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ExxonMobil Historical Collection - Page 2


The ExxonMobil Historical Collection (EMHC) documents the long history of Exxon Mobil Corporation, concentrating on the activities and functions of four major corporate entities – Standard Oil Company, founded in 1870 by John D. Rockefeller, Mobil Corporation, Exxon Corporation and Exxon Mobil Corporation – as well as various predecessor, affiliate and subsidiary companies, notably Vacuum Oil Company of Rochester, New York, and Texas-based Humble Oil & Refining Company and Magnolia Petroleum Company. Comprised of an estimated 4 million documents, 1.5 million photographs, 4,000 artifacts, and more than 30,000 moving image and sound recordings, the EMHC is arguably the largest publicly 

available collection tracing the history of a single petroleum company. The collection provides insight into the early activities of the Standard Oil Company and charts the growth of Exxon and Mobil’s core business activities, namely the exploration and production, research and development, refining and marketing of petroleum products, and the industry’s development and societal impact throughout the 20th century. In addition, the collection contains diverse material that can

Humble Oil Icon

support research on related topics such as advertising and brand identity, management and corporate culture, the environment, architecture, graphic design, and philanthropy.


The bulk of the EMHC started in the 1950s as an historical subject file in the public relations department of Socony Mobil Oil Company, a predecessor of Mobil Corporation. Originally conceived as a compilation of news clippings, correspondence, printed material, and photographs,  the historical file helped employees respond to frequently asked questions from corporate managers, share-holders and the general public. Throughout the following four decades, the historical file expanded to

John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil.

John D. Rockefeller
Founder of Standard Oil

include a wealth of archival material donated by retirees and employees. Managers of the file also began to seek out artifacts, such as signs, product containers and service pins, to augment the collection and document the material culture of the company. In 1995, recognizing the importance of this extensive collection, Mobil Corporation established

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