LogoGetty1
1938
Flying A 1 
1956
 
 

Tidewater Oil Company (also rendered as Tide Water Oil Company) was a major petroleum refining and marketing concern in the United States for more than 80 years. Tidewater was best known for its Flying A–branded products and gas stations, and for Veedol motor oil, which was known throughout the world.  Tidewater was founded in New York City in 1887. The company entered the gasoline market just before World War I, and by 1920 was selling gasoline, oil and other products on the East Coast under its Tydol brand. In 1931, Tidewater expanded its reach into the midwestern U.S.by purchasing Northwestern Oil Company of Superior, Wisconsin.

Soon thereafter, Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (now ExxonMobil) gained control of Tidewater, and set up the subsidiary Mission Corporation to operate it. J. Paul Getty's purchase of Mission in 1937 set the stage for the birth of Tidewater as a major national player in the oil industry.

In 1938, Getty merged Tidewater with Associated Oil Company, based in San Francisco with a market area limited to the Far West. Associated, founded in 1901, had created the prominent Flying A brand for its premium-grade gasoline in 1932.

With the merger and creation of Tidewater Associated Oil Company, Flying A became the primary brand name for the company, though the Tydol and Associated names were also retained in their respective marketing areas. During the 1950s, the Associated and Tydol brands gradually fell into disuse, and were dropped entirely in 1956. That same year, "Associated" was removed from the corporate name. The Veedol trademark was retained for motor oils and lubricants. BP acquired the Veedol brand when it bought Burmah-Castrol (who then owned the Veedol brand). In February 2011 announced that they wished to sell the Veedol Brand. Tidewater operated refineries on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, as well as a small fleet of West Coast-based tankers.

Maps with years in red are not in my collection - scans of covers have been provided by other collectors.
56 Cover Icon
1956
57 Tidewater Cover Icon 
1957