plants opened at Lindsay and Thedford .
|1930||Bulk plants opened at Barrie , Orangeville , Oshawa
, Brantford , and Winchester .
|1931||Bulk plant opened at Sarnia , Ont. and Buckingham
, Quebec .
|1932||Bulk plants at St. John's , Quebec and Belleville
Registered the trademark "Wonder Gasoline" .
J. Gordon Thompson , a Director of the Ontario Golf Association , decides to build a golf course on his 100 acre farm on the Sixth Concession , London .
|1933||Bulk plant at Brockville .
|1934||Sunningdale Golf Course opens in June .
|1936||Supertest now owns and operates 342 stations with
over 800 dealers in Ontario and Quebec and over 5000 consumer accounts
The company has over 100 trucks , 60 automobiles providing employment for over 500 people .
|1944||The running of the first 'Supertest Stake Races" (
harness racing ).
|1945||Premier issue of "The Maple Leaf " --a company
"FOR AND ABOUT THE SUPERTEST FAMILY"
|1949||J . Gordon Thompson and Supertest Petroleum
formed a new company comprised of the previously owned Crown Dominion
Oil ... (inc. 1928 , H.O. : Hamilton , Toronto , London) and the newly
acquired Thayers ... incorporated 1928, H.O. : London ,Chatham ,
Hamilton and McManus Petroleums ( Red Star ) : London
This new company would be called Reliance Petroleum .
(Reliance had an employee magazine called the Reliance Emblem.)
|1951||Miss Supertest (1 ,2 & 3) ... So many articles
have been written about the Thompson family's involvement in hydroplane
racing that I won't attempt to tell the story . I will leave that to the
experts . Check out this web site :
||Supertest Petroleum opened an Exploration Office in
Calgary. It was managed by Robert H. Laurence . At the time of the merger
with B. P. (1971) Supertest was producing about 3000 barrels per
day , which equated to approximately 10% of the needs of Supertest. The
B.P. Canada operations were spun off to the shareholders and
is now known as Talisman Energy , a major Canadian independent oil company
operating in various areas of the world .
|1958||Ground was broke for a new head office on Pall Mall
St. at Richmond in London.
A major pipeline terminal called Supertest Terminals was built in Toronto . It remained under Supertest control until 1969 when it became part of the Supertest Petroleum Corporation .
|1959||By spring 1959 a new logo appeared .
Gone was the green scalloped edge of the Maple Leaf .
June 15, --ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new office building.
Reliance Petroleum Co. was incorporated into Supertest Petroleum Corp.
|1960||James Thompson became the president of Supertest
|1966||"The Supertest Ladies Open", the first Canadian
tournament for the Ladies Professional Golf Association , is held at the
27 hole Sunningdale Golf Course in London . (another 9 holes were
in the planning stages )
Fifty of the worlds finest lady golfers compete for the Supertest Trophy
|1971||Supertest was sold to British Petroleum ( B.P.
James Thompson named a director of B.P.
(in 1964 B.P had purchased the Canadian Cities Service business )
|1972||Company logo includes both the Maple Leaf and
the B.P. Shield.
"All Canadian " is dropped from the logo
|1973||Road maps issued carrying both the Maple Leaf and
the B.P. shield.
Supertest logo is slowly but surely phased out .
|1982||J. Gordon Thompson passed away.
|1983||B.P. was purchased by Petro-Canada (est'd 1975)
Petro-Canada continues to use the Supertest name in their line of lubricants