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A Brief History

    

     

     

     

       

In 1901, in Petrolia, Ontario the Canadian Oil Refining Company was formed. Three years later, to consolidate their strengths, it merged with eight other small companies to form the Canadian Oil Company Limited of Petrolia. By 1907 this company was forced into bankruptcy and was purchased by the National Refining Company of Cleveland. On December 4th, 1908, it received its new charter as the Canadian Oil Companies Limited.

The new company’s main asset was it’s 10,000 barrel a day refinery at Petrolia that produced mainly kerosene. Steps were taken to increase production of the fairly new but rapidly growing product - gasoline. New equipment was installed, retail outlets and a sales force were organized and products were sold as far afield as Halifax. By 1913, the company had branches from coast to coast, and sales of $2,500,000 a year. At the end of the Great War, sales boomed and the company expanded rapidly.

In the early thirties, the parent company - National Refining - began to decline and in 1938 sold the company to Nesbitt, Thomson & Co., of Montreal. In a then huge capital program of $1,500,000 the whole network was rejuvenated, new outlets and bulk plants built and their refinery was modernized.

Nesbitt Thomson is the company that merged Frontenac Oil Refineries with McColl Bros. in 1927 to form McColl Frontenac. A competition was held for the design of a White Rose logo depicting the actual flower. The winner was Bill Templeton, an artist employed with the advertising firm of E.L. Ruddy of Toronto (well-known billboard sign company). Templeton had ties with members of the "Group of Seven". Group of Seven member A. J. Casson (famous Canadian artist) was the illustrator of several Imperial Oil illustrations in McLean’s magazine of the 1930’s.

The "Boy and Slate" logo, in use since 1917, was phased out beginning in 1939, being replaced with the newly designed rose. The "Boy and Slate" was probably the best known logo of its day.  
In the early sixties, the story of "White Rose" drew to a close, being bought out by the expanding Shell Oil Company of Canada, and by the mid-sixties the once familiar White Rose, faded from the highways of Canada

For a more detailed history see  The White Rose Story  link.


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