Freedom Oil Works Co. and the Valvoline Oil Co.

Feb 23, 2009 | Posted in Essays, Pennsylvania Oil Companies

Neil McElwee, 2009

The Freedom Oil Works Co. was established in Freedom, Pa., Beaver County in 1879. J. W. Craig was the President in the latter nineteenth century when the company refined illuminating oils and all types of lubricating oils. The Freedom Oil Co. refined and marketed gasoline under the “Freedom” brand in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s till after the War. Freedom’s motor oil was marketed under the “Perfect” brand.

The “Valvoline” line of lubricating oils was introduced by a Binghamton. New York firm, the Continuous Oil Refining Co., in 1873. The trade name became so famous nationally, the company chose to rename itself the Valvoline Oil Co. in 1902. In the early 1920’s, Valvoline began marketing gasoline as well as motor oil under the Valvoline brand in New York and Pennsylvania. The company moved its general offices to Cincinnati. Prior to World War II, Valvoline’s three refineries were in Warren, Franklin and East Butler. Valvoline in 1931 bought the old Galena Oil Works in Franklin’s Third Ward. The Franklin Valvoline Refinery closed in the early 40’s. The company marketed Valvoline as “the original Pennsylvania oil” across the country and around the world.

The Freedom Oil Co. and the Valvoline Oil Co. merged in 1944. Freedom Oil continued to market gasoline under the “Freedom” brand regionally while marketing Valvoline motor oil internationally. Freedom Oil merged with Ashland Oil of Ashland, Kentucky in 1950. Ashland continues to operate the Freedom refinery in Beaver County on the Ohio River. The famous Valvoline motor oil brand continues to be sold by Ashland everywhere.