Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid for the Union Oil Company of California records, 1884-2005
449  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (434.49 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
The Union Oil Company of California was a major petroleum producer, refiner, and marketer incorporated in Santa Paula, California, on October 17, 1890. The company, later reorganized under the Unocal Corporation, remained one of America's oldest and largest independent enterprises, with operations throughout southern California, the United States, and Southeast Asia, up until its 2005 merger with the ChevronTexaco Corporation. Photographs, negatives, and employee publications comprise the bulk of the collection, but the records also contain early field and gauge reports, financial ledgers, correspondence to and from the company's founders, lease and stock agreements, annual reports to stockholders, speeches and remarks by company executives, films, and various memorabilia.
Background
The Union Oil Company of California was incorporated on October 17, 1890, in Santa Paula, California, after founding members Lyman Stewart, Wallace L. Hardison, and Thomas Bard merged their respective California oil interests: Hardison and Stewart Oil, Sespe Oil, and Torrey Canyon Oil. Union's early years were marked by struggle and infighting between the company's founders; nonetheless, its first producing wells accounted for nearly one-fourth of California's oil production. By 1900, Lyman Stewart remained the sole founder still with the company, and under his auspices, and those of the Stewart family, Union Oil began its first real era of rapid growth. In late 1900, Stewart moved the company's offices to Los Angeles, and from there Union Oil quickly expanded south through Los Angeles County and beyond. In response to the popularization of the automobile and the demand for motor oil, which the company itself had helped to foster by marketing oil fuel as a viable energy source, Union began to open service stations up and down southern California, augmenting these stations with twenty established ones acquired from the purchase of Pinal Dome Oil in 1917. With this distribution network and the introduction of its iconic 76 retail brand, Union Oil, or Union 76 as it came to be known, helped to shape both southern California's landscape and its history.
Extent
90 boxes (45 linear ft.) 68 oversize boxes 52 cartons
Restrictions
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.