Petroleum Corporation Limited
Canada's All-Canadian Company

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 , Ont. 
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 magazine 
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 :
mid 50's
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 Petroleum. 
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 

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