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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 Pew bought out Emerson's interest. In May 1901, the company headed by 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, Pew purchased 82 acres in Marcus Hook, Pa., as the site for a second refinery to process crude oil shipped by tanker from Spindletop. In 1912, the year after Sun Company celebrated its 25th anniversary, Joseph Newton Pew died and was succeeded as President by his son, J. Howard Pew. Another son, Joseph N. Pew, Jr., took over as Vice President. Years of Innovation In 1916, the Pew brothers 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. In 1947, J. Howard Pew resigned as President, to be succeeded on March 18 of that year by Robert G. Dunlop. Pew remained a director, and his brother Joseph N. Pew, Jr., was named Chairman of the Board. Expanding North and South The Company expanded north and south in the 1950s. In Canada, Sun started a 15,000 barrels per day refinery in Sarnia, Ontario. And, in Venezuela beginning in 1957, Venezuelan Sun Oil Company produced more than one billion barrels of oil from Lake Maracaibo before ceasing operations in 1975 when the Venezuelan government nationalized Sun's holdings. Back in the States 1958 was the year Sun introduced the Custom Blending Pump, a novel system for dispensing a choice of five 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. When Joseph N. Pew, Jr., 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 On October 25, 1968 Sun Oil Company and Sunray DX Oil Company, headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., merged to form a new Sun Oil 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. Reflecting the diversification of the company, Sun Oil Company was renamed Sun Company, Inc. in 1976.

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About Sunoco

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 Pew bought out Emerson's interest.

In May 1901, the company headed by 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, Pew purchased 82 acres in Marcus Hook, Pa., as the site for a second refinery to process crude oil shipped by tanker from Spindletop.

In 1912, the year after Sun Company celebrated its 25th anniversary, Joseph Newton Pew died and was succeeded as President by his son, J. Howard Pew. Another son, Joseph N. Pew, Jr., took over as Vice President.


Years of Innovation

In 1916, the Pew brothers 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.

In 1947, J. Howard Pew resigned as President, to be succeeded on March 18 of that year by Robert G. Dunlop. Pew remained a director, and his brother Joseph N. Pew, Jr., was named Chairman of the Board.


Expanding North and South

The Company expanded north and south in the 1950s. In Canada, Sun started a 15,000 barrels per day refinery in Sarnia, Ontario. And, in Venezuela beginning in 1957, Venezuelan Sun Oil Company produced more than one billion barrels of oil from Lake Maracaibo before ceasing operations in 1975 when the Venezuelan government nationalized Sun's holdings.

Back in the States 1958 was the year Sun introduced the Custom Blending Pump, a novel system for dispensing a choice of five 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.

When Joseph N. Pew, Jr., 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

On October 25, 1968 Sun Oil Company and Sunray DX Oil Company, headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., merged to form a new Sun Oil 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. Reflecting the diversification of the company, Sun Oil Company was renamed Sun Company, Inc. in 1976.