Sun Oil Company

Sun Oil Company

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Sun Oil Company
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Beautifully engraved certificate from the Sun Oil Company issued in 1965-1976. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man and woman flanking the company's logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President, Robert G. Dunlop and is over 26 years old.
Certificate Vignette Sunoco got its start on March 27, 1886, when Joseph Newton Pew and Edward O. Emerson, partners in The Peoples Natural Gas Company in Pittsburgh, Pa., made a bold move to diversify their business. Looking to the promising new oil discoveries in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the partners paid $4,500 for two oil leases near Lima, Ohio. Within a few years the company had acquired pipelines, leases, storage tanks -- and was emerging as one of Ohio's leading suppliers of crude oil. On March 17, 1890, it became The Sun Oil Company of Ohio and was producing, transporting and storing oil as well as refining, shipping and marketing petroleum products. Through the purchase of the Diamond Oil Company in 1894, Sun acquired a refinery in Toledo, Ohio, and began operations there in 1895. The partnership ended in 1899, when Mr. Pew bought out Mr. Emerson's interest. In May 1901, the company headed by Mr. Pew was incorporated in New Jersey as Sun Company and began securing leases and crude oil in the new Spindletop field in Texas. With business growing, Mr. Pew in 1901 purchased 82 acres in Marcus Hook, Pa., as the site for a second refinery to process crude oil shipped by tanker from Spindletop. Marcus Hook went on stream on March 20 that year. In 1912, the year after Sun Company celebrated its 25th anniversary, Joseph Newton Pew died and was succeeded as President by his 30-year-old son, J. Howard Pew, whose brother, Joseph N. Pew, Jr., became Vice President. Years of Innovation The Pew brothers pioneered innovation and expansion of the company. In 1916 they established Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, a subsidiary that took the company into the shipbuilding business. In 1920 Sun opened its first service station in Ardmore, Pa., and then another in Toledo, Ohio. The name changed to Sun Oil Company in 1922 to better identify the company with its business. On November 12, 1925, Sun went public -- its stock appearing for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. Before the decade was over, Sun was in the oil field equipment business with the 1929 formation of Sperry-Sun, a joint venture with Sperry Gyroscope. One of the most dramatic events of the 1930s for the company -- and the refining industry -- took place when Sun placed on stream the world's first large-scale, commercial catalytic cracking plant in Marcus Hook in 1937. The mining business attracted Sun in 1941, when Sun formed the Cordero Mining Company in Nevada to supply mercury for Sunoco motor oils. The metal proved vital during the World War II effort. So too did Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company -- which turned out 40 percent of all wartime tankers built or reconverted. By 1947 J. Howard Pew was 65 years old and resigned as President, to be succeeded on March 18 of that year by Robert G. Dunlop. Mr. Pew remained a director, and his brother Joseph N. Pew, Jr., was named Chairman of the Board. Expanding North and South The company was expanding north and south by the 1950s. In Canada Sun started a 15,000 barrels per day refinery in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1953. And in Venezuela beginning in 1957 Venezuelan Sun Oil Company produced more than one billion barrels of oil from Lake Maracaibo before ceasing operations when the Venezuelan government nationalized Sun's holdings in 1975. Back in the States, 1956 was the year Sun introduced the Custom Blending Pump, a novel system for dispensing a choice of several octane grades of gasoline from a single pump. It revolutionized the method of marketing gasoline, and a model of the pump is on display at the Smithsonian Institution. Joseph N. Pew, Jr., son of the founder and Chairman of the Board, died in 1963. His brother, J. Howard Pew, became Chairman. A bold venture began for Sun in 1967 in the Athabasca oil sands of Canada, with Sun's Great Canadian Oil Sands Limited subsidiary completing its processing facility in northern Alberta. The plant had the capacity to produce 45,000 barrels per day of synthetic crude oil from the estimated 300 billion barrels of recoverable oil locked in the sands. Sun Reshapes --and Later Renames Sun grew by merger in 1968. On October 25 Sun Oil Company and Sunray DX Oil Company, headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., merged to form a new Sun Oil Company. Two years later Robert G. Dunlop replaced J. Howard Pew as Chairman of the Board and H. Robert Sharbaugh was elected President and Chief Operating Officer of the company. Having been based in downtown Philadelphia for many years, Sun Oil Company moved to a new headquarters building in St. Davids, Pa., in 1971. That year, on November 17, J. Howard Pew died -- having just celebrated his 70th year with Sun Oil Company. Major restructuring reshaped the company in 1975, when it organized into fourteen operating units, two property companies and a non-operating parent company, and moved to a major new corporate headquarters in Radnor, Pa. H. Robert Sharbaugh, President and CEO of Sun Oil Company, was elected Chairman of the Board. Reflecting the diversification of the company, Sun Oil Company was renamed Sun Company in 1976. There were changes in management that year too with Theodore A. Burtis being elected President and Chief Operating Officer and Mr. Sharbaugh continuing as Chairman and CEO. In 1978, Mr. Burtis would take the post of CEO. A Major Expansion In a dramatic acquisition in 1980, Sun purchased the U.S. oil and gas properties of Texas Pacific Oil Company, Inc., a subsidiary of The Seagram Company, Ltd., for $2.3 billion. At the time this


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