Many of today's oil companies were created in the late 1900's. John D. Rockefeller created Standard Oil in 1870 which refined almost all US oil inthe 1880''s, In 1911, Standard Oil was declared an illegal monopoly and split into thirty-four companies such as Esso, which became Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Atlantic Richfield and Amoco. Texaco Shell, and British Petroleum were also established about that time. As the auto industry exploded, oil companies did too and by 1946 oil replaced coal as the world's most popular energy source.
Oil companies were early adopters of use the Zippo. Kendall Oil & Refining Company from Bradford Pennsylvania was the very first advertising customer for Zippo in 1936 and some of the lighters can be seen HERE. While the Zippo case with the inside hinge was also introduced in 1936, early Kendall as well as the Gulf advertising Zippo shown below are earlier, highly collectible "outside hinge" models. The Zippos shown include not only major petroleum companies but range from advertsing drilling rigs to motor oil and service stations.