Central Pennsylvania Oil Company copyrighted a prospectus in 1919 with headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania, where local library resources and newspaper archives may have more information.
Although par value typically has little relation to a share’s market price, in 1921 the company was selling stock with $25 par value and actively soliciting investors in the Harrisburg Telegraph newspaper.
Also in 1921, Central Pennsylvania Oil established several “filling stations” in the area of Reading, Lebanon, and Harrisburg.
Just a few years earlier, Gulf Refining Company had opened the first U.S. drive-through service station in Pittsburgh. Learn more in First Gas Pump and Service Station.
Central Pennsylvania Oil’s gasoline was marketed as CENPOCO. As late as 1924 newspaper advertisements proclaimed its virtues. “For good service in a gas engine, good gasoline and oil are necessary,” noted one in the Reading Times, adding:
“Lubricating oil developed and placed on the market by the Central Pennsylvania Oil Company, Third and Walnut streets, this city, are such as to insure the maximum of power with a minimum of expense, and couple high effectiveness with a low percentage of carbon deposit, making frequent cleaning of cylinders unnecessary.”
However, by 1930 the company and its stations reportedly have disappeared, probably a casualty of the Great Depression. It will be 1946 before the Central Pennsylvania Oil Company Pennsylvania charter is officially repealed by Delaware Governor Walter W. Bacon.
For collectors, obsolete Central Pennsylvania Oil Company stock certificates can be found online for about $15.
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