Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Central Refining Tank Car 1917

Central Refining Tank Car

This photograph depicts a newly-built Central Refining Company tank call built in April of 1917 by the Allegheny Steel Tank Car Company, which was located in Warren, Pennsylvania. The location of the photographs has not determined – it may have been taken either at the Allegheny manufacturing facility or after delivery to Central Refining in Lawrenceville.

The Central Refining Company started operations in Lawrenceville in 1909. The plant was located north of the Indian Refinery, which also started operations that same year. By 1920, Indian had acquired Central Refining, and changed its production to lubricants.

Indian Refinery headquarters was located in New York City. In 1924 those offices were moved to Lawrenceville. In 1931, the Texas Company ( i.e. Texaco) gained controlling interest in Indian Refinery but retained the name. In 1933, Indian developed Furfaral Refining – this process led to one of its most famous product lines –Havoline Motor Oil. In 1938 the Texaco name replaced the former Indian name. This was also the case with all Indian service stations which would soon display the Texaco Star. The Lawrenceville plant was classified as Texaco's fifth largest American refinery, and produced gasoline, aviation fuel, asphalt and heating fuels.

Over the years of operation, Central, Indian, and Texaco shipped most of their fuels and oils out of Lawrenceville by railroad tank car by the B & O (St. Louis to Cincinnati line), or the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis( i.e. Big Four) Cairo division line. Indian gasoline was very popular in the Midwest.
Texaco was originally called the Texas Oil Company and was founded in 1901, and the Texaco Star was introduced in 1909.

This photograph shows Central Refining Company tank car 4288 built in April of 1917. The company specialized in making tank cars for refining and oil companies of that era. Allegheny changed its name to that of Warren Car Company. For purposes of rail transportation, Central Refining (CERX)  had a fleet of 336 cars which carried numbers 4001 through 4337. The photograph depicts tank car 4288, which carried 8138 gallons in the tank, 268 gallons in the dome, and was rated for 80,000 pounds.

The Historical Society thanks Mike Neal for donating the photograph; the information in the article was on the back of the photograph.