GATX 7167 - The Pierce Company


A nice, large tank car photo submitted to the Fairport-E.Rochester Post - Fairport of New York:


The story of the Pierce Oil Company, from the newspaper, is below.


Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Pierce Oil Co.


In 1902 the Signal Oil Company of Cleveland, Ohio erected two buildings just beyond the Ontario Drill Works on Ontario Street. Five years later the company was incorporated as the Pierce Oil Company, with the workers arriving each day by train. They made mustard seed oil, then a rubber extender made from vegetable oil. Mr. Pierce and his four sons ran the company.


Branching out, the company began to manufacture blown oils, which were developed from corn, rapeseed and castor beans. Refined rapeseed oil was imported from Japan. These oils were used in finishing artificial leather, real leather and patent leather, used extensively at that time for shoes, bags and belts.


These products made up the principal part of the business until 1918 when a refinery was installed for refining vegetable oils such as corn and peanut oils, which are used in making salad and cooking oils. Due to the growth of the business, the plant was enlarged, the oil products continued to be refined and a new brick office building was erected. It remains standing today.


During World War I, a large quantity of medicinal castor oil was sold to the United States government. The heavy blown oils were used in marine engines. A million and a half barrels of oil were shipped each year. The company continued until the early 1970s. Today the buildings are home to many small businesses.


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