The Vacuum Oil Company was the first oil company
established in Australia. Prior to this other
brands of oil based products were marketed by
overseas companies through their Australian agents.
The company set up their Queen Street, Melbourne,
branch in February 1895, less than 30 years after
Vacuum first started operations in the US. Vacuum
Oil's first salesman in Australia, Mr David Clarke,
sold the company's first barrel of lubricating
oil to a gold mining operation at Eaglehawk,
near Bendigo, on his first day in the job.
March 1904, Vacuum Oil was officially incorporated
under Victorian Law as a proprietary company,
and in 1906 the company issued Australia's first
ever chart of "Recommendations to Motorists" covering
about 200 makes of car.
By 1908, Vacuum was growing
rapidly and merged with the Colonial Oil Co,
a company marketing kerosene and motor spirit,
adding to Vacuum's specialty lubricant products.
In 1916, Vacuum introduced its "Plume" and "Laurel" brands
to the Australian market and a year later brought
its first 100 gallon, horse drawn tank wagon
As motor vehicles became more popular
in Australia, Vacuum expanded its operations.
In 1924 Vacuum opened its first bulk petroleum
products terminal at Pulpit Point in Sydney and
took delivery of its first imported bulk oil
products cargo, a 1.5 million gallon shipment
carried from the United States by the tanker "HT
A decade later, Vacuum introduced "Ethyl",
Australia's first Super grade motor spirit. Around
the same time in the US, Vacuum's parent company,
Vacuum Oil Inc, merged with the Standard Oil
Company of New York to become Socony Vacuum,
then Socony Mobil that ultimately became Mobil
Corporation. Vacuum replaced the famous Plume
brand name with Mobilgas in 1954.